Tag Archives: Beauty

I will try to do better

I’m disappointed in myself today.

Yesterday I was up at Bethesda with Benjamin. We went to have lunch at the Cheesecake Factory as a treat. I put money in the meter, we went inside and had a lovely lunch. After we pulled away and were heading home Ben said to me:

“I’m sad we didn’t give that man who was homeless any money.”

“What man?” I asked.

“The man, who was there at the meter.”

“Oh,” I said, “I didn’t see him.”

But then it struck me. I HAD seen him. I had seen a man sitting on a pile of stuff but didn’t take the time to really look at him and see him as a real someone; someone in need. I think I did realize he was homeless but I didn’t process it properly and realize I could do something.

I don’t know why, since I’m usually quite attuned to that sort of thing. Maybe it was because of the doctor’s appointment I’d had with my son, or because I’d scraped the car in the parking garage on the way out of the hospital, or because I have been so tired given all the running around or

…..really…WHO CARES WHY…I DIDN’T LOOK AT HIM and I didn’t SEE him.

But my son did.

I think that makes me feel worse in some ways. He saw a man who needed us and his mom didn’t do anything to help him.

I hope today that if I see someone in need I really do SEE him or her and don’t just think about myself.

Thank you son, for opening my eyes and reminding me to look and to see and to realize it is not just about me.

Today I will try to do better.


Careful what you ask for!

Okay-some things you SHOULD give women for Christmas; and some things you SHOULD NOT give women for Christmas.  I received many, many nice gifts on Christmas.  My sister, for instance, made me two different hand knitted blankets for movie watching in our basement.  I also received an oil thermometer, one of those nagging things I’d wanted to get but never made a special trip to head out for.  My third son bought me a wonderful coffee mug with a big old rooster on it:

“Because you have a rooster on the table and you said your Grandma had roosters in her kitchen”.

And my husband, my dear, dear husband did a wonderful job this year with his selection of things he knew I wanted and a nice mixture of surprises.  There was a Santa for my collection, a much needed massage, a Starbucks gift card and a new set of knives by Henkel (really good chef’s knives).  There was just one little thing I could have lived without this year that my husband bought me, and unfortunately it was something I’d wanted.

On the occasion of my last birthday I asked my husband to buy me a new, lighted, make-up mirror for a gift.  All things being equal, and because my husband cannot stand when I tell him what to do,  I received this great lap top I’m now using for my blog.   It was a wonderful surprise, but was not what I needed to put on my makeup in the morning.  Being a man who learned a long time ago that:

“If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

I was thrilled on Christmas morning to open my brand new makeup mirror.  Not only did he get the mirror, he got the mirror that magnifies everything in its path by 10 times.  At first, I didn’t even think about the impact of seeing portions of my face ten times larger than the way God intended it to be seen.  After all, I have nice skin.  I’ve only gained a few happy lines on my face these past 10 years.  I also didn’t mind that the “light” was supposed to brilliantly light everything in its path so that nothing in the making up process would go unnoticed.  Here’s what I didn’t anticipate.  That first time I turned on the blaring white light that seemed to make the sun look darker, and pulled my face up toward the mirror to look at myself.

“Oh My God!” I screamed.  “Who the hell is THAT and where did all that HAIR come from?”

I mean my lightly haired little area over my lip now looked like it belonged to a tenor in the Wild West barbershop quartet.  Every single hair was illuminated and magnified including my nose hairs that I hadn’t really paid attention to before.  My cute little smile lines that I proudly proclaimed were a testimony to my happy life, looked like fissures in the Grand Canyon nestled in between boulder sized blackheads. As I placed my hand to my face in disbelief, I saw how torn and awful my cuticles were.  My fingertips looked like they’d been through some ancient torture technique.  I couldn’t escape the dang thing.  Everywhere I turned I was again met with the explosion of my real self.  All of a sudden my merry little Christmas morning transformed into a scene from some Twilight Zone episode where Rod Sterling was telling me

“You cannot adjust the picture in your mirror—you have entered the Twilight Zone.”

I would love to say the story ends there and that I was smart enough to put the mirror away and not face myself in such magnified terms; however dear reader, I cannot.  While the rest of the family sat downstairs after gifts were opened, playing with their new cameras, game boy games and Hungry, Hungry Hippos; I was upstairs with my hair pulled back frantically plucking.  In fact I was up there for so long that my husband came up.

“What are you doing dear, it is time to stop.”

“I’ve just got a few more to get” I said, like an addict with a needle.

“Honey,” he said, “you’ve only got half an eyebrow left.”

“I know,” I said “but at least it’s even now”.

I’ve got a meeting with my new boss tomorrow.  She’s a girl, she’ll understand when I show up with a swollen upper lip, no eyebrows and tissues packed up my nose from over plucking. 

Ahhh, the price of beauty.

Parenting Tip of the Day:

If you do a Christmas letter, address one to each child and put it in their memory box.  I always write a note to each boy telling them their height and weight and teachers name.  It’s a quick way to let them remember what was going on in their lives as the years pass along.  I suspect their wives will appreciate it when they get married. 

Jersey Hair

I want to thank Sarah Palin.  Not for her obvious dedication to our nation’s political process, not for the FABULOUS entertainment I’ve received from the Saturday Night Live skits at her expense; I want to thank Governor Palin for bringing back big hair.  I’m from Jersey originally, and while I’m sure the Governor doesn’t call it this, where I’m from we call it Jersey hair.  The girls in my family are pros at Jersey hair and now we can once again take to the tease.
Women have always liked big hair in a shoulder pad kind of way.  If you have big hair it makes your waist look smaller.  Think about it.  It falls right into Tim Gunn’s fashion teachings of proportion.  If you have big hair you can put ribbons and stuff in it and people are so busy looking at it they forget you’re fat.   You can wear sunglasses in December, big ‘ole banana clips and big, hooped earrings.  Why, now you can even BUY big hair and set it on top of your little hair.  You can match the color, the highlights, the quirky little braids, so even if you don’t have your own big hair, people will think you do.  All you need to pull off that little ruse is a prop, like a can of Aussi Mega Spray (since Aqua Net has gone the way of Fresca) and they’re thinking it’s all you. 

I remember when I first reentered mainstream life.  I went to my son’s school with a fake Coach handbag, fake finger nails with a fake French maincure, and fake big hair, and thought:

“Finally, I’m a real woman.” 

Men like fake hair too.  Of course they don’t like it on their own wives.  But they love it on movie stars.  They look at those ladies with their luxurious locks piled way up high and just tingle at the thought of taking out those hair pins.  I don’t mess it up for my husband.  Let him think that Heather Locklear and Pam Andersen really do have that look when they wake in the morning.  I’m pretty secure in the fact that even when they do divorce next time-I’m safe.

Heather to Pamela:
   “Hey, do you think that guy Steve is still available?”

   “I don’t know Heather-why don’t we call him.”

Of course if I use anything fake the men in this house are up in arms.  I once put fake geraniums in my flower pots out front because the heat of the summer had burned the others off.

“MOM”, my 8 year old yelled in the middle of Michael’s.  “You’re going to use FAKE FLOWERS?”

“Shhhhhhhh…” I flapped at the air looking around for neighbors.  “Just till the new flowers bloom honey.”

“Oh my God mom, I’m gonna be so embarrassed.” he cried.

Lord forbid I put on a bosom enhancing bra and low neckline.  Sam came in one evening playing his Game boy as I was getting ready to head out to a holiday party.

“Mom,” he said while looking down, “can we make popco…..WHOA,” he said as he finally turned his attention to the breathing person in the room.

“Where did those come from?” he said. 

“I’m getting dressed up tonight.”  I explained “I want to look nice.”

Sam looked disgusted.

“Is EVERYONE wearing those?”

Talk about destroying the mystery of the evening.

So here’s to you Sarah Palin.  I’m sure we’ll be seeing you for years to come now that we’ve gotten the chill out of you; and frankly my sisters and I, and every woman who’s a Jersey girl at heart, thanks you.  Now if you could just work on shoulder pads, we’d really appreciate the support.
Parenting Tip of the Day:  At least once in their adolescence your child will cut his/her own hair.  It is a passage of rights.  Snap a photo, put the scissors higher and don’t beat yourself up.  When my guys played hairdresser our bragging point was they helped each other with the backs and were busily sweeping up when I came down from taking a shower.  While my words to them afterwards made clear that wasn’t their job-there were a couple of good belly laughs all around.