2007.07.22 Dodging zings and arrows of children

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

Normally, the only time I wear make-up is when I’m embarrassing myself in front of scores of kids at Morenci Elementary School, dressed up in some hideous outfit that is loosely related to the library’s Summer Reading Program theme. I’m just trying to make myself memorable enough that the kids won’t forget to tell their parents some nut dressed in a hideous outfit came to school to promote Stair Public Library’s reading program.

This year, I didn’t have to slather on the grease paint since my re-incarnated chicken costume included a large beak and sunglasses. In past years, especially the year I was Gina the Gypsy, it would take me many precious minutes making myself colorful. The time spent applying make-up—I don’t know how girls and women can afford it. And it’s not just applying it—you have to take the stuff off at night, too. I just don’t have the patience for it. And then there’s the ingredients—who knows what the heck we’re applying to our skin which is then being absorbed into our bloodstream?

But it’s a gloomy picture when I look in the mirror these days. The grayer I get, the blotchier my skin gets and the more pronounced the bags under my eyes get. Usually, I’m in such a rush I don’t even have time to look at myself so I’m not even aware of the many flaws. But when I was standing in a hotel bathroom with my daughters primping for a wedding in June, I offered up my face to them. Maddie dabbed me with some powdery stuff and in the fluorescent light I could see marked improvement—bags be gone!

I figure with Rozee’s wedding just around the corner (July 2008 will be here in no time) I better get used to this make-up business. So, for the next wedding we attended, I joined them again at the bathroom mirror for more treatment.

“Here, try this,” said Rozee as she dabbed some kind of powder foundation under my eyes. “It has minerals.”

“I can still see my bags,” I said when she was done.

“Use mine.  It’s better,” said Maddie, as she handed me her version of foundation.

“I can still see them,” I said, after applying hers.

“It’s not magic,” Maddie replied, stating the obvious.

Ah, children. All grown up and still they wound thy heart.

They struck again Saturday. Rozee called me at the library to say Ben had just called home and she was calling to relay his message.

“Ben said he and Sarah got...”

And before she could finish the sentence, I immediately thought, “engaged!”

But Rozee continued, “...library cards. He thought you would want to know,” she said.

“He said the cards are really nice and you’re going to be jealous,” she said. “He said he’ll send a picture.”

Ever since Ben moved to Miami, I’ve been suggesting he visit his local library. It’s only taken a year and now that he’s done it, I should be thrilled. Instead I’m disappointed—I really thought Rozee was going to say he was engaged.

It’s probably because I have weddings on the brain—I’ve been to three in the last eight weeks, Rozee is making wedding plans, and everywhere I turn there seems to be another story about weddings.

I read one just today about Detroit Free Press editor Ron Dzwonkowski’s particularly ill-fated day. A series of mishaps included the bride who hobbled down the aisle after being injured in a car crash the day before (while en route to a funeral home to pay her respects to an uncle who had just died), the priest who was stuck in Pittsburgh with car trouble, the brother who fainted from the heat during the vows, another car crash in which their wedding cake ended up across Middlebelt Rd., and the photographer who disappeared after the wedding reception never to be heard from again.

Thirty-four years later, Ron and his wife can laugh about their disastrous wedding, because, as they have learned, “it’s the marriage that matters.”

I’ll have to remind Rozee of that. Then it won’t matter if make-up won’t hide my bags at her wedding.

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