When I met Jocelyn last week, her beauty was the first thing I noticed. I thought she was a college student, but she’s actually just 17 and finishing high school this year as a homeschooler.
When we started talking, her charm and friendliness were powerful enough that I almost forgot how attractive she was. It was only about 10 days ago when I met her after she started work at a fast food restaurant in my neighborhood — and she keeps surprising me.
Not only is she drop-dead gorgeous, but she’s a very hard worker and has an amazing personality. Wednesday evening, she broke my expectations once again. Two days ago, she had car problems as she was leaving work, so I asked her about her car when I saw her this evening.
She told me what she had to pay for a new alternator. The price seemed low, so I asked if that was just for the part or if that was the installed price. She looked at me with genuine surprise.
“I installed it myself,” she said, just as casually as she might have if she had said she’d painted her nails.
It’s really pleasant when someone who has the looks of a stereotypical air-headed cheerleader turns out to be so competent and well-rounded. I love this girl.
In some respects, she reminds me of what my sister, Mary, was like in high school. She didn’t work on cars, but she was smart and competent — and nobody was less impressed with her beauty than she was.
Mary had beauty-queen looks, but she didn’t seem to care one way or the other. She had never entered any sort of beauty pageant in her life, but an organization she was part of in high school roped her into entering the school’s annual beauty pageant as its representative. There was a debate about how to do something in the group and Mary passionately argued for a minority position. The majority made a deal with her. If she would represent them in the pageant, they would let her have her way. She took the deal.
Other girls spent days or weeks getting ready for the pageant. They shopped for just the right dress and jewelry. They spent all day at a beauty shop getting ready. They had perfect makeup that was painstakingly applied for the big night.
On the evening of the pageant, Mary just changed from her Saturday afternoon clothes into a solid black dress she happened to already own. She didn’t fix her hair any special way. Her makeup was exactly as it would have been if he had been going to the grocery store.
She drove herself over to the school — in our father’s pickup truck — to get the thing over with. I was in the audience and I knew she should win. Nobody else compared to her. When the judging was done, she was crowned the winner.
She smiled, accepted her crown — then drove herself home and changed clothes. She never said another word about it. To her, it was just an obligation to meet. And she still wasn’t impressed with herself.
I can see Jocelyn doing something like that — and that make her far more attractive than if she seemed to be conscious of her good looks.
I would be proud of my own future daughter whatever she became, but this is the way I imagine her in my mind.
I imagine her being brilliant and kind and curious and thoughtful and humble. I envision her being well-rounded and competent and hard-working. I see her having empathy and compassion for others.
Nobody is perfect — and my children certainly won’t be, either — but these are the sorts of characteristics I’d love her to have.
I know she will largely be a reflection of her mother, so I need to choose wisely. If I can have a beautiful and brilliant and competent wife — and we can have a daughter who’s just like her — I like to think we can teach her the other characteristics.
It’s a beautiful image that I hold in my mind quite often — and I love it that Jocelyn has provided me with a lovely real-life example of what that future young lady might be like.
I can’t wait to meet that little girl. I’m already in love with her.