De' fliengde Vuogtlänn'r

Observations, rants, etc. from a guy who really gets around.


Of Easter Eggs And Little Brown Wrens

Many years ago, before everything got all mechanized and industrialized and homogenized and standardized, people actually made Easter eggs by hand. It was an eminently simple process: one simply pierced both ends of a raw egg, blew into one end, and the yolk and albumen came out the other. After drying, the eggs were decorated with various forms of paint, along with such things as precious stones in some cases. The end result is that they look exquisite, but there's nothing on the inside -- they're hollow.

Somewhere along the way, things got really out of hand, as a look at Faberge eggs can attest.

Some people are like Easter eggs. Their outward appearance is very eye-catching. But there's nothing on the inside; they're hollow.

Quite some years ago, I read an article in the paper about "little brown wrens" -- women who are outwardly rather plain (not "homely"; just plain), who don't go in for all the razzle-dazzle of the fashion magazines. But inwardly, they're the most wonderful people -- intelligent, caring, funny, engaging, you name it.

For the last little while, I've been noticing a "little brown wren" at work. There's a warmth and a genuiness about her that I find refreshing. Whenever we pass each other, we exchange the usual pleasantries, and I'm always struck by her unassuming nature. The other day, I took the occasion to pass along a rather sideways compliment by telling her about the Easter eggs. I'm still hoping it wasn't an awkward experience for her.

Afterward, I got to thinking about an "Easter egg" I had met many years ago. I was working for a little company that regularly did business with a certain shipping company in town. From time to time, we had to make a run over there to drop off packages. The "young bucks" in the office would practically fight over whose turn it was to make the run. I've seen as many as three of them go over to drop off a package that couldn't have weighed four ounces. Each time, they would return with the same exclamations about how "awesome" this young lady was.

My inquiries as to exactly what qualities made her "awesome" were met with stares of utter disbelief. Did this fool not understand the concept of "awesome"? Did he not comprehend that "awsomeness" was a concept unto itself? Where did this weirdo come from? Had he just fallen off the turnip wagon last night? She was awesome because she was awesome, you moron!

And then it happened.

One Friday evening, the boss and I were the last two in the office and he had a package that needed to be sent out. Would I mind? Well, I was pretty much finished and it was kinda sorta on the route home, so what the heck?

I pulled up in front of the office and got out of my vehicle. From 50 feet out, I could see into the building and couldn't possibly mistake who that was working the counter. It had to be. I walked in and conducted my business in my usual business-like manner. I was not the least impressed by her fashion magazine looks or her inane attempt to engage me in flirtatious banter. I was underwhelmed. As I said later, there was a lot less to her than meets the eye. Just another Easter egg.

Give me a little brown wren any day.

"There is a world of difference between true beauty and mere physical attractiveness." -- Master Doh-San


At 08:47, Blogger T. F. Stern said...

The wisdom of age has spoken...

At 12:50, Blogger Rachel said...


Of course, it is rather refreshing to meet people who are beautiful inside and out. I don't know which is the bigger accomplishment...
to have obvious outward talents, and remain kind
or to be normal, and not complain,
and be engaging.
Not that I'm interesting in quibbling over it.
Kind people are a huge blessing in life, no matter what the packaging.

At 07:26, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

I too am a fan of "inner beauty". I have seen too many shallow people and I always enjoy meeting someone that exudes inner beauty.


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