the makeup artist

the makeup artist

a good friend of mine is one – a makeup artist. she’s got a resume long as your arm – movies, mini-series, politicians on tv, all of that cool stuff, & she knows dishy gossip galore … celebs tell you a lot while you’re an inch from their face, knowing that you’re in charge of whether they look hellish or heavenly in front of the camera & they better not piss you off.

anyway, maybe i’m weird, but it’s just that another meaning for the term “makeup artist” popped into my head when my friend & i were @ dinner last week.

wait a minute — you’re wanting to know if she’s done johnny depp, right? dunno. i’ll ask her & get back with you.

his makeup. get your mind out of the gutter.

so, anyway — i was thinking that, couldn’t a makeup artist be someone who’s realllly good at making up after a fight?

like, within my dysfunctional family of origin, here’s how it works. the only way you know someone’s mad at you is when you get the silent treatment. the quiet game. whatever you want to call it, the phone doesn’t ring.

until, one day…

hello?
that’s me.

how are you?
pretend that’s my sister.
chipper tone.
it’s been 3 months since we’ve spoken —
highly unusual because we talk all the time.

i’m good
me again.
neutral tone.
notice how I didn’t say something snarky like,
“oh, so we’re talking now?”
that would be poor form.

well, that’s good.
my sister again.
see how she doesn’t say, “i’ve been being a shit-turd,”
or, heaven forbid, “i was wrong?”

guess what?
still her.

you’re absolutely NOT gonna believe it.
it’s her breathless, secret-confidential-gossipy, voice.
the one i just love.

tell me.
hear the smile in my voice?
— it’s as if we simply set the phone down for a minute
& we’re picking up the same conversation we’ve had a million times before.
& my sister & i are buds again.

she’s the makeup artist.

& it’s kind of messed-up, don’t you think? but, that’s how it’s always been done. especially the part where there’s no, “i’m sorry.” but, maybe that’s okay. i mean, we were taught to never tell a lie. if george washington would’ve chopped down the cherry tree in our front yard, you wouldn’t want to be on the premises, trust me.

but, how about addressing the problem, talking things out — you know, like a constructive, grown-up conversation? oh, hell no! nowadays, parents say, “use your words,” which i find totally annoying & i want to pinch their ninny little heads off… but, you see, no one in my family is confrontational. what we had was more like a hit & run protocol. probably sounds strange, but then, maybe it doesn’t — you decide.

&, something else — in all these years, it’s always my sister who initiates these makeup calls. she’s kind of a hot-head, & i’m what you’d call the roll-over type, but you probably figured that out already, but here’s the thing — when we’re finally talking again, neither of us wants to spoil it. bringing up the reason we haven’t been talking opens the possibility of another 3-month silent period, so where’s the sense in that? besides, saying ugly words to each other is off limits — it’s our sister-code. ugly words, we reserve those for our mother. not the really bad ones we’d whisper to each other in our bathroom when we were growing up — i mean, come on — it’s kind of lousy to say things like that about a white-haired, 5-foot-tall octogenarian.

anyway, i’d like to say my sister calls when it finally gets to the point where she misses me more than she’s mad at me, which sounds all warm & fuzzy, but deep down, i know the true reason.

without me around, it’d be just her & our mom.

god, i love my sister.

you’re wondering something, aren’t you? who’s older? it might surprise you.

let’s see if you guess right in the comments below.

make your bed

make your bed

scenario: unexpected guest rings your doorbell. for some unknown reason, said guest enters your bedroom & your bed’s not made.

& it’s afternoon.

how does that make you feel?

mortified? humiliated? dreadfully ashamed that the cat’s out of the bag on your dirty little secret?

now, maybe it’s none of the above, & you’d think to yourself, well, who gives a crap? & besides, what’s this nosy creep doing in my bedroom anyway?

but, if it’s one of the first things, or even all 3, why is that?

now, i’m just throwing this out there — it shows that you’re a slob. yeah, that’s probably part of it. especially if this person came back the very next day & saw the same thing.

but, the real reason? maybe a subconscious reason… you know deep inside that you don’t take care of TCB.

for you non-aretha fans, that means, take care of taking care of business.

why don’t we make our beds?

for me, sometimes i’ll think to myself, well – what the hey? i’m just getting back in there later… so what’s the point? besides, bed making has an extra-negative association with me. oh, boo-hoo, i know, but when i was growing up, it seemed like a daily test of perfection. rather, my non-perfection.

