I grew up, a sheltered, suburban, Catholic, 80’s nerd. I had a wide circle of acquaintances and an extremely small circle of real friends. All of whom lived life a little fuller in their teens than me. Not that I didn’t have my share of teen moments. I do remember sneaking out of my house via the lie that I was going to movies with my friend when I was really going on a date with a forbidden boy. But given the fact that he drove me to the beach, where we sat on a bench and talked, and he told me he didn’t like the dorky pants I wore…I’m not sure that qualified me for “slut in training” status. No. I was a good girl. Always have been.
Growing up, my mother would single me out among her daughters for the way I dressed. “Livvy, not so much make up on your eyes, that makes you look too sexy.” or “Livvy, I can always spot you during the band field show because of the wiggle in your walk…you need to tone that down, it’s too sexy.” “No, not those pants, they’re too tight.”
I’m 43 now and was married for 18 years divorced for 4. And had plenty of sex. But I never felt sexy. I just didn’t.
I was my skinniest, prettiest in the 90’s and covered myself with extra baggy shirts, dyed my hair red, then platinum blonde, then cut it all off and grew out my leg and underarm hair (Give me a break, I lived in Seattle during grunge and it was only for one winter…I was trying to stay warm.)…oh…and I had two children. I was too busy worrying about them to bother being sexy. My husband didn’t seem to notice anyway.
It’s not that I didn’t try I guess. But I didn’t know what sexy was other than what I saw in the movies. My mom is not particularly outwardly sexy. None of my three sisters ever discussed their sexuality. I never discussed mine with anyone. Not even my husband. I just did what seemed to feel right at the time.
But I married, had children and didn’t think much about it after that. I was just a mom. A little over-weight and dressed a little on the frumpy side. I didn’t have years of training by dating as many women had. So when I found myself single, I wondered if anyone would ever possibly find me sexy ever again?
Imagine my surprise when I was hit on by a 26 year-old, rock-hard (think Edward from Twilight) guy on New Years Eve in 2009. Aside from the fact that I could very well be his mother…I was flabbergasted that someone that young would choose me for his night’s hunt. ME? That night ended badly with me fleeing by cab with my friend protecting me after it became painfully clear what he wanted. Live and learn.
Imagine my surprise when the man I met casually in Ireland one evening decided to spend hundreds of pounds to come for a visit from his home in England. And then come for a second trip and a third and ….ask me to marry him….ME?
These men would tell me I was beautiful and sexy and I looked at them like they MUST BE TALKING ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE. It took a long time before I began believing it and to be honest with you…I never really did. I never felt it.
Imagine after breaking up with him because he turned out to be a worthless liar who was still married….my devastating thought that perhaps being sexy just meant that I was not good enough for anything real. Just a trophy for a man who happened to like a mid-forties short blonde who got her butt back in gym, dropped all the weight, and figured out how to dress again?
And then came along Harry.
Harry has a past. Let’s just leave it at that. Well, and…since we started out as friends, I got to hear a lot about that past. For the first time in my life I had a man before me with experience, a frank matter-of-fact approach to there is nothing you can’t talk to me about, who liked me as a person. Finally, I had a man before me, who I could trust what he said to me and about me.
I started to date again. And Harry would give me advice. He would tell me what the guys were really thinking…what they were really wanting. And he started to tell me how I was different from most girls. Maybe because of my naiveté, maybe because that is how God made me. Maybe because he knew I always wanted more than to just feel sexy.
We talked about Slimeball a lot and the type of guy he was. He let me explain to him how I felt, what I needed, what I wanted. He never once pushed. Not once. Harry was my safe guy I could talk to without feeling like it was ever going to lead anywhere. So I was honest. And he was honest.
Every now and then he’d tell me…”You’re beautiful so guys will do this.” And I would challenge him. “Do you really think I’m beautiful?”
“Absolutely…you are empirically beautiful. You don’t look your age. You have the butt of a 26 year-old.” And because he didn’t want me…I started to believe him.
Before Harry – I felt that any man who was with me, found me as passable. Good enough. Frankly…because every man I had been with up to Harry was that for me.
April 13, 2012 something inside me changed. I fell in love. I know I fell in love that day because that is the day I kissed Harry for the first time. And that kiss changed my life. It was the sweetest softest kiss. I felt the hairs of his mustache and then melted as I touched his lips to mine. I remember showing him some photos and asked him to sit on my side of the table in our restaurant. I remember the table. In the back against the wall. I looked up at him at one point and leaned in to kiss him and stopped myself.
This was my friend Harry. What in the world? I pulled back and said, “Wow, I think I almost just kissed you.” I tried to laugh it off.
But the next time I looked up at him he was right there again and this time I couldn’t help it. And my life was changed forever.
Harry was sexy. Period. Sexy. He was not just good enough. I had fireworks going off. And it ignited something in me. A switch got flipped. And all of sudden I got it.
Recently he told me that I ooze sexuality. And I told him…I’m sexy because of you baby. You react to me and I react to that. But most importantly. Harry loves me for me.
It doesn’t matter who looks at me, what they say or don’t say. All that matters is what he thinks. Because I love a man with all my heart for the first time in my life.
It’s hard to explain.
But Harry and I were talking about my marriage the other day and how my ex and I have changed since the divorce.
Harry said, “Honestly, you guys were a cute couple, but one of you grew branches.. and one of you grew roots.. he is like that old tree in the park. Somehow, its still alive but its roots picked up the street and destroyed all the water pipes in the neighborhood. But, you’re like a vine.. growing in every direction. You can just see more sun.”
Honest to God he said that word for word.
And then it all sort of made more sense. Life, love, seeing the good, allowing myself to change, growing through my tragedies has allowed me to soak up more sun instead of become the jaded staunchy thing I could have become. And I have seriously come into my own. I know who I am. I know what I want and I know why. And I have the freedom with Harry to be exactly who God wanted me to be and nothing less.
I’m not afraid of getting one of my tendrils cut off. He would never do that. And so I reach out in a new direction in the safety of that loving relationship. He smiles. He tells me he loves me. He takes it all in and responds. With him, it doesn’t matter how skinny I am, what I’m wearing, or how much make up I have on. He just loves me. And I keep reaching. And it’s like I’m free.
And I honestly think that combination has allowed me to feel sexy which makes me truly sexy for the first time in my entire life.
And I have Harry to thank.