My friend Brian has this expression. When he's feeling low, it's a Platypus Day.
Let's face it: the platypus is the homeliest creature ever created. If you don't think God has a sense of humor, take a look at the platypus. A Platypus Day is when you just don't feel fit to face the world; when you cannot find your Best Self and would prefer to hide.
Truth be told, I've had a Platypus Life. It's been intersperced with Tigress Moments, or Dolphin Hours, but for the most part, it's been one Platypus Day after another. I've never felt pretty; I've never looked in the mirror and saw someone beautiful looking back. That's just me; it's what lives inside my mind. Don't get me wrong - I know I have a lot going for me. I'm smart, I'm funny, I make a mean cup of coffee. But when people meet me, they aren't drawn to the inherent beauty that drew them to, say, Audrey Heburn, or my friend Diane from college. No, when people meet me, they wait to see what's inside. Then they find out I'm funny and smart and I make a mean cup of coffee, and I instantly become Best Friend or Sister material. I'm not the kind of girl you date. I'm the kind of girl you play football with. And that's okay...I've accepted that, I understand it and I feel grateful for being the smart funny girl.
But the past week has been worse than most. I haven't been able to shake the feeling of utter ugliness. I've felt in the very core of who I am that, if only I could have been made pretty, I would be...I dunno, maybe not divorced, or maybe cherished, maybe even occasionally have a date. It's haunted me. It's the feeling I've cried myself to sleep to. It's dug its way into my soul and seems to have no intention of letting go.
And yet...last week, my family went to Great America. I wasn't there, so I can't tell the story to the greatest extent, but in a way it's my story so I'm gonna try. Kelly and Aimee were talking about a karaoke contest from earlier this summer. They were discussing the results and how it seemed odd the way we all placed - which, by the way, was not very well. As they talked, the subject was brought up that our friend Amber, the winner, may well have had an advantage because she's not only a great vocalist, but she's undeniably pretty. It's true. If I had a lesbian side, I'd be totally into her. The discussion continued a bit, and Aimee and Kelly referred to Amber as the prettiest one of all of "us".
And that's when my 12-year-old niece made my heart sing, even though I was nowhere near Gurnee. Aubri turned to her mother and said, "Nah-uh, Mom. I think Aunt Margot is the prettiest."
I don't care what anybody says, my niece thinks I'm pretty. I don't ever have to go on another date as long as I live. I don't need to feel bad that my husband left. I don't need to let anyone feel like I don't fit in. A 12-year-old girl with functioning eyes and a heart that won't quit thinks I'm pretty.
I could live on that until I'm 80.
I hope I don't have to, but still...