Miss M asked me the other day, "Mommy, why do you wear make-up? "
Why Mommy Wears Make-Up. That's toughy. Um, cause Mommy doesn't want to crack the mirror? Give the wrong response here, and you could start making those mommies on "Toddlers in Tiaras" look reasonable. For little girls, there are some crucial self-esteem lessons learned at the feet of Mommy. Or rather, while their mommy tries to squeeze into a size whatever whilst examining her split ends and crows feet. But no pressure here!
"Because it's socially acceptable to cover your skin's blotchiness and dark under-eye circles with concealer, thereby giving onlookers the illusion that you are younger and healthier than you really are. It's all smoke and mirrors, baby." ?
"Because Mommy greatly enjoys staying up late on the weekends and this little tube of glop covers the evidence nicely." ?
Don't give her any ideas, she's going to bed at 8:00, damn it.
"Because Mommy works for a district that hires way too many pretty blonde 20-something girls who, lovely teachers though they are, make Mommy look and feel like a chunkier Crypt Keeper?"
Hmmm, explaining make-up to a five year-old... I don't wear much, really. In this department, you don't find many lower-maintenance girls than yours truly. I wore almost no make-up until I was twenty-two. Then I had to go for my solitary real world job interview, a big deal in my little life, so I wore a tiny bit of mascara and lipstick. That is all. However, I was twenty-two. I slept more, I slept later, and I had skin like a baby's ass. Nine years and two of those babies later... let's just say it takes more than the time it takes one red light to change during my usual commute/makeover session for me to 'get pretty'.
Really, I told Miss M: "Because I think it helps me look more awake, and that makes me feel happy." And because I don't want to scare the little kids at school with good old zombie Mrs. D. In other words, this ritual is for me. It is not so I'm good enough for the outside world. Cause I am. Bonus, I can look perky, whether I'm feeling it or not. There. Self-esteem shaping moment saved.
Then Miss M accompanied me to the mall a while ago, where I discovered that a store I frequent is closing at the end of the month. I also discovered that, miraculously, I had a coupon in my wallet for said store - that was about to expire - at the end of the month. Serendipity? Score! SHOPPING TIME! Unfortunately, to put this coupon to the most practical use, I was going to have to embark on the most dreaded, torturous ritual of all womanhood: No, not childbirth. Give me the epidural and I'd more readily do THAT again, rather than: Bathing Suit Shopping.