“Wow, your hair is straight and you’re all dressed up. You should do this everyday,” she said as I walked in the door at 10:30pm. “Yeah,” I thought, “but this takes way too much effort and time.”

I took the compliment, something that is so difficult for me. And then we chatted for an hour, catching up on our lives since she left town for what she calls her “tour of vulnerability.” “We’re all so breakable, vulnerable,” I wanted to say, “but isn’t that the point?”

When I finally got home at midnight I wiped off the makeup that had done it’s required 4-hour stint. The smell took me back to high school. The remover reminds me of nights I’d come home to my parents’ house, alone, not totally unlike tonight.

I wear makeup on an infrequent basis. I’m just not high maintenance. But, maybe I should leave the dew-faced memories of high school, where makeup remover was a welcome and fancy thing, and grow up a little and at least wear mascara everyday.

I can’t imagine it will actually happen, that I will wakeup and put mascara on every morning, it’s not in the cards. And maybe other things aren’t either. Like children.

He must have been just a year and half old with the darkest of hair, like me. He toddled around the playground just ahead of his mother who had a baby strapped to her stomach in a Baby Bjorn. She had light brown hair and it was cut in layers to her shoulder though not styled. She wore casual clothes, no makeup, and didn’t look exhausted. She walked toward me and asked the time. I answered. As she walked away I saw that she had on a t-shirt of my brother’s band. I thought about stopping her and telling her that her shirt was my brother’s band that she was, in fact, talking to “the sister.” But, I didn’t. The shirt was probably her husband’s. It must have been from her days where makeup, smoked filled clubs, and cheap beer in plastic cups were the norm. Now, she deals with diapers and baby proofing.

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