She stood, her innocent face turned upward toward us as she told Mrs. Jennings (my older sister the 2nd grade teacher) just how much she missed being in her class. She hugged her tight and then turned toward me to introduce herself, her face so sweet, untouched by make-up or worry. She was the epitome of youth. The essence of natural beauty. Hailey was her name and though she was in her entirety a little ball of everything cute, there was one thing that stuck out in my mind. She had freckles. They spread across her face in a disorderly fashion that ironically made them just perfect. I stood there with her, and I made a decision. A well thought out conclusion. I wish I had freckles.
First of all, the word ‘freckle’ is just fun in and of itself. Second, they are a symbol of All American cuteness. Natural beauty. Third, people with freckles just have more fun. Take for example, Anne of Green Gables, one of my all time heroines growing up. Her freckles came in particularly handy when Gilbert Blythe…or Gil for those of us who know him personally…would lovingly count them on her face, endearing us ALL to him. Oh Gil. Or how about Kate Austen from LOST who not only is beautiful but who can also fend for herself on a crazy island in the middle of nowhere. Talk about cool. Her freckles earned her the oh so playful nickname ‘Freckles’ from bad boy Sawyer. If he had given me such a nickname I might have changed it permanently on my birth certificate. For real. People who get to claim these fun sun spots, or domination of melanocortin-1 receptor MC1R gene variant (thank you Google), also get to have fun quotes like, “A face without freckles is like a night without stars.” Jealous. So jealous. I want my face to be likened to a beautiful night sky. Geez.
I suppose I’ll just have to settle for the few of mine that make a brief appearance in the summertime and say goodbye to my dream of being a freckle-faced All American picture of sweetness. It just wasn’t mean to be. Unless I can find myself a permanent brown marker…