Daily Archives: February 7, 2010

All Dolled Up, Part Duex Deux

Ahhh, Wendy.  My Wendy. Every woman needs a BFF to tell you how much she hates you when she thinks you look good.  This is so satisfying.  Especially when all I can see are the parts of me that are falling apart, and for whatever reason–cataracts?–she can’t.

Anyway, yesterday I was desperate to get out of the house to be with friends.  I convinced myself, and my 6-year-old son, that we were done with the stomach flu and it was time have a playdate!!  Four adult writers–and two little kids– out to hear Kristen Hannah speak at Powells Books!!  After that, lunch at McGraffs!!  No more vomit!! Yay!  Time to get dolled up!  Roughly translated, shower.

I remember this one time, when I was a kid, my entire family had the stomach flu.  My mother, sick of being housebound, managed to convince my dad that it was time to go out to dinner.  We were “well”, dammit, Jim!  (my dad’s name is Doug, but whatever).  Anyway, we get to the Chinese restaurant and my sister has to throw up.  So, my mom, clearly in denial, says, “Carolyn, please take your sister to the bathroom,” and proceeds to order us all these hurking combination plates.  Being that I was still suffering, I was probably not at my most patient.  Especially considering I was 10 and she was 8.  Okay, so in the bathroom there is one stall available.  And, I was crowded in there with her.  And the more she throws up, the less ‘good’ I feel, until we are both on our knees, fighting over who gets to puke into the public toilet.  Since that day, Hoisen sauce still makes me think of toilets.

All this to say, I now have complete sympathy for my mom.  Yesterday, my sweet son was submitted to multiple humiliations because of my premature need to get out of the house.  I knew we had a bit of a problem when his French fries arrived and he didn’t fall into them face first and devour them in his usual style.  “These make me want to BARF!” he announced.  I laughed, thinking, oh, look how he’s showing off for Wendy’s daughter, also age 6.  So, of course, I have to eat his fries.  Then, he had to go to the bathroom.  NOW.  Wendy’s daughter came with us and found it both fascinating and hilarious that my son had to use the Ladies Room.  When I finally got him into a stall, he…stalled.  Couldn’t get his shoe off.  Not getting the shoe off, means not getting the pants off, which means not being able to climb up onto the toilet…in time.  Oops.

I was tempted to flush his underwear down the toilet, but hey, that would clog the plumbing and besides, that’s what those sanitary paper protectors are for, are they not?   And so, I return to the table, an aromatic package sticking out of the top of my purse, polluting its contents, spreading the love, so to speak.  

Thank God I’d taken the time to get all dolled up.

Carolyn

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Filed under Motherhood, Writing

all dolled up

So yesterday morning, my dear blog buddy told me she was getting “all dolled up” for our trip to hear the marvelous NYT bestselling author Kristin Hannah read from her new novel, WINTER GARDEN.  (If you enjoy staying awake until 3 a.m. with a box of Kleenex and a whole new appreciation of love and the women in your life, read Kristin’s books.)

Now, despite the fact that I love seeing Kristin and love going to Powell’s bookstore, I had planned to wear my customary Saturday attire–discreetly stained sweatshirt and jeans that smell vaguely of dog if you get too close to my leg.  When I heard from Carolyn, however, I began to worry that perhaps I was not being respectful enough.  Or that I’m lazy or possibly defeatist, so I figured I’d freshen up a bit, too.

A little trivia about Carolyn:  She has a pact with the underworld and does not age.  To those of us who went through premature menopause, this is very disturbing.  Annoying, even.   I try to say the serenity prayer before I see her.

Okay, so I figured it would take me ten, maybe fifteen minutes to “doll up” for the big outing.  It.  Did.  Not.

With a career, a first-grader and a DIY kitchen remodel that could take us into the next millennium, I haven’t had a lot of time for makeup.  Apparently since I last visited my modest stash, my husband used my mascara to darken his beard for an audition, and there wasn’t much left (and also, eew).  My daughter “practiced” with the single lipstick I still own (looks more like she ate half of it), and my eyeshadow had gone a bit crumbly.  I did, however, find a brand new lip pencil!!!!!  I’ve always liked my lips, so I decided to concentrate on them.

Holy Mother of God.

I have a clear memory of watching my mother’s lipstick climb slowly up the lines leading from her top lip to her nostrils, and thinking, “Why does she let it do that?”  LET it.  I thought there was a choice.  I was wrong.

At forty-eight I have never smoked a cigarette.  Only rarely have I ingested liquid through a straw.  Yet within seconds of penciling my lips red, I looked like I had a bloody nose.

It won’t be easy explaining to my daughter that I’ve used her college fund for my BOTOX injections.

So my point:  Getting “all dolled up” is different now.  It takes longer.  It takes, actually, a little grieving and a lot of  surrender.  The gift, as far as I can tell at this juncture, is that  the focus shifts from worrying about what you think of me to the simple enjoyment of being in your company.  (Except, perhaps, for Carolyn’s company.  Because, I’m sorry, but when she loses weight she gets a jawline, and when I lose weight I get a turkey waddle, and I’m just not that spiritually evolved.  Yet.  I’ll get back to you.)

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Filed under Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood