That ‘blushing’ is an involuntary visual manifestation of emotion fascinates me. A purchasable product to achieve such an effect has an air of irony about it – particularly, I think, when worn to attract. Those of us who blush know that it is not something that we can control, and I think that is its beauty. ‘Embarrassment’ is a transparent, honest emotion, whether it manifests as the spread of crimson across a cheek or as an explosion of anger in an attempt to divert attention. To develop an inability to blush takes practice. To build a threshold requires rendering the walls of inhibition redundant.
I once worked with the most outrageous colleague. She was brash, crude, rude, and a notorious gossip. Every other word was foul. She could make men who had been in the armed forces for years turn in to thirteen year old boys with her sexual explicitness. One day, a fellow colleague teased her about a past relationship that she may or may not have had. Imagine my surprise when I saw that she was… blushing! It struck me that she was able to joke about sex with the entire office so openly and without shame, yet her threshold for embarrassment was…intimacy.
And do you know what?
In that moment she was quite attractive. She seemed more approachable, more vulnerable, more innocent and more human.
I once went on a date with a bit of a ‘lad.’ He was known for being cocky. Now, in all honesty, I do enjoy an element of arrogance in my men. I personally see it as a challenge. However, this chap pushed my limit. The date was going a bit too well – to the point where I wondered if it had been scripted. He was a little bit too smooth to the point where I suspected our conversation may well have been recycled. However, mid conversation and without warning, he said something awkward. He knew it. I knew it. He knew that I knew it. He blushed.
And do you know what?
My heart melted a bit.
Because it was real.
‘Embarrassment’, ‘shame’, ‘vulnerability’, and ‘innocence’ are not ‘comfortable’ words or emotions. I know that I have gone to great lengths to avoid them. But sometimes, just sometimes, can they not be beautiful? As beautiful as the shade that we turn when we feel them?