I fight society's obsession with beauty on my daughter's behalf daily.

"Am I cute Mama?"

"Honey there are things way more important than cute. You're smart and funny and weird and healthy and kind."

"But am I pretty?"

Sigh. "Yes my love, you're beautiful. Mostly because you're a good person."

Truthfully... She's gorgeous. But I don't want her to define herself by her beauty. As I tend to do to myself.

We all want to be desired. As a divorced woman facing 40, willingly dating a man who won't commit, the struggle is constant. You would not believe the money I have spent in the last two months on makeup. Not including my monthly grab bag subscription (which is fucking awesome). And then there's the corsets, but that's another story... And I've been getting my hair done every six weeks or so all year. I've never been this attentive to my hair since college when I dyed it almost weekly to keep it some crazy colour or another. 

Today my de facto boyfriend called me right before I was to leave work and left a rather urgent sounding voicemail. When I responded he almost grudgingly asked me to pick him up and bring him to a Harley Davidson dealership that is just a few exits passed where I live. And he admitted he hates asking for favors, although I've already done a few large ones for him. This really wasn't a problem and offered a chance to see him this week when I otherwise wouldn't have. So sure, I'll be there in a few minutes...

So I drove him passed my exit, trying to explain to him the various ways he could get to my house from the highway we were traversing (I'm such a Jersey girl) and enjoyed the few minutes I was getting with him. Hell, at one point he even put his arm on the headrest of my seat and played with my hair, which he never ever does. I should drive more often! 

Anyway, got to the dealership and met the people involved in the several month process of customizing this bike for him. Found out one employee and I share a tattoo artist. Because that's the world I live in. Eventually, I got to see the bike. For a Harley, it is gorgeous. Unfortunately it is a Harley. (I want a Triumph Bonneville.) Then we found out there were two boxes of extra parts that couldn't be carried on the bike. So out to my car they go. Which is fine with me, really, because it means he has to see me again rather soon. As I was leaving with the boxes of extra parts in the back of my little car, I managed to get a few good kisses from the man who unfortunately makes my heart flutter and my legs go shaky. And since he likes what people think, I made sure to complement the bike that he is so excited to be taking possession of and has lusted after for ever.

"She's beautiful." I said. 

"You're beautiful. She's just a bike." He responded.

And I melted.

I hope my daughter isn't so easily taken when she's my age.

But I still loved the complement.