View from the Soap Box
Always Go to the Head
Dare to be Happy
Going to Extremes
Death Be Not Proud
IN MY OPINION
"Importance of Being Earnest"
Books Read in 2007
"Snow in April")
"The Cat Who Could Read Backwards"
"Dog is My Co-Pilot"
FUNNY THE VLOG
Mefeedia Video Archive
1 February 2007
(This is the #2500th entry I have written since March 2000.)
I was lying on my mother's bed watching her put on her makeup ("putting on
my face," she calls it). If I hadn't seen that huge mountain of flesh
reflected back at me in the wall-to-wall mirrors on the closet opposite me,
I could have felt like a little kid again, sitting at Mommy's knee watching
her become beautiful (or "beautimus," as she sometimes calls it)
I marveled at the pots of creams and ointments and lotions, the array of
colors that were daubed here and there, the pencils, brushes, and tubes that
applied their magic to various parts of the face. When it was all over, the
87 year old woman was gone and the beautiful 70-something woman smiled back
Make-up has been a mystery to me my whole life. There was a time when I wore
lipstick. There was a time when I tried wearing stuff on my face, but it
made me claustrophobic and I never really knew how to apply it well anyway.
I eventually just gave up and went au naturel.
There is something to be said for feeling ugly your whole life -- you save a
lot of money on cosmetics and hair products to help enhance the beauty that
you know is there and feel can be brought out with just a little artificial
help. Walt never has to yell at me for the amount I spend on any beauty
product. I buy cheap shampoo, cheap soap, no lotions, and no make up. Hey,
world--I am what I am!
So watching my mother get "beautimus" each day is like a step through the
looking glass, a new world...or an old one I forgot long ago.
Today the day she has waited for for three week finally arrived: Hannah
has been my mother's hairdresser for more than 35 years. Every Friday Hannah
fixes her hair for the coming week. She used to work out of the beauty
parlor she owned, but then she cut back on clients and now sees a select few
in her home--or makes housecalls to shut ins.
One noteworthy thing about Hannah is that she always, my mother tells me,
wears high heels. I watched her today and my feet hurt just looking at the
height of the heels and watching her move around the kitchen doing my
She got the hair shampooed, cut, blow dried, and styled, while my mother sat
in the wheelchair and tapped her shocking pink cast.
My mother said it was the first time she'd
felt human in three weeks and that she now felt like she could "receive
in time, too, because my second cousin Denise arrived for a visit. She had
just returned from a trip to So. California, helping her sister settle the
estate of her (I think) mother-in-law, and she had returned with "magic,"
she told us.
She ceremoniously unzipped a garment bag and pulled out a lovely, old
fashioned, beaded green evening gown that was obviously an antique. That
wasn't the magic, though, she told us. When she had looked at it more
closely, she found the tag that identified it as once having belonged to
Mary Pickford. Visions of celebrations at Pickfair swirled in my head as she
moved the dress around, the light from the sun casting a shimmer on the
silver beads of the dress.
She hopes to find a local museum which would take it as a donation. I
suggested the Performing Arts Museum in San Francisco, but she says she's a
"hometown girl" and would like to keep the donation more local to Marin
Hannah left, Denise stayed for lunch, and my mother, now "beautimus," spent
the afternoon working a jigsaw puzzle (her first since returning home--she's
a puzzle fiend) while I finished off my book, "Love from Baghdad," of which
I will write a review when I get home Amazing book.