Back when I was in high school, I went to Diedrich’s Coffee one morning to get a hot chocolate. It was the middle of summer but early enough that the morning was still cool. That morning started like every other weekday morning—with an early swim practice and a hot shower after. I threw on some too-big cargo skater shorts and a blue ribbed tank top and went to get my breakfast, with no makeup and my damp waist-length hair uncombed. I stopped in and ordered my drink. To my delight, they had put too much whipped cream on top. Actually, in writing that, I wonder if there really is such a thing as too much whipped cream. Either way, it kept me from being able to put a lid on the cup. I held it with both hands as I walked out to my car, pausing once to take a giant, unladylike slurp of whipped cream, trying to drink just enough to put the lid on. As I was walking, a couple in a classic red Cadillac was pulling out of their parking spot. The lady poked her head out of the car and said to me “You are very beautiful.” I remember almost turning around to see if she was talking to someone else. She wasn’t. Those were her exact words and I will never forget them. I had no makeup on, I was wearing nerdy shorts, and I felt like a dork trying to slurp down that ridiculous whipped cream, but in that moment someone saw that I was beautiful.