A Story of Stunning and Brave

“Love and Basketball” written and directed by Gina Prince-Blythewood

I often think of this. It makes me smile.

My youngest were in high school. They had dentist appointments. We have always had a tradition of stopping to get something to eat on the way home because they usually miss their school lunches on dentist day.

This day was no different. We stopped at Chick-fil-A, a bit of a treat for us, and ate inside.The dental hygienist’s work was in vain as they ordered nuggets, fries and sodas. My girls were makeup free, as usual, in normal jeans/yoga pants and tee-shirts, hair pulled back in pony tails. They are beautiful girls, if I do say so myself. And especially back then didn’t wear makeup, “outfits” or much jewelry — quite the opposite of how teen girls have and are portrayed on film — you know, those girls who don’t leave the house without full makeup and a highly coordinated and pulled together ‘look.’ My girls were probably still doing the — pick up the clothes from the floor and doing the ‘sniff test’ — to choose their outfits.

“Clueless” written and directed by Amy Heckerling

Anyhoo, my point is they were natural beauties, without a second thought about it.

As we ate a young man approached us. Walked right up to our table. Me and my two girls, fraternal twins, Baby A and Baby B.

He introduced himself, apologized for interrupting. He was so respectful and polite. Then turned to one of the girls, Baby B, and said:

“I would have kicked myself if I’d left without coming by and telling you that . . . . “

wait for it . . .

YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY STUNNING.

My jaw dropped to my waffle fries, as did her sister’s.

Absolutely stunning.

He proceeded tell us about himself and to ask for her number; she took his. Nothing came of it, but it sticks with me because this young man, who turns out was also a high school student but from a neighboring school, knew how to approach a girl in front of her sister and her mother and did so politely, without being creepy, and without any hint of aggression.

I’ve seen guys, men, checking out my daughters. Of course I have. And not gonna lie, I usually want to hurt them. But not this guy.

This guy spoke softly, but without the menacing whisper. He smiled. He kept a respectful distance. He greeted all of us with eye contact, and when speaking directly to Baby B his eyes never strayed below hers as he delivered the ultimate compliment.

Love & Basketball

Absolutely stunning.

He didn’t ask her to leave her table and talk to him.

“Can I talk to you?”

He didn’t ask if she had a boyfriend.

“What, do you have a boyfriend or something?”

He didn’t lick his lips.

And the word choice. He didn’t tell her she was hot or fine. No.

He said:

Absolutely stunning.

When he didn’t get her number, he didn’t respond with with,

“What you don’t want to make any friends?”

Nor did he turn her sister and say,

“What about you?”

Clueless

No, he said it was nice to have met us and wished us a good day.

I noticed when he left that his buddies were outside the restaurant, waiting. He hadn’t allowed them to watch and perhaps laugh when he approached us. Maybe that protected him from the walk of shame in front of them? Maybe. But since either way they waited for him, what it did do was protect my daughter from feeling like a bunch of boys were watching us from the next table, watching his approach, waiting to hear her response.

Instead, this boy had left Chick-fil-A, told his friends to wait outside, and doubled back — to take a shot. He did so in the most respectful way possible.

And in front of both her sister and mother? Impressive.

Who raised this young man?

I want to send his parents a thank you note.

Clueless

And since he did get her name and her high school, he could have done the stalking thing, but she never heard from him again. I actually hoped she’d call him. He was cute, but I think she was too embarassed (but not in a bad way) and wasn’t really dating yet.

If any of you are concerned about her sister, Baby A, the girl who was clearly not the subject of his appreciation, don’t be. Baby A is usually the one who gets the attention. She is also beautiful and plus she is super tall — like six feet — and a star athlete. Her name and picture had been in the paper, people know her. She is the girl who gets stopped in the mall by grown men asking if she is a model or —wants to be one. And what does Baby B get? She gets called the short one, in all her 5’7″ glory. So don’t worry about Baby A. This was Baby B’s day. And that’s okay.

And as I said, Baby A and I were too busy managing our unhinged jaws.

Absolutely stunning.

A girl doesn’t get that every day, not when she isn’t even trying.

It gave me hope that the days of meeting organically might not be completely over — if people know how to approach one another respectfully.

Absolutely stunning.

Rather than regretting a “Missed Connection” this teen boy took a shot. Props to him.

Absolutely stunning.

Notably this was a few years ago, before “stunning” began being used frequently and usually to describe transgender, nonbinary, or nonconforming people. Now you hear stunning (and brave) all the time. But even so, “stunning” is usually used to describe someone who is wearing a dress, is maticulously coiffed, and/or sports flawless makeup.

Billy Porter’s Oscars look

But back then? Stunning for a girl in jeans hunched over chicken nuggets? Not so much.

Beautiful? Yes.

Gorgeous? Sure.

Cute? Obviously.

But stunning? Naw, not something you hear every day.

Love & Basketball

I mean, you know, my daughter is, of course, stunning. I feel that this is an objective fact.

But that boy? He was brave. And just a very nice, polite young man.

Clueless

Just Me With . . . a chicken sandwich, waffle fries, and dropped jaws.

I sometimes remind Baby B of that boy, and say, “We all can’t be ‘absolutely stunning.'” Hahaha

She rolls her eyes, tells me to, “Stop it!”

But she’s smiling.

Side note: My girls have many other positive qualities and talents other than their looks, and none of us judge self worth by the existence or quality of the male gaze. Of course.

For a not so nice way to approach somebody see The Landscaper Guy posts, all five of them.

For a humorous approach, see  The Best Pick Up Line, Ever .

But still, it was nice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: