Sunday, June 27, 2010

A make-up meltdown

I think there was an episode of The Brady Bunch which featured Greg borrowing his father's tools and not putting them away or some such thing. Of course within the requisite half hour Greg had learnt his lesson, received a few pearls of wisdom from his father, and you just knew he would never make that mistake again. Those kids never had to be told more than once. Anyway my question is why was there never a similar episode with Marcia (Marcia, Marcia) and/or Jan and/or that revolting one with the curls purloining their mother's make-up?

Because this, I have to say, is my number one source of irritation nowadays (after drivers who get confused by the colour green, and teenagers who spit, and visible muffin tops, and shop assistants who hold asinine conversations with each other while you're standing at the counter, and... well, I suppose there's actually a longer list than I thought). The whole make-up thing started relatively benignly and, to be honest, I actually thought it was sort of cute (which I suspect is a deliberate ploy with children, like the toddler who lets loose a swear-word and everyone laughs fondly - not so cute a few years later, is it?). At the time I even gave a calm, controlled Brady Bunch-style lecture about how I really didn't mind as long as the bits and pieces of make-up were always put back. Fat chance. I've now spent a goodly part of the past six years searching for mascara and foundation and eye-liner and that terrific green eye-shadow that you just can't get anymore. One of the problems is that I don't wear much make-up on a normal day (seems a little OTT given I usually work in over-sized pyjamas), which means I don't miss it until I've got a really important engagement and five minutes to make myself look presentable and the only thing that's left in my make-up drawer are several anti-ageing creams and a grubby cotton bud. Even then I start off relatively calmly and only turn into a screaming banshee when both female offspring plead innocence. Ten minutes later, after giving each other those 'god, mum's gone mad' looks, they'll take turns coming up to me with blunt eye-liner or whatever in hand saying 'is this what you're after? Dunno how it ended up with my stuff, I'd never use that colour."
So a few weeks ago I bought myself all new make-up, cleaned out my drawer, lined it with nice paper, and then fastened stickers to the outside which read This drawer and its contents belong to Ilsa (aka Mum). DO NOT TOUCH (operating under the assumption that, as with serial killers, personalising oneself might enhance the odds). Which was just fine until yesterday, when we were due to attend a family function and I decided to go for the elegant look (which, nowadays, requires a generous amount of make-up). Opening my drawer only to discover that there wasn't just one item missing, there were about four. And, once again, nobody had the faintest idea what I was talking about. So I lost it, wrenching the drawer out and flinging it, with the contents, into the bath (which has the shower at one end with a screen). Screeching 'There you go then! How easy is this now? Just help yourselves!"
Both female offspring eyed me pityingly as they backed rapidly out of the bathroom. Then I could hear them muttering as they headed away: 'do you know what's up with her?" No, do you?" And I was left to stare at the odds and ends of make-up detritus still rolling around the bath, where the drawer lay at an odd angle with its base now a separate entity from the frame. Feeling a little numb as I took in the loose powder that was sprayed artfully across the tiles, and the cracked eye-shadow cases that were leaching shades of brown and green into soapy puddles, and my new, very expensive (because I'm worth it) scientifically-proven anti-ageing serum-stuff that was now dribbling steadily towards the plughole. And I realised that while this momentary meltdown may have felt good, I couldn't even leave it like this for effect because unfortunately - and typically - I was the only person who hadn't yet had their shower.

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