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Sunday, January 16, 2011

An Explanation and Sleeping Glasses

I feel as though I should defend myself and my Makeup Shirt.

Background: As a toddler, I was routinely taken to a barber shop, with my siblings, for haircuts, but I rebelled against that by early elementary school. It didn’t seem right—to go where my brother went. (How times have changed. My husband has gone to my Beauty Shop for about 24 years!) In the late 60s and early 70s, when I was in junior high and high school, I had long, straight hair—no bangs—and literally got a professional trim about once a year. My mom would cut my hair or sometimes I could talk a friend or a friend’s older sister into giving me a few snips to eliminate dead ends. We didn’t even discuss going to beauty shops--that’s what our moms did. We certainly didn’t get manicures and pedicures—like 4-year-olds do now. In fact, I had my first professional pedicure when I was 47 years old. It was one of the most fabulous experiences I had ever had. (I will point out that, ten years later, I have had my share of not-so-great pedis—just not enough to make me even consider ending this “treat.”)  

Up until my 47th year, I mostly hid my feet—even in the summer. I rarely wore sandals—choosing tennis shoes, instead. I don’t know when I started noticing that other women’s toes were not much prettier than mine, but TLC was 17 when she talked my hubby into getting both of us a “Spa Package” at a local beauty salon for MY birthday. She convinced him it would be more fun for me if she was there, too. She’s good at that—becoming part of someone’s “gift.” It’s one of her best talents.

Neither of us realized we wouldn’t be together that day. From the time we arrived until four hours later, I only saw her once—in passing and for about twenty seconds. It wasn’t what we expected, but it was still a fun day and the beginning of my addiction to professional pedicures. The pedicure was, by far, my most favorite of the four services we enjoyed that day. From that moment on, I’ve made it a point to have a pedi every 3 to 4 weeks from the first of March through the end of October. Late Fall is when I go back to tennies and shoes that totally cover my feet!

Oops--back to Makeup Shirts: In junior high and high school, I would NOT use hairspray. I had an extreme aversion to it. I honestly can’t explain it. I don’t remember being terrorized by anyone wielding a can of hairspray. In fact, I probably didn’t use three cans of hairspray from my high school drill team years (sometimes it was actually required by our Director) until I was about 36. From my early 20s to mid-30s, I always had a curly perm. I did discover that a light spritz of hairspray sometimes helped keep those curls fixed just right. Once I started depending less on perms and more on hairstyles using my hot rollers, I needed literally gallons of hair spray. But I despised—immensely—getting it on my clothes and all over my bathroom. That’s when I came up with my first official “Makeup Shirt.” My shirts have never been as “pretty” as TLC’s latest design. I don’t decorate mine. I’m sure—now that you’ve seen how creative I am—you are shocked.

Another possible odd thing I’ll admit I do is sleep in old eyeglasses. Remember when the bigger the glasses were the better? Sally Jesse Raphael’s red ones? Had ‘em. I had several HUGE (I cannot emphasize this word enough) glasses from about 1980 until about 1998. It was so hard for me to adjust to the smaller frames. Now I positively cringe when I see pictures of myself in those uber-big glasses, of which I had many different styles and colors.

Literally the day after I turned 43, I couldn’t read a newspaper or a book anymore without holding it out at least three feet from my face. I was in shock, but quickly accepted that I had to get bifocals. That wasn’t going to be too difficult—since all of my glasses had plenty of room for that second layer of correction. I’ve always loved reading in bed at night (which I know you’re not advised by experts to do—especially if you have insomnia)—but, like many bed-readers, I often fall asleep with my glasses on. Once I gave in to style and smaller frames, my big ol’ glasses were perfect to fall asleep in. The best part was that it wouldn’t ever matter if they got a little bent up.

I went on a Girls Only Christmas Shopping Trip to Dallas a few years ago with three dear friends. We checked into a hotel near North Park Mall, getting two rooms that connected. We drew names to see who would sleep in what room. That night, after a lovely dinner at P. F. Chang’s, we returned to our rooms and started getting ready for bed. It never occurred to me that they hadn’t seen me with my big Sleeping Glasses. Actually, I had known two of them for many years and they had often seen these particular frames—just not in a long time. I didn’t understand the giggles, at first, as I went into the room where everyone was chatting, sporting my Sleeping Glasses and Makeup Shirt (I also wear my Makeup Shirt when I wash my face at night—so I won’t get water all over my jammies). I think they thought I was kidding. They realized I wasn’t when they could see how embarrassed I was. But they are my friends and, I’m certain, catalogued and accepted it as one of my (many) quirks.

We all have our favorite “tricks” for time-saving and comfort, don’t we? That might be enough of mine to share—at least for now—lest y’all think I’m more than a little eccentric. Thank the Lord eccentricity is a perk of older age.

ttfn . . .

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