What is beauty meant to be for? The other day, after a very good sleep, deep and restful, filled with fun, playful dreams that would rival any 15 screen cinema, I stumbled to greet the day and my husband. “Good morning” he said with a musical note to his voice that usually meant I was trailing something ridiculous behind. “You look like David Cassidy today.” Aww- no not really I protested and he meant it as a compliment because David Cassidy is a pretty guy. Yes, but he is a guy and I am most decidedly am not.
Does it matter? This discussion is happening on the national stage to consternation of many people in regards to bathrooms. We can not get our minds around the idea that the lines we draw between this and that culture, community, sex, etc., are so very fine.
In the bird world, often the males are prettier than the females; there are so many examples that I find it almost easy to paint the sex as egotistical and pompous, good for one thing only. The female bird, in her work boots and dungarees, patiently accepts the fantastic displays. Or perhaps it is the same old story; the plain girl is wooed with flashy colors, maybe a dance, or a nest lined with soft bits. Then, a fifty-fifty chance he will be gone by the morning and she is left with the responsibility and worry of the young chicks. He is off to find another plain girl to sing and dance to.
Or he stays, if mother nature has deemed it so, as the cardinal couple. The male will pass a precious seed or two to his chosen every year during the mating season, no matter what transpired previously in the harsh winter months. The he and she will raise the brood together, each sharing responsibility for the care of the little ones. And it reminds me of people I know; some are natural parents while others I could not imagine staying in one place long enough to see a child’s tooth come in straight.
The ornithologists speculate that the males need to be lovely to attract a female for mating. The ladies in the bird world, do not need to be pretty just fertile. As the weather warms, I see many very pretty young woman emerging from their winter bundles, smiling and sparkling, while the guys saunter by assessing behind half closed lids, scruffy and slouching. It seems familiar and different; cyclical and new.
But I really do not look like David Cassidy.