One evening, almost 15 years ago, I received a call from a friend of mine who, to protect his anonymity, I'll call "Gavin." Gavin was one of those male friends who, after dating a few times, quickly realized that we were more suited for a platonic relationship than a romantic one, and so we settled into a really lovely friendship.
"Hey," he said, "A friend of mine is back in town visiting, and I want you to meet her. Her name's Alys." (Her name wasn't actually "Alys," but hers was also a very common name with a highly unusual spelling.)
"Awesome," I replied. "When?"
"How about this afternoon at five? We were going to just meet for drinks. You should join us."
I got all of the details from Gavin, and at 5 o'clock, I showed up at the park where we'd planned to meet. Gavin and Alys were already there, and as I approached, Alys immediately walked up with her hand extended."
"Hi," she said, warmly. "I'm Alys. It's so good to meet you."
As soon as she walked up to me, I caught my breath. She was short -- at 5'8", I towered over her. She was more curvy than slender, and had very short dark hair. Her eyes danced, and her smile was huge, and I'm here to tell you, this woman was straight. up. sexy.
I pulled myself together, and shook her hand. "It's lovely to meet you, too. Gavin speaks very highly of you."
We made our way to the bar, with Alys speaking animatedly. I watched her, completely intrigued. Physically speaking, one wouldn't describe her any more enthusiastically than "cute," and she wasn't wearing anything provocative -- just jeans and a t-shirt. And yet, there was no denying that she was positively mesmerizing. Bartenders tripped over themselves to serve her. Men's gazes lingered on her before returning their attention to their dates. Even my friend Gavin was tongue-tied and nervous like I'd never seen him before.
After about an hour, Alys got up to leave, as other friends were expecting her for dinner. She hugged Gavin and turned to tell me goodbye -- "It was really a pleasure meeting you!" she said, fixing me with her huge grin -- before disappearing out the door. Both Gavin and I gave involuntary sighs before returning to our drinks.
"So, what's her story?" I asked. "Is she an ex?"
"God, I wish," Gavin said candidly. "I'd have loved that, but she was never interested. We're just friends. Besides, she's way out of my league."
I never saw Alys again (and admittedly, I haven't seen or heard from Gavin in forever), but I never forgot her. Over the years, I've tried to figure out what it was about Alys that made her so magnetic. Certainly she was very warm and friendly, but honestly, it was more than that. And I think I've finally figured it out:
She was confident. And confidence is, ultimately, sexy.
Recently, I met a really good friend of mine, Victoria, for dinner. I've known Victoria for almost 20 years now, and she is, without a doubt, the sexiest person I know. A former model, she's now an executive at a Fortune 100 company -- and also served as my maid of honor when I got married. I decided that she was the perfect person to talk about what "sexiness" is, and she agreed to share her thoughts with me ... and with you. Here's what she had to say:
See? It's all about the confidence. So this month, I invite you to spend some time thinking about when you feel your most awesome -- whether it's because of a skill you have, or a hobby you're passionate about, or even something simple, like a favorite shirt or perfume. Take time to do something every day, just for you, that makes you feel great, if even for just five minutes. And when someone pays you a compliment, instead of dismissing it, or downplaying it, for just this month, look the person right in the eyes, and say, with as much meaning as you can, "Thank you." Own it.
This month, we're going to work on our confidence -- and therefore our Sexy.
And the best part? No uncomfortable lingerie required.
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Own Your Beauty is a groundbreaking, year-long movement bringing women together to change the conversation about what beauty means. Our mission: to encourage and remind grown women that it is never too late to learn to love one's self and influence the lives of those around us - our mothers, friends, children, neighbors. We can shift our minds and hearts and change the path we follow in the pursuit of authentic beauty.The Beauty of Different, available at Bright Sky Press, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can read/see more of her life at Chookooloonks.
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