Eye of the Beholder
In my desk drawer there is a lovely gift certificate to a spa, courtesy of my kids. It’ll expire if I don’t watch out. I could use it for a facial, a massage, a mani-pedi, and I haven’t. So what’s stopping me?
In my bathroom there is: toothbrush, face scrub, cold cream. My entire beauty routine!! I should probably be using anti-aging thises and thats, to trick Mother Nature and give me back a few years, but I don’t. So what’s the problem?
In my closet: a “gently used” pair of running shoes. And I do mean gently. I’ve gotten so out of shape that I huff and puff even bending down to tie the laces. So why aren’t I hitting the road?
I’ve thought about it a lot recently. I’d love to claim I have no personal vanity, but that’d be a huge whopper. Oh, I care how I look, all right…I just don’t want to put any effort into it. And to be totally honest, I have my physical appearance and my history of bipolar disorder inextricably intertwined in my head. You see, when I was at my worst I became completely obsessed with clothes and makeup. I got all dolled up to empty the trash, and took an inordinate amount of time primping before a trip to the grocery store. I even wrote a poem about it, way back when:
Looking at our household budget
Over the last year
It wouldn’t surprise me
If the item purchased most
Was lip gloss
For so many years
I was an actress
Makeup was part of my job
And every single time
I couldn’t wait
To scrub clean after the show
It felt like magic
Here is the girl again
The real girl
Under the layers of powder and paint
I wake up
And so disappointed
My real girl isn’t in there anymore
Instead, I’m this--this
Same, sad, nasty, twisted thing
I write a note
On my face
In thick black mascara
Please save me
In pinkest blush
I’m dying here
In the brightest blue eye shadow
I sign it
With a slick red lip gloss kiss
So far no one has answered
I’ll use green eye shadow instead
Luckily, shortly after that poem was written I got the psychiatric help I so desperately needed, and for the past several years I have been on a pretty even keel. But there has to be a happy medium, right? I can spruce up a bit without being Maybelline’s Most Valuable Customer. And trying to look my best on the outside doesn’t mean I’m hiding something shattered inside.
So I think I’ll set my alarm a little earlier tomorrow morning, and try to go for a run. l might even slap on a little foundation and yes, lip gloss too, before I leave for work. And it doesn’t matter who sees me. I’ll do this for myself.