A memory

My mother wore lipstick on special occasions. She used those sample lipsticks the Avon lady would bring in the 1970s. Once in a while a full-size tube of Fuchsia or Coral or Orange would show up on her dresser. As a little girl, I treasured the little sample tubes. I’d try the different colors, nothing subtle in the 1970s, no doubt looking clownish in my attempts at drawing my own lips.

Rouge, as it was called then, never graced my mother’s cheeks, eyeliner and mascara items I never knew existed when I was a little girl. On nights when my parents would dress up for some special occasion – dinner out with friends, a legal function with my Dad, a ladies’ afternoon – after much trying on and lamenting the fact that she didn’t own anything new to wear, she would emerge from my parents’ bedroom beautiful with red lips and the scent of Replique, the French perfume she wore, a bottle of which I still keep amongst my most treasured gifts, along with the ‘baby scissors she kept in the corner of her top drawer. These scissors I almost lost once, and I freaked out. Who knew something so small could be the glue to my very existence, and yet they are. I never travel without them, and I lost my sh*t once when I found out Steve used them to trim his nose hair.

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