I am in bed. Fully awake, but nowhere near swinging my legs over the side, hitting the floor and getting on with today. Yesterday was bumpy, today sure to be berserk. So I have opted to skip the workout, enjoy this time before the kids stumble in and the day kicks into gear.
I know as I lie here that my hair resembles tumbleweed and my battered but beloved Battlestar Galactica tee-shirt and cut-off track pant shorts cut quite the picture. I know the creases on my face don’t fade as quickly as they used to, and that there are smudges of yesterday’s makeup still under my eyes. But the last thing I would do right now is put on lipstick.
Ever get advice that is so odd it sticks with you? From someone so nasty they do too? This particular person hid behind the pretense of being helpful, but really was critical, condescending, and elitist. She was also married to the boss. I knew her years ago, before I was married.
One day as she watched me work she was grilling me about my personal life. When she found out I was living with someone, she launched. Advice about how to keep a man flowed forth. Details about gauging the value of his material possessions were linked to tidbits on how to keep tabs on his activities. This was the era of pagers. I shudder to think what she could accomplish with today’s technology. Then she delivered it: “Keep lipstick by your bed; your signature colour. Apply it as soon as you wake up… Men love a nicely-coloured smile.”
I never wear lipstick. I just never got in the mode, and lack the glam gene to want to even try. She didn’t know the boy I love is coulrophobic, and that even now as a father he shivers at the sight of clowns. She will never know how her advice reinforced something for me – that we are best when we are ourselves, and the strongest relationships are open faced.
I am certain if that was what I had to do to keep a man I would have bigger problems than what colour of lipstick suits me best. I am equally certain if I roll over one morning sporting tousled hair, bleary eyes and manky breath with a glistening, freshly painted mouth, my husband will shriek and hit the floor. Plus it might scare the kids.