“You look just like you did in high school.”
Her greeting curdles my smile; I feign a giggle. I think she means it as a compliment, but it’s hollow. Maybe if this wasn’t the first seconds of the visit, I’d answer differently, say what I really wanted to – “Please, I look way better than I did then.” And I do. Mostly because I have finally found confidence in who I am.
But that is the cut lurking beneath her platitude.
Where we come from, confidence as an independent woman isn’t supposed to be a badge of pride.