A pinky dream

I always made a point of teaching my two children how to behave in public and to be open and compassionate towards others. When I noticed my 6-year-old kept staring the lady sitting in front of us in the metro, I gave her a gentle nudge in her arm. I agree that it was not easy to completely ignore the lady, who I am sure was a kind and loving person. Her appearance was though somewhat flamboyant and her lips…well, I can hardly believe that someone was born with such lips. Still, more appropriate was to take short glimpses while turning one’s head from side to side, and not brazenly staring like my little daughter, who, despite my prod, kept her eyes fixed on the odd lady.

I bent over to my daughter, whispered to stop looking and saw how her eyes became larger in her silent questioning. I shook my head to signal that it was not the right moment.

I engaged my daughter in a harmless conversation to keep her head turned towards me and thus refraining her from watching the lady, but as I turned to look at my child, I had the lady clearly in my field of vision. The tanned long legs coming of skimpy shorts were bare, her top was a tight t-shirt with a generous neckline. Those warm summer days that kind of attire was no surprise and the lady was young and in good enough shape to be able to wear whatever she liked. But all that pink…and her lips. Her small purse, all her nails, both hands and feet, the cover of her mobile phone, they all were of the kind of pink that reminded me of the Barbie doll I used to play with. The lips were pink as well and enormous, and I felt my eyes pulled towards them. Maybe that was the point, I told myself, and wondered what I would tell my daughter, who for sure would ask me about her lips.

I was relieved when we arrived at our station, and I hurried to leave the train with my daughter. As soon as we were out, I collected my thoughts and braced myself for her questioning fire. Instead, she only asked one question:

“Mom, why the lady in front of us had such sad eyes?”

I was surprised. If my daughter noticed that, she must have indeed have very sad eyes. But I did not see the lady’s face, to me she was only pink and lips. I covered the shame in my voice and told her that grown-ups sometimes have bad days and they are sad.

“But how can she be sad, when she had all those nice pinky things?” she asked and added, “mom, can I have a pinky bag like hers, when I grow up?”

I smiled, happy that of the whole lady and her pink things, she only wanted to have her tiny bag. Blessed childhood, I thought, and told her that I will consider it, leaving her dreaming of a small pink purse.


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