Long time no write, wot.
I’ve been struggling with how to “re-enter” the world of blogging. When I originally started this in ‘99 (on Diaryland – remember THAT, oldsters?), I wrote about pop culture, and my drunken escapades. When I got sober, I wrote about pop culture, and my Adventures In Recovery.
Then I became a caregiver, and I feel like everything got swallowed up in that. I felt like I had a responsibility to tell this story, not only to preserve my dwindling sanity, but to let people know what a fucking godawful shitsucking disease Alzheimer’s is. Because until you’re actually living that reality, you really have no idea. You have a vague understanding that it involves losing your memory (hence the “jokes” I invariably hear from people when they misplace their keys or something stupid like that), but you really can’t grasp the day-to-day horror of what it actually does to someone.
And so I wrote about caregiving and Alzheimer’s, and not a lot much else. Now my mother-in-law is gone, and I feel stripped of my identity. I feel like I’ve lost my voice. I’m exhausted, even now. Marcia passed away before my very eyes a little less than two months ago. I hadn’t been an active, daily caregiver for her for a year-and-a-half before that. But I’m still so tired. I’m trying to undo the physical damage that the depression and anxiety wrought, and that’s been tough. The TMJ symptoms have abated somewhat. But I’m 45 now, and the weight I gained during those years just isn’t going to come off so easily. A lot of mornings I look at myself in the mirror and the mental beatings immediately take place. Things I wouldn’t say to my dearest friends and loved ones are perfectly okay to say to myself.
I’m trying. I’m getting up at Stupid O’Clock some mornings and dragging my ass to the gym. I’m wearing clothes that I enjoy. And I’m buying crap tons of makeup.
This is my new thing. Makeup. I’ve always worn it before, but now I’m going out and buying brushes and palettes and primer like my face is a blank canvas, or a weather-worn beach house. I’m mainly hitting places like Sephora, but sometimes I feel the siren call of the CVS.
I “came of age” in the Eighties. I began trying to make informed beauty purchases (beyond the tinny/fruity fragrances that my mom would get me from Avon) in ’83 or so, when I was junior high.
Lipgloss was the gateway drug. I was learning the very complicated rules for budding womanhood via studying the more popular girls in my class. We all had to carry an itty-bitty Jordache purse. I had this one:
These flimsy-ass things could accommodate a comb, a pen that wrote in at least three different colors, a pack of Now & Laters, and not much else. But we crammed them full of crap anyway, to the point where the strap would fray and break. And then you had to be the loser with a safety pin keeping the strap on. I digress. You of course also had to have lipgloss in this bag. Maybe several. Kissing Potion, which gobbed up in a shiny, sticky mess and made you look like you were fellating a jar of rubber cement. Lip Smackers, which went on much smoother and tasted pretty good. And if you were really fancy, you got that shit in the olde-tyme-looking tin. I had them all, although I wouldn’t actually be kissed by a boy until after I graduated high school. But HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL, OKAY.
I’d peruse the cosmetic aisle of the local drugstore, and purchase things that would make me a little more “adult,” when really what I looked like was a gobby-lipped clown with orange streaked hair (from all the Sun-In I’d pour on my head and then fry into infinity with the blowdryer).
And then, to top it all off, you had to drown yourself in perfume. The obvious choice, for me, would have been Love’s Baby Soft (“because innocence is sexier than you think”) but I sought a more sophisticated signature scent. Giorgio seemed fancy, but who could afford Giorgio on an infrequent babysitter’s salary? PROBLEM SOLVED.
THEY STILL MAKE THIS SHIT. My perfume tastes are considerably more refined these days (although I will admit a fondness for J.Lo’s Glow), but every time I go to CVS now, I feel like I should revisit my young-teen-self and blast this all over my naked person, and go around smelling like an aluminum-tinged fruit salad. SAVOR ME.
So what’s to be had at the drugstore these days? The usual brands (Revlon still makes “Cherries In The Snow” and “Toast Of New York”), the usual cheap stuff. But I must now sing the praises of the ELIXIR OF LIFE that is micellar water.
I want to have a bottle of this in every room in my house. I want to always have it within arm’s reach. It is that miraculous. My makeup just SLIDES OFF MY FACE every night when I use this GIFT FROM THE GODS. Bow to the micellar water. ALL HAIL.
I’ve also become fascinated with the NYX brand, which is not quite Maybelline, but not quite Wet-n-Wild. Their “Butter” lipstick is really good.
I’ve been getting an odd sense of comfort just wandering that cosmetic aisle these days. It’s taking me back to a more innocent version of myself. Am I “filling a hole” with stuff? Possibly. I won’t lie and say that buying a little tube of something doesn’t give me a little stab of pleasure. Having something small and shiny that promises to make me prettier. But it’s helping me somehow. Having a morning ritual in which I’m highlighting and primping makes me feel a little more part of the world again. I won’t apologize for that.