Monday, August 30, 2010

Cosmetics, the Cosmos, and Crises (Of the Midlife Kind)

A few weeks ago I was stricken with Pimplezilla, and ended up hospitalized for four days (yes, it IS sad that I had to go to the hospital for a pimple).  After 3 weeks of serious antibiotics, I've been declared "clean".  Here's the tragic part of this story:  I have to throw away my makeup.  Pretty much everything but powder eyeshadow. The agonized scream from within every cell in my body surely caused some type of intergalactic disturbance...

My doctor, an Infectious Disease specialist who looks about 12 yrs old, obviously doesn't understand the magnitude of what he ordered me to do. I've been perfecting my cosmetics collection for the past....oh.....35 years (I got my first Bonne Belle LipSmacker when I was 10--Dr. Pepper flavored).  My love and desire for makeup has waxed and waned through the years, but has recently been at a fever pitch, probably due to impending old-ladyhood.

So here we are two weeks later, and I still haven't jettisoned the tainted paint.  I haven't been using it--I'm crazy, not stupid--but I'm holding on to my lipsticks from Australia (they were 75% off--I would never pay $28 for a lipstick), my goodies from Switzerland (I did a makeup swap with a fellow YouTube user), all my pigments (they can't be sterilized like an eyeshadow palette can), my creamy blushes, and all of my beautiful, shiny, sparkly, glossy, luscious lip glosses (we're not going to assign a numerical value here--let's just say "a bunch").  It's funny, but I hadn't actually realized I had such an emotional attachment to all this.  So in true Peggy fashion, I began contemplating my navel to try to figure out what on earth is the matter with me.  It's just makeup, right?

The first place I go when I'm truly distressed is to my sister.  She's 10 years older than me, and lives halfway across the country.  We are not at all alike, but she "gets" me.  Sometimes better than I get myself.  As we were chatting, I mentioned that I couldn't figure out why I was so attached to my makeup, and, in fact, had been hoarding and gathering more and more for the past year or so.  "Oh, gee, I wonder WHY you're doing that!" she said sarcastically.  Huh?  Something so obvious, yet I had no clue.  Then I got it.

I've been going through a weird time in my life.  I'm 45, and feel like my life is over.  I get teary when I think about college kids, and how they have their whole lives ahead of them....they have so many choices to make, so much fun to experience.  I've made my choices, and regret some of them bitterly.  I know my life isn't over, but it's definitely not shiny and new any more.  I'm having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that my life is never going to look the way I always thought it would.  I'm never going to have three children, with a wonderful family life, full of fun times and closeness.  I haven't seemed to be able to make the kind of home and family I want my child to have, and that makes me sad.  

Makeup makes me feel a little better about things.  I feel prettier, and younger when I have it on.  I love the colors, the smells, the textures.  It makes me feel like more of a woman, thus more of a wife and mother.  I know it's not logical.  But it's the way I feel.  And sometimes the only thing you can do to make something look better is slap on a layer of paint and pretend it's pretty.


  1. Fun post, Peggy. I have an idea for ya that'll hit both issues...losing the pretty makeup and losing Life Part 1. The Pageant of the Masters that's in Laguna all summer uses volunteer makeup people. You could maybe do that? Put makeup on other people? And it'll be a whole new experience to start Life Part 2 with.

  2. Yeah - I can relate. My life definitely did not turn out the way I thought it would! You know what's funny, though - when I was pregnant, I always thought I'd homeschool. Then the kids were born, a*hole took off, the kids were diagnosed with autism, and I thought I'll never be able to homeschool with all this crap going on. Full circle comes around, and here I am homeschooling anyway & loving it. Life is still not the way I planned, but I'm learning to find those positives, and it really is helping.

    Can you get new makeup? Are you allergic to a certain type? Maybe we could do a "re-supply Peggy" party. :-) Let us know!