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"Other Colors"
by Orhan Pamuk

by Nathaniel Philbrick

"Odd Hours"
by Dean Koontz

May 30, 2009

When will I grow out of this?

My youngest sister and I were talking on the telephone the other day and we were musing about when we would get to the place where we wouldnít feel that we had to put on makeup or do something to our hair before we go out or see people. Now, I donít actually do much to my hair except wash it and run a brush through it. I do, however, put on a ďfaceĒ when I go out. I feel that I should at least be presentable when I leave the house.

Years ago just before I started teaching, a wonderful friend, who also happened to be a model, gave me some pointers about walking, putting on makeup and so forth. She gently asked if I would mind if she plucked my eyebrows. Apparently a uni-brow only works if you are from Scotland, are named Susan Boyle and sing like an angel. She solemnly told me never to let anyone ever see me without blush, not even my husband! Now that little tidbit was ignored but I appreciated all that she told me, and I have worn some makeup ever since.

Our mother didnít like her girls to wear makeup and one time, to teach us a lesson, she was wearing some bright red lipstick when we came home from somewhere. I must say that she looked a little ridiculous. It didnít work, however, and all six of us wore some makeup. I do remember that she had a little container of rouge and she would carefully put it on before she went to church. My youngest sister and I decided that sister #2 would always wear makeup, and in fact, we can hardly recall ever seeing her without makeup. I have to be careful because of allergies so Clinique and I have become fast friends. Sister # 3, Eunice, had the most beautiful, smooth, clear skin and always looked so lovely.

Youngest sister and I commiserated about her dark circles and the bags under my eyes. In a perfect world, we wouldnít care but we do. We would like to wash our faces, put on some lotion (sunscreen?) and go out and meet the world. Unfortunately, we have become accustomed to doing more, (sigh) and so we put on foundation and powder and blush and eye shadow and mascara and lipstick. How old will we have to be before we really donít care anymore? Once when I was recovering from a rather serious operation, the doctor suggested, after a week of so, that I should put on makeup. Putting on makeup must indicate that one is progressing well or else I was scaring him.

It could be that Mom had I Peter 3:3-4 in mind:

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in Godís sight.

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