I hate socializing.
Stepping into the party with a sheepish grin, I wished for a vanishing cloak. Oh, to have been able to evaporate into thin air. Mama said that, as a growing young lady, I must become more social. But it’s scary to see every eye in the room fixate on you, gauging you, whispering judgments behind their hands.
All the girls there were beautiful, some with their long hair loose, some with soft curls. A few had upswept buns, their stylish bangs framing their eyes. I eyed them, smiling when one of the ladies approached and said,
“Hi. Who are you, pretty girl?”
Pretty. I felt a lump in my throat. I thought I was good looking, but not pretty enough to be noticed immediately. I loved this and pointed to my mother with a smile.
“Oh, Sara, you have such a pretty daughter.” She commented. Touching my cheeks, she added,
“You would have looked nicer if you would have let your hair loose.”
To be more comfortable that night, I had tied my hair in a simple braid. Until the end of the party, I imagined myself with my veil of hair loose and hanging down to my waist.
At the next social event, I entered with my long hair falling free. Many eyes admired me and I love the feeling. I got many compliments, yet one of them said that some soft low curls would have made my look more gorgeous.
After this, two thoughts disturbed my mind. Was my hair truly fixed properly and how would soft curls look on me? I took to changing things.
When the next party night came, I entered with soft curls feeling extremely conscious. I had fought with my siblings when their hands had accidentally touched my hair, as I’d wanted to be perfect. Again, many admired me that night, yet one said,
“You are so beautiful yet a little style would make you more gorgeous.”
“Style? What style?” I asked her.
“A haircut in layers with bangs would make you look so adorable.”
My worries increased threefold. I remained preoccupied about my hair being loose, with curls and now styling it with bangs and layers.
The next day, my mother was horrified with my desire to change. She said fashionable cuts ruined the natural beauty and health of the hair. But the thought of looking more gorgeous drove me to ignore her advice and I got my layers and bangs.
When my friend’s bridal shower came, after much time fussing and preparing myself, I entered with my new style. I anticipated a lot of impressed looks and was noticed almost immediately. A friend commented,
“Oh, you look astounding with your new cut, but…” I cut her off.
“Your dress is a bit old fashioned and doesn’t really match your new hairstyle.” I went home that night with even more worries.
Needing an immediate fix of my wardrobe, I spent a ton on laces and frills, spending many late nights researching the latest styles online. I spent a lot of energy making a seamstress understand the details of the gracious style I needed.
When all was ready for the next party, I entered stressed and concerned to the point of distraction. I wanted to look the best and be the lady of the evening. I came in worrying that my frilled and netted gown stay perfect that I couldn’t even enjoy the stares of the party goers. I concentrated moving gracefully to please everyone that I couldn’t participate in any conversation.
In my mind, I took in the glamor and attention feeling confident that no-one could have any suggestion as to how my style and hair could be any more perfect. Then, while faking in front of a lady, a soft touch landed on my shoulder.
Turning, I saw my beloved school friend, Zunaira. She stood simple, yet her beauty seemed glorious and shining to me. My gaze settled on her innocent face.
“I couldn’t recognize you at first! You have changed so much in the last year.” She said to me.
“You looked beautiful, but…”
I sighed. I let dear Zunaira continue.
“But you looked prettier before, at least to me. I loved your simple style. It made you so different from my other friends. You don’t seem as comfortable this way.”
We were interrupted then and she left, yet I caught my reflection in the wall mirror as she walked away. Tears burned behind my smiling eyes, as Zunaira had cut to my core with her simple words. I didn’t like what I’d been doing. I constantly worried about my looks to the point of always feeling shaky, never truly confident. I disliked being so desperate to please others.From that night on, I left behind the changes I’d made. I became a social solitaire. You’ve seen them; they are part of all the social activities, yet their solitaire personality stands out. They are totally comfortable being themselves. Being happy with myself became my priority. And the weight of pleasing others left my shoulders, where my simple braid now happily rests.