Whenever I find myself not particularly satisfied with my life I like to change my person physically, hoping it inspires changes mentally (or metaphysically). In high school (and college) it was piercing things, which is why, if you look closely you can see up to six (or is it seven) wholes in my left ear lobe.
In college, in addition to piercing things, I experimented with hair color. And when I say “experimented” I mean it. In 1997, the last time the Flyers went to the Stanley Cup, my hair was a short, black bob with orange fringe and stripes. Man, I thought I was so cool.
But now, well, I rarely wear earrings in the holes I have now (plus I think there is a cut-off age for piercing things) and I’m pretty sure my hairstylist (and maybe some of my friends) would kill me if I changed my hair color again. Even if I went for something normal. Besides, I only recently went back to being a blonde.
So, I was just about to get in line at a big cosmetic store, still feeling funky and wondering what I could do to get out of it when I saw a display of brightly colored lipsticks. I turned from the line to the display. There, I put my purchases down and started swiping some of the bold shades onto the back of my hand.
A sales girl approached. “Can I help you?”
I looked over at her and said, “I want to be a girl that wears bright red lipstick.”
She cheered and I knew I was onto something.
I know a lot of you out there have no idea what I look like so this might not seem like a very big deal to you. But for most of my adult life (I consider my college life separate from my adult life) I have subscribed to the less is more school of cosmetology. Sure, occasionally I’ll smoke up my eye (with mostly disastrous results) but day-in, day-out my palette is very neutral. Very beige. Very boring.
The sales girl lead me to a lip stain called lust. It overwhelmed me at first. She smiled and said, it really isn’t as drastic as you think. I put it on, rubbed it in and took a look. I felt like Cameron Diaz.
Now, I don’t expect this lipstick to make me happy or fix whatever it is that is making me feel funky in the first place. But I have noticed that when I am walking around downtown, my head is a little higher, my shoulders are back, I’m sort of smiling and I feel more confident.
And that's a good start.