This morning, the Son and I did something we haven’t done in a long time: we went out for coffee.
As we approached the café, the Son said, “Why don’t we sit outside?”
There was still a bit of bite in the air but the sun was shining and there were people milling about, so I agreed.
A few minutes later, as we sat nursing our hot cup of java, a voluptuous woman walked by.
As I turned to look at her, I noticed the Son and the two men sitting next to us did the same.
Four sets of eyes followed the woman’s steps until she disappeared from sight.
I turned to the Son and said, “I thought you weren’t into chunky sisters.”
“And you and the men next to us are foaming at the mouth.”
“Well, she wasn’t particularly attractive so why did you look, and don’t tell me it’s a guy thing.”
“I don’t know. I think it’s the way she moved.”
I looked at him, eyes narrowing and asked, “The way she moved?”
“Yeah. She just moved, well, you know, kinda sexy.”
As I took another sip of my coffee, I realized I too had been captivated by the curvy woman’s movements.
She had reminded me of a lithe panther as she gracefully placed one foot in front of another, sashaying her hips in a hypnotic fashion.
Maya Angelou’s poem “Phenomenal Woman” came to mind and I realized we had just witnessed a live example of just that, a phenomenal woman.
The width of her hips, the grace of her step, the curve of her back.
These had all served to mesmerize us.
However, I realized her physical qualities had been further accented by her apparent self confidence; self confidence that silently screamed, “I am beautiful.” “I believe in myself.” “I am important.”
Without saying a word, this woman had managed to convey her high sense of self worth.
And we had listened.
Our trance-like state was proof of just how well we had listened.
Tonight, walking by myself to the supermarket, I decided to practice some “phenomenal woman” steps of my own.
Head held high, shoulders pulled back, and eyes on the horizon, I walked, no, strutted, hips shaking left and right.
I giggled as I thought how proud Nurse Pritchett would be if she saw me.
Back in the seventh grade, while she screened us for scoliosis, Nurse Pritchett had reminded us why good posture was important.
“Girls, walk tall. Pretend your head’s being pulled by a string. Don’t slouch your shoulders unless you want to end up with a hump on your back.”
My chuckles interrupted the night’s silence as I recalled the many times I had walked the span of my room with a book on my head.
One foot in front of the other; hips swaying left and right; head held high.
Every step providing more self confidence.
Every shake of the hips making me feel fabulous.
As I stopped to cross the street, I noticed a man standing by a tree staring at me.
Onward I walked.
Phenomenal woman, that’s me.
When did you last feel like a phenomenal woman?