Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Slice of Life - Blending In

Slice of Life is sponsored on Tuesdays by Two Writing Teachers. For the month of March we are posting a slice each day on our blog. Join in!

Today I hurriedly got ready for school, as I do most mornings. It seems I get up ninety minutes early just so I can leisurely read Twitter, blogs, and emails. Ultimately, I get dressed and ready for school in a matter of minutes. I grabbed one of my favorite sweatshirts and, as I pulled it on, I remembered I had recently purchased some lip balm that was similar in color.
Revlon Lip Balm - Unapologetic 
Walking over to my dresser, I applied some of the balm. It was brighter than I had anticipated. Usually I wear a pretty light color of lip-gloss, nothing that stands out. I looked in the mirror and wondered, was it too much?

I decided to go with it. I liked the color, even though it was bright. Walking into school, I had several colleagues mention that they liked my lipstick. When my students came in, several of them commented that they liked it.

Jumping into my car at lunch to run errands, I glanced in the rear view mirror and was surprised to see the color popping out at me. I paused, considering once again what I thought of it. So bright, was my first thought. Why did it bother me so?

I think I have always liked to blend in, if possible. Fly under the radar. As a student, I prayed my teachers wouldn’t notice me. I sat behind the tall kids, slid down in my seat. Even if I knew the answer, I didn’t raise my hand. Open-ended assignments stressed me out – what was the answer they were looking for?

The more I looked at my lips, the more I began to like the color. Who cares if it is too bright? Who cares if some people think it doesn’t look ok? I actually like it. Looking at it, I immediately had a photo pop into my mind. 

Mumsie and I - 1996
It was 1996 and my grandmother, Mumsie, hadn’t been able to fly out to my wedding. My mom and I went to visit her shortly after my honeymoon while Chris flew to Atlanta for work. I remembered that she always had brightly colored lipstick on and I’m guessing she didn’t pause to consider what others thought of it. (If you knew my grandmother, you’d know how true that statement was.) J

Maybe my 40s will be the decade that I will finally decide that I don’t need to blend in. Maybe I can free myself of all of the teenage worries that are still sometimes trapped inside. That would be pretty awesome.

So I wore the lip balm. I even reapplied it all day. Chris walked in the door coming home from work, glanced my way, and said, “What’s up with the lipstick?” I couldn’t help but laugh.