Every once in a while, I’ll be out shopping, and I’ll see someone and think “that woman is beautiful.”

Not the typical blond-haired blue-eyed skinny-jeans-wearing twenty-somethings. Not the teens with their phones plastered to the makeup they cake on, or the thirty-somethings who somehow managed to have 2.5 kids and come out looking like they went to zumba the next day. Not any of those.

I’m talking about the women who probably had a kid puke on them as they were trying to leave the house, and had to run back in and change so they could leave. The women who haven’t had a day to themselves in weeks, between work and kids and their spouse, if they have one, and they’d probably rather be wearing sweats but they decided to put on something a little different and head to the grocery store with the Starbucks in it so they could enjoy being away from the kids for an hour while they shopped.

Or maybe it’s the woman who IS in her early twenties, but she’s got student debt piled up to here and since she doesn’t have experience yet her pay won’t cover her bills and the loans and she’s trying to get a second job to cover them, and she’s wondering if college was actually worth it when she’s picking up quarter tips off tables covered with syrup at IHOP.

Or maybe she’s woman in a midlife crisis, realizing that she chose the wrong career and she’ll never get out, and she’ll be stuck working a job she hates until she dies.

Whoever she is, every once in a while, she relaxes, and she smiles, and she’s beautiful, and I see it. And I want to tell her that she’s beautiful.

But I don’t. Because, crazy stranger danger talk.

But I smile.

So the next time you’re out and feeling like maybe the world isn’t quite so bad, remember.

You’re beautiful.

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