To Be Beautiful

October 18, 2012

This morning I woke and the first thing I took note of, after I dealt with my immediate need to pee, was my mouth. My lips hurt, they felt cracked and dry on my tongue. I went to the mirror, the dry air of fall had taken it’s toll. They were almost cracked, looked parched and appeared to belong to a much older woman. I found a pot of chap stick and smoothed it on. I went back to the mirror for one more inventory.

My mouth looked better, but I’d gotten paler than I remembered. It was like I’d scrubbed off my tan with bleach. I was pasty, a resident of the underground, one of the mole people.

I had some time so I went to work. I exfoliated with a exfoliation scrub, moisturized with a lightly tinted moisturizer. I slid lipstick on, the color of wine to make my mouth look  like I’d just eaten a plate full of berries. I patted on blush, just the way someone at Clinique had instructed many, many years ago, b.c., (before children). I curled my eyelashes, not sure why, probably that same woman at Clinique. Next I rummaged around until I found mascara. My eyelashes were looking sparse this morning, or maybe they always do. I was just looking more closely than usual.

Now that my lips were shiny, and my cheeks rosy, my eyelashes dark and curly, it was time for the hair. It’s not my hair. It is a creature in it’s own right with definite opinions and moods that most often have nothing to do with my own. It was not pleased when it was treated to some quality time with the hot iron. After the hair had been straightened it suffered the further indignity of hair spray.

Face, check. Hair, better, I guess. Downstairs I went. I was wearing my skinny jeans to make my legs look longer and, you are so smart, skinnier. There was a special bra tucked underneath 87 unmatched sports socks. I put that on.  My chest, I don’t think perky would be my adjective, but my chest definitely had a slightly uplifted attitude. Shoes, boots, two inch heels. Earrings. Perfume to cover up hairspray;.

It took me about an hour to look tan, berry fed, unchapped, untangled, a little sleeker, a few inches taller, with a mildly assertive rack. There was a lot I could have done in that hour.I could have cleaned one child’s bedroom, packed away my cd’s, started a loaf of whole grain bread, redone my resume, called my insurance company…

The older I get the more effort it takes to look different than I look in the morning. I’m not sure better is the right word, though I guess, now that I remember my first glimpse in the mirror, it is actually, a huge improvement.

I didn’t become a dog lover until I was in my forties. When I want to feel beautiful, and don’t want to make an effort, I say to Sophie the WonderPup,  “let’s go.” If I don’t want to go anywhere, and sometimes I don’t, I say “Sophieeeeeee.”

When I see myself in her eyes, regardless of my hair, or my breath, or my poorly maintained pedicure, I am beautiful. I am a goddess.

I really like people a lot and I am sincerely hoping  pale medium height women over forty  with sparse eyelashes and mindful hair comes into fashion.  Sophie isn’t the most scintillating at conversation, though better than some, and I’m short on time and a little bit lazy.

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