Young people take the beauty that goes with youth for granted and so they often overlook the many pretty young things surrounding them in a vain search for exceptional beauty.
The college woman working the counter at the cafe tonight is cute, even pretty, if you look closely. But I wonder how many potential lovers her age look that closely. She's on the thin side, angular. Her jaw is long and bony. Her nose dominates her face. A casting director for a movie would think schoolteacher, the strict kind who isn't impressed by an essay unless all the punctuation marks are in the right place and every word is spelled correctly.
But she has a good complexion, full lips, her ponytailed hair under her baseball cap is a pretty shade of reddish brown, and she has beautiful hands.
I'm not John Updike. I can't rhapsodize on a single part of a woman's anatomy without feeling like a fetishist. But take my word for it. Her hands are beautiful. When she goes to give me my mug of coffee I want to wait forever before accepting it, just so I can admire her hands as they are wrapped around the white ceramic.
I think maybe she knows about her hands and is proud of them. She's wearing no make-up. There's no other sign that she's primped for work. She's dressed for the business of pouring coffee and wiping tables in a black top that looks well-worn and black cords with shiny spots on the knees and scuffed black sneakers. But her manicure is perfect and she's chosen exactly the right shade of pink nail polish to show off the color of her skin.
I'm an eye man myself. And a leg man. Then a shoulder man, a back man, an inner thigh man, and a nape of the neck man. I don't recall noticing that the hands of any girl I dated were exceptionally lovely. Maybe lovely hands are always the exception but it seems more likely that I was just stupidly blind to the less obvious beauties of the young women I knew.
If this girl is looking for love---and not everyone is---I hope when she finds it it finds her beautiful for the same reason I hope that our loves find each of us beautiful, because we look like who we are. But I expect that her love will notice her skin and her full lips and the color of her hair and think, "Boy, am I lucky!"
I wonder, though, if he---or she---will notice that she has beautiful hands.