By Lorry Myers
I finished drying my hands, turned around and she was gone. Via was just in the kitchen under my feet, or rather, helping me, and now, suddenly, everything was too, too quiet.
I yelled her name and heard no response. After looking in all the usual places, I found myself in my bedroom, where the bathroom door was uncommonly shut. I knocked and called, “Via?”
“What?” She said, much too quickly.
“What are you doing?”
The answer to that question was silence so I opened the door and there she was. Her cheeks were streaked with color, her hair was sticking up and my makeup drawer was open.
“Via.” I said, trying to keep the amusement out of my voice. “What’s going on?”
“I’m trying to get beautiful, Queenie.”
That sounded familiar.
A few days before, Via sat on the bathroom counter and watched me put on makeup before a day outing. When she asked me what I was doing, this is what I unthinkingly replied, “I’m trying to get beautiful.”
Funny thing is, I meant it.
My three older sisters are the ones who showed me how to use mascara and curl my eyelashes. My mom taught me how to put on lipstick without looking, and how frequently to reapply it. I’ve been to makeup parties looking for ways to makeup. I’ve walked the makeup aisle, looking for a new me. I’ve been to beauty stores searching for the beauty they advertised. No matter where I got it, every day I put it on.
Finally, I decided to stop.
When I refused to open my makeup drawer and gave up my magnified mirror, it was liberating! I let my hair go back to its natural, wild state and discovered instant freedom. Unfortunately, when I set myself free, people noticed.
“Oh, honey!” I heard, more than once. “Have you been sick? You look like you need a nap?” Which I do, but I don’t want to look like I do.
So, my makeup hiatus lasted only a few days and I was right back at it again. Now, all these years and eye shadow colors later, I am still “doing” my hair and “putting” on my make up.
Now, my granddaughter is watching. “Via,” I said as I wiped the creatively applied foundation from her face and the countertop. “You don’t need makeup; you are already beautiful.”