Mom didn’t wear much makeup. She powdered her nose and applied lipstick twice a day. She may have plucked her eyebrows, though I don’t recall her wielding the tweezers. A dried up compact of mascara sat unused in the bathroom medicine cabinet.
When I consider why she didn’t use more makeup, the answer is twofold. Mom had reasonably good looks and great hair colour genes. When she died in her early sixties, she was still a natural brunette.
More importantly, she couldn’t justify the expense. She was the breadwinner in our house. Dad was the bread loser, I suppose you could say. His TV and radio repair business operated in the red.
But even though money was tight, she welcomed the Avon Lady, a neighbour woman who was testing the promotional claims: make friends AND money! Ten year-old me didn’t pay attention to what the two adults talked about. I was fascinated with the teeny-tiny lipstick samples. You can imagine my delight when Avon let me have one to keep. Mom may have ordered something, just to be kind. Perhaps a fragrant lotion. Remember Rose Geranium? That scent transports me instantly to the kitchen table with mom and the Avon Lady.
A couple of decades later when I lived in London, I was invited to a makeup party. It was at the home of a new acquaintance. I accepted the invitation in spite of reservations. I was extremely shy and socially inhibited. Also, because I had Jean’s genes not to mention her spendthrift habit, I knew I wouldn’t need or want to spend much on the product.
As expected, I was uncomfortable at the party. I sat on the couch, ate veggies and dip and made little contribution to conversation. Thankfully, the show got underway. The sales woman asked for someone to model. Incredibly, I volunteered. In hindsight I expect I accepted so that I could avoid the painful chitchat.
When the sales woman wrapped up her demonstration, I excused myself to use the bathroom. I closed the door, and made my way to the mirror. I love the “reveal” part of makeovers. I couldn’t wait to see the glamorous new me.
The hideous clown face that stared back at me from the mirror made my stomach lurch. I was mortified. I barely resisted the urge to scour the gunk from my face.
Do you want to know what I did then? I showed that makeup lady exactly what I thought of her “beauty” product as well as her technique. I marched out to the living room and ordered the entire suite of product.
What this says about my physiological “makeup” [yes, intended] will remain un-examined. However, just the other day, I had reason to recall this episode of my life. Someone asked the question, “Did you have a bad experience with network marketing?”
Categories: Personal Growth