my mom was, and still is a total freak about the correct way to do it, & it drives me crazy. like totally nails-digging-into-my-palms, ape-shit crazy.

the blanket must be pulled to the correct distance from the top of the mattress – precisely 3” from the headboard, no more, no less. now, this next part with the sheet takes a little advance preparation, because the amount it must be folded down over the blanket must be that same 3”, because that is the exact measurement between the top edge of the sheet & its hemmed cuff.

it is also imperative that the amount of sheet & blanket hanging down the edge the mattress is equal on both sides. i’m talking completely equal, & if you’re incapable of eye-balling it, there’s a yardstick under the bed.

right next to the slide rule.

now, once they’re devoid of the mere hint of wrinkles, it’s time to tuck the sheet & blanket under the foot of the mattress. neatly.

oh, hell – i forgot to say that before you can put the blanket on top, the corners of the sheet have to be squared first, at strict 90 degree angles. if you forget this crucial step– well, don’t, because, aye yai yai!

my mom will make you start all over.

i was always like, what’s the big damn deal? why make an all-day event out of it? & for a total non-rule follower, like me who’s a little more free-style in my approach to life, & just about everything in it, i was thrilled beyond thrilled when i moved out on my own & could make the bed like i damn-well pleased, or, not at all, thank you very much.

which brings me to the next part of this story.

an old buddy of mine was “invited” to attend AA several years back — strictly a stipulation of her probation, she said, but who really knows…

anyway, a really pitiful young woman in the group was horribly addicted drugs, & not the kind found on the shelves @ your neighborhood pharmacy. maybe you didn’t know this, but not everyone in AA is sober, & for her, it was a daily battle that she didn’t always win.

in a desperate state one day, the young woman stood up & completely bore her soul. heartbreaking. many years had passed when my buddy told me this story, & she said she’ll remember it until the day she dies.

when the young woman sat down, the room was pin-drop silent for several moments.

until an older lady stood from her chair. easily sixty-five years old. honey, she said.

make your bed.

the young woman looked @ her dumbstruck. everyone else in the room, too. like, what a stupid & insensitive thing for the lady to say. but, she explained.

if you can do that, just that one, simple little thing, it starts your day off right & you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes.

hmmm-m

in case you think i’m going to sit here & tell you it solved all the young woman’s problems, i’m not, because i honestly don’t know — & besides, if making your bed was the world’s best therapy for addiction, my mother would be running a halfway house — but i have spent a fair amount of time contemplating the lady’s advice.

think about it — to make your bed, you have to get out of it first, & for some of us, some days, that may not be all that easy to do.

plus, after going to all that trouble, you’re going to think twice before crawling back in it, right? not only that, but by starting your day doing something you’re not all that fired-up about doing & find out it’s not fatal, you know you can do it the next day, too.

i started this blog post this morning. in my head, that is, mulling over the lady’s advice as i sipped my coffee while looking down @ the rumpled, twisted blankets on my bed. hell, no, i don’t make my bed every day – i think we’ve already covered that (nice pun). but, as i took extra care smoothing the wrinkles from the comforter & arranging my fancy pillows on top, i knew that not only would i be good & damn ready if some nosy creep happened to wander back into my sanctuary, i had a feeling that it was a good start to a pretty great day.

&, i was right.

TTFN

night owl

night owl

whooooo whooooooo

me.

guilty as charged.

i think sleeping is so boring.

i do — i mean, it’s just not that thrilling to me.

maybe if i remembered my dreams i could write them down in a dream journal or something — that might be cool, but to me, the best thing about sleeping is waking up & having my lunchtime coffee.

yeah, i know — sleep deprivation is supposed to be bad for you. that know-it-all ariana huffington of the huff post — it’s her new thing she’s touting. wrote a book about how it was causing serious problems in her life. i saw her talking about it on marietv, btw – look it up on youtube… it’s my idol marie forleo’s show, & don’t think it’s all stuffy just because she had ariana on. besides, i’d never watch a show like that.

sorry — i just had to get off on that for a second.

okay, back to ariana. am i spelling that right?

in case not, let’s call her AH. okay – seems AH was taking her daughter to look @ colleges – excuse me, institutions of higher learning …. places in paris, rome, barcelona & bejing, no doubt. anyway, her daughter goes, listen mom — i absolutely insist you leave your blackberry in the hotel room & only check it @ night — which i’m sure to AH was right up there with cutting off her left boob, or something.

