Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Undeniable, Beautifying Power of Love

I remember having a friend in grade school by the name of Melba Ferrer. Now, I thought Melba was the prettiest of girls, second only perhaps to Sarah Bosch, who I really thought was the prettiest girl in our Catholic School.

Many years later, when I was past schooling, I saw in a family photo album a pic of myself with a bucktoothed girl with droopy hair of a mousy brown shade and a dorky expression. Skinny, too (though that was the rage..and sorta still is.) And it took me a while to realize: Oh, that's Melba.

You see, Melba was so kind and so sweet, that I loved her, and so I always looked at her and saw: oooh, pretty, pretty girl.

Perhaps that's part of why my husband is the handsomest man on earth. He's so sweet and so gentle and so kind of heart. It makes a good-looking man uncategorizably magnificent (imo).

This can happen even when one is acting, I notice.

I was watching one of my favorite romantic films--NOTTING HILL--and it got to one of my fave parts of that fave film, the one where the friends are sitting around the dining table and giving reasons why they deserve the last brownie, cataloging their sorrows for pity points.

At one point, Tim McInnerny, a man with a boyish smile that most (if not all) would hesitate to call handsome (long, scrawny neck, unremarkable features, balding, and the image of Lord Percy from BlackAdder is persistent) looks over at Gina McKee (who plays his paraplegic wife) as she's recounting how they will never have children. He's looking at her with such complete love and adoration, comforting her with his unguarded gaze...that he transforms into an attractive man. A spell-binding fella, even. Just like that.

It happens again, briefly, and less potently, when he scoops her into his arms and refuses to drive off without her in the car. Lovely.

There's something powerful in someone being loving, being kind, being tender, being comforting, being good. It makes a dorky, skinny girl lovely and it makes a funny looking actor handsome. If only to the subject moved the by the powerful emotions displayed.

I've always said that I'll know if (God forbid!) my husband ever ceases to love me. He will no longer look at me with that look that say, "Gosh, I'd rather look at you than anything in the universe. You are gorgeous!"

I am not gorgeous. I'm fat, out-of-shape, unphotogenic, zit-laden, cellulite-riddled, saggy, and middle-aged. But he looks at me and speaks to me as if I were Angelina Jolie, but with better legs. That is love changing his eyeballs. That's love, altering perception.

It's a phenomenon to which I am quite indebted. And grateful.

So, there's a good reason to be kind, good, comforting, sweet, tender. There's a good reason to let yourself beam out the wonderful things you feel about others. It makes you look BETTER. To someone. Especially, I'd think, to the one who causes the fine feelings to grow and flow out of you.

If you're courting a girl (or a guy), just gush the love at her (or him) with everything you've got in your face, in your lips, in your forehead, in your voice. She (or he) may be swept off her (his) metaphorical feet by your sudden glory. Worth a shot.

And if you watch NOTTING HILL anytime soon, drop me a line and tell me if Tim McInnerney as "Max" didn't seem suddenly, unexpectedly, wonderfully attractive in that dinner table scene where he's just loving the heck outta "Bella".


Anonymous said...

So, you're saying to be nice so people will think I'm pretty. Cheaper than a trip to the salon! Count me in!


I'll have to add Notting Hill to my Netflix queue.

Mirtika said...

OMIGOSH, you haven't seen it? I put off seeing it thinking it sounded blah. Then I saw it and was bawling at the ending. I've seen it six times. Six times I start weeping. Such a beautiful ending.

And funny in various parts. The Fruitarian chick. HAH. And the "I don't have hair..FEATHERS!" chick. Very sweet story. And very weird roommate.


Bonnie Calhoun said...

I'm not much into love stories...give me something they can blowup and I'm rockin'...LOL

Camy Tang said...

That's a good point, Mirster. Now I have to watch that movie again.

Selena T said...

I love that movie!

And you're absolutely right; he is leading man attractive in those moments. All of a sudden, I was thinking "This movie should be about him and Bella!"

I think that it's that look of love that gets to most women. It's not a guy's money or his youth, muscles, car or good looks. It's whether or not he can make us feel like the most beautiful, most interesting woman on the face of the planet.

I've been watching Buffy and I'm at the part where Spike has fallen in love with Buffy. I always liked Spike and thought he was cool, but when that love for Buffy is written all over him, he's so gorgeous and compelling and attractive. All of a sudden he is by far my favorite character and I keep wishing he got more screen time.

P.S. Your blog's always a good read. I just haven't gotten around to posting a comment before.

Heather said...

I love this post, Mir! (And I love that movie.) Great reminder of true beauty.

Anonymous said...

I went to Netflix and watched the preview and realized ... I'd already seen it! And yet I can't remember what it's about.

Now how, oh how does that happen? (Something to do with newborns, nursing hormones, sleep deprivation.)

Mirtika said...

Selena, the very same thing happened to me. I always found Spike's character kinda interesting, then he started becoming THE STAR of the show for me. His face utterly changed when he was looking at Buffy, worried about her, lusting after her, willing to take a beating for her. It was an amazing bit of acting. To me, watching Buffy became about seeing what Spike would do next. Absolutely enthralling.

Colin Firth did something similar when he looked at Lizzie Bennett in Pride & Prejudice. I suspect the reason THAT version of P&P became such an immense cult hit was the look in Colin's eyes.

It's potent stuff, that.


Anonymous said...

My grandmother said that you're always beautiful if you're wearing a smile. She meant it wholeheartedly, and it was her way of encouraging me (and other girls/women) to not take to fancy clothing and makeup.

I have come to enjoy dressing up from time to time, but it's more about expressing something I feel on the inside, and not so much about trying to make myself feel or be something according to how I made myself appear on the outside.

My grandma was a smart and loving lady.

Mirtika said...

She sounds utterly lovely, yes. :)