Putting my face on

I need to put my face on.

That’s what Granny called putting on her makeup — putting her face on. When I was little and we lived with Granny and Baw, I would lie on her bed and watch her while she stood in front of her bedroom window and put on her face. Now Granny didn’t wear a lot of “paint,” but she did wear powder, a little rouge, and lipstick.

I remember watching Mama do the same thing, in front of a day-home-office magnifying mirror that she still uses. As a child pretending to put on makeup in front of Mama’s mirror, I always preferred the rosy glow of the home light as opposed to the harsh fluorescence of office. I still do. A pink light bulb is always your friend.

Like Granny and like Mama, I put my face on every day. Without fail. Unless I’m throwing up my feet. I just do.

Three months of bathroom and bedroom renovations has, however, put a hitch in my gitalong. I’ve had to move my dressing table into the dining room along with all the rest of my bedroom furniture and put on my make-up in the guest bathroom, which I share…with a teenage boy. I have to stand. There’s no rosy glow.

I know, I know. What a hardship. Oh, poor pitiful me.

Husband keeps making reference to bootstraps. I roll my eyes. He doesn’t understand.

You see, putting my face on every day is much more to me than slapping on some eyeliner and blush and heading out the door.

Every morning, I sit at my dressing table. I drink a cup of coffee. I spend a few minutes just staring into my own eyes. While I go through my little beauty routine, I think about the day coming up — what I have to do, where I’ll go, how I’ll handle different situations. I have a couple of Bible verses that I stuck in the mirror during a particularly dark time. I still read them every day. I’ve gotten some of my best ideas while contemplating a stray eyebrow hair magnified 10 times its normal size.

It’s my quiet time to get my mind right. To put my face on — my made up face and my public face. To put on the face the world will see and the face that can cope with what the world sends my way.

At least for that one day.

You can’t put your face on while you drink a diet Coke, apply mascara, talk on the phone, and drive through morning traffic. You can’t put your face on in the ladies room at the office. And you can’t put your face on standing in a guest bathroom surrounded by a cloud of Axe fighting for mirror time with a teenager.

I am seven hard wood steps and a few feet of quarter round away from being able to put my face on again.

3 thoughts on “Putting my face on

  1. What memories you have broght back for me of my great grandmother and her “putting on her lips” before going to the bank or the grocery store. I can still smell the little solid perfumes from Avon that she used. A no nonsense woman, her pragmatism is an inspiration. Thank you for reminding us to take time, even if it is a mutli-tasking time, to put our thought together before facing the day.

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