so, in the middle of the night, AH wakes up face-down on her keyboard with a huge, bleeding gash on her forehead. it was her wake up call.

did you like that one? i couldn’t resist.

hearing this, i told myself, all right, all right… i get the picture. but were there any changes on my part?

hell to the no.

then my mom called last week. you know, martha, she said, we’re both vain & care about how we look.

okay…

& not getting enough sleep is going to age you.

so, what are you trying to say, mom, i said, that i looked like i was 90 when you saw me a couple of weeks ago?

well, i didn’t say that, dear, but not getting enough sleep causes bags under your eyes & it won’t be long until they begin to sag.

say what?

i stared at my reflection in my computer screen, as i’ve been known to do on occasion. my mirror is in my bathroom, but that would take actually getting up from my computer.

&, you know, dear, she couldn’t help saying, that means your cheeks, too.

why do i even answer my phone sometimes?

i went to dinner with a couple of close friends on friday — the kind that you dispense with the pleasantries like, how’s your dog & get straight to the nitty-gritty. when i told them the situation, you know what one of them said?

martha, if that’s the time you’re most productive, just do it & stop beating yourself up.

exactly why i love this friend.

but my mom’s declaration that i’ll soon be looking like an old hag was still looping in my brain. not only that, but although my friend is a night owl, too, she’s also 20 years younger than i am.

so here’s what I’m going to try tonight. or rather, tomorrow morning: the mere thought of it gives me the riggers, but 1:00 am will be beddy-bye time.

i’ll let you know how it goes.

TTFN

i slam doors when i’m mad

i slam doors when i’m mad

i never realized how much my mother has influenced me until i started writing this blog. i’m serious.

no, she wasn’t a door slammer, but her big sister was — the very reason it was the ultimate no-no when i was growing up. let me rephrase that — the ultimate hell-no when i was growing up & my mom wasn’t going to have it in her house.

the very reason i do it in mine.

may have been the first thing i did when i was old enough to have my own. imagine me signing the papers, walking over the threshold and

SLAM

here’s why i think door slamming works. it’s the watered-down version of throwing a stack of dishes at the wall, or firing a bullet through the television screen like elvis supposedly did. kind of like stark raving mad-LITE.

& besides — are you kidding? i’d never hurt my own stuff. took me a long time to acquire it. not only that, but i really like it.

today was a real door-slammer for me. think i did it 3 times before lunchtime. if no one’s home, sometimes i’ll throw in a couple of long, loud monkey screams but there were painters outside, re-staining my garage doors that look like hell. &, no — i didn’t slam the garage doors. they’re the roll-down kind.

so why was i so pissed today?

just got some not great news about something i’d put my blood & guts into. someone wasn’t quite as impressed with it as i was. not nearly as impressed.

so, what did i do? after i slammed the doors, you mean?

3 times?

got on my old buddy facebook, of course. isn’t that the 2014 salve for the soul? all your pals in one place ready to give you a big old Image

didn’t have to search long. there’s a woman on there who’s the real rainbows & unicorns type. here’s what was on her page:

Image

after reading that little ray of sunshine, i think i went & slammed the door a couple of more times. ate a dozen more lemon cookies. didn’t mention that part before, did i? my bad.

with only a few crumbs left in the box, i switched FB back on & began scrolling. here’s what i found:

Image

best damn idea i heard all day.

here’s another one from the archives:

Image

can i hear an amen?

thanks for listening. i feel better now.

TTFN

thanks, mom

thanks, mom

sometimes, I’ve just got to say it.

my mom will send me canned emails sometimes — the ones railing about  obama being a muslim, i delete faster than you can sarah palin. the cheesy, uplifting variety, i usually skim real quick so i won’t feel guilty, & say,   yeah, whatever ….. & delete those, too.

it’s totally not my style to pass along this kind of thing, so don’t get used to it — my next post will be snarky, i promise…………………  so, THANKS, MOM!

to realize the value of a sister or brother, ask someone who doesn’t have one.

to realize the value of ten years, ask a newly-divorced couple.

to realize the value of four years, ask a graduate.

to realize the value of one year, ask a student who’s failed a final exam.

to realize the value of nine months, ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.

to realize the value of one month, ask a mother who’s given birth to a premature baby.

to realize the value of one minute, ask a person who’s missed the train, bus or plane.

to realize the value of one second, ask a person who’s survived an accident.

to realize the value of a friend or family member:

LOSE ONE.

Time waits for no one. Treasure every moment you have.

The Final Curtain

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