I received a wonderful compliment while waiting for the train at the Shady Grove station earlier this morning. I had decided to apply my makeup before leaving the house, instead of waiting until I got to work (cream foundation, dark red lipstick, black mascara, teal eyeliner, blue-gray eyeshadow).
A woman standing next to me turned to me and said, "I hope you don't mind me saying this, but you look very beautiful. Your makeup is flawless and you have such a look of serenity about you. And the sunlight is bringing out these amazing reddish gold highlights in your hair. Are those natural?"
I was stunned and thrilled. I thanked her happily and said that yes, they are my natural highlights. She said that I looked like a combination of two of her favorite television actresses -- Summer Glau and Morena Baccarin. "You know, from that show Firefly?" And I laughed and said that I was a Browncoat, and she laughed back and said that so was she, and she said that when I laughed I reminded her of how Jewel Staite played Kaylee. I thanked her enthusastically, saying how lovely those actresses all were, and how amazed I felt at being compared to them.
And by the time the train arrived, I was absolutely glowing; there was a skip in my step. Just as the train arrived, another woman came up to my companion, and they hugged and then shared a long kiss. I realized they were lovers, and smiled. The woman I'd been talking to turned to me and then asked her parter if I didn't look like River's and Inara's theoretical daughter with a dash of Kaylee, and her partner agreed, and we all smiled at each other. The woman who had talked to me said that she really just wanted to let me know how gorgeous I was, and that I should always remember it. She didn't often just say things like that to strangers, but she really felt like saying it to me.
And then the crowd surged, and we all waved goodbye to each other, having not even introduced ourselves; but that didn't matter. Nothing mattered except the things that wanted to be said.
We didn't go to the same car on the train, but I watched the two of them walk hand in hand onto the train, already deep in conversation. That smile was on my mouth for my entire trip. It's still there. I bet I'm even still glowing.