There is a Hell, and it’s Pink. ish.

Okay so I’ve never really been into makeup, and for decades I’ve resented the entire 3 minutes I waste on it every morning. Well sometimes I skip. But I wear it because one of my first boyfriends, who had been dating someone else for a while when I first asked him out, but she went to another school so I didn’t really know that, said to me one night a little quizzically, “(we’ll call her Betsy) Betsy always wears a little makeup and eyeshadow when we go out. It makes me feel like she cares enough to make some effort.”

I looked at him quizzically — it was the 70’s and no one wore makeup because we were FREE SPIRITS — but he was a good guy and it was a small concession, and I’ve been doing it ever since. But not in an “ooh let’s check out the latest at Sephora!” kinda way. But there it was.

So I get that the world is focused now on the newest whatever, and I know this because every time I try to buy toothpaste at Target they’ve restocked the shelves with 15 new and improved styles of Crest and omg it takes me 15 minutes to find the most old school brand closest to the now-discontinued tube I bought last month and throw it in my cart. Sigh.

So about a month ago, I ran out of the lipstick I’ve worn for the past six years or so. I like the color, the tube, and the pure joy of being able to replenish the supply by just recognizing and grabbing 3 tubes at a time. And of course it’s been discontinued and even the tube style it came in no longer exists, which means I have to make a new selection on multiple levels, and I’m dreading it so much that I don’t walk through those doors until weeks have passed. It takes me 45 minutes of searching every nook and cranny of Ulta to accept the fact that I’ll have to pick something new, and another 30 minutes to find something similar enough to live with and calm my daily grousing, but it’s a matte, and … sigh.

What’s up with matte? I don’t care, but why??? Sigh. I take it home and dutifully apply it this morning and OMG the texture is heaven! It’s like the powder dusting fairy came down from the heavens and touched me ever so lightly on the lips and said, “Hey girl. You’ve been good. I’m gonna give you a break.” My eyes lit up and I almost broke into a smile when … I smelled a smell. I hoped someone had snuck up behind me with a bottle of tween girl perfume, but if only. No. It’s the f-ing d lipstick. My lips are so happy, and my nose wants to cough up a hairball and die. Yeah I don’t do scents either. Especially not scents clearly developed for the 6 year old scent palate.

WHY WHY WHY is there a scent in my lipstick???? There isn’t even an image of My Little Pony on the front, any mention whatsoever of a scent, and no purple baggie of gummy bears attached.

Seriously, this is just another way they kill off the old people.

Oh No!

The Road to Hell

may be paved with good intentions, but I’m eager to believe that a well-considered plan can take you someplace fabulous just as easily. Eager, commonly associated with beaver, an animal not so much known for its wisdom or global thinking, but hey, teeth are good. On the plus side (and I’m not only referring to girth and the “ungainly waddle” here), National Geographic touts that “beavers are second only to humans in their ability to manipulate and change their environment.” I may be dragged into each new year kicking and flinging obscenities, but I do plan to channel a bit of that busy-beaver energy for good. So yeah, eager as a rodent for change.

1) Create. I will write and I will make art. I will clean off my art tables and use them. I will close the computer; I will not check email every time the phone beeps. I will not put every request ahead of my own need to create. At least one day a week. And that day will be Tuesday.

Yum, c. Pamela Goode2) Eat. I will cook more. I will cook European. Not only is the food healthier — it’s beautiful, and it’s soul-satisfying. If I can’t live on the other side of the Atlantic and toss together suppers of dirt-fresh market finds on the terrace, I can make the plates pretty enough and healthy enough and al fresco enough to pretend.

3) Love. I will make more of an effort, or a wiser or more intuitive effort, to connect with those who are difficult to access — those who are afraid to love, don’t know how to love, have been hurt by love, can’t trust, won’t trust, whose hearts have been trampled, or who simply haven’t a clue what love is, how to express it, or how to sit back, open their arms, and receive it. I will try harder to give without being afraid of the response.

4) Discipline. I feel bad that this isn’t the discipline my husband might long for (I can be an unruly child), but it’s the practice my spirit covets, and that is silence. Not a constant silence (I love to warble and whistle and dance), but a deliberate one — a chosen rest. Not a lack of communication (because real communication is everything), but simply a lack of spoken words. I suck with words. I say the wrong thing in the wrong tone and worry too much about the word choices and tones of others. I’m hypervigilant when it comes to verbal communication, and it’s exhausting. I’m going to gift myself one day each week free of that weight.

I’m raring to go, but there seem to be a few things to attend to first — a four foot high porcelain poodle in one of the guest beds, a blonde wig left over from a LOST party on the towel bar, a red patent leather slingback on a nail near the kitchen cornice molding, and of course the trail of gingerbread crumbs moistened with butterscotch schnapps leading from the computer table to the Swallowing Sofa and back again.

On the other hand, touches of whimsy are so necessary to a Well-Lived Life.

Fah Who Rah-Moose

from shloshspot.com

‘Twas the night before New Year’s, and all through the house

Every Who down in Whoville was doped up and soused.

They hated the New Year; they grumbled and whined,

“We don’t want a NEW year; this suits us just fine.”

But the clock wouldn’t listen, it groaned and it wheezed,

And it paused not a whit on the cusp of the breeze

That would blow that foul second hand forward and then

Slap the faces of Whos with a pointy-mouthed grin.

Auntie Em hugged her teacup; Vern gripped hard his bottle

Cindi Loo sucked her nipple of mead on full throttle.

While Muffy poured scotch and Big Joe warmed the wassail,

I saw Gramps downing Nyquil to plump up his fossil.

Homer was huffing and Jane rode a bender

While Grams poured tequila and rum in the blender.

They binged and they cringed and they cowered in fear

“We must stop it from coming! We’ll stop it this year!”

But no matter the moonshine, no matter the crack,

Father Time gave the gift that he wouldn’t take back.

He granted them change and a hope for the new,

Whilst snickering snickers, ice cold as a shrew.

It’s a New Year, My Lovelies, You Hortons and Whos,

And you’ll take it and thank me; you don’t get to choose.

So get on with your hopes and your dreams and your wishes,

Cause I’ve got the clock, and you dogs is my bitches.

~ c. 2011 by Pamela Pardue Goode,

with apologies to Clement C. Moore and eternal gratitude to Dr. Seuss  🙂

Down Deep

I’d been looking for ten months and one week. Not constantly, of course, but there were more than a few sporadic foraging forays when my aggravation billowed to extremes. Where could I have put them? Were they gone? I remember thinking, “I’ve got to move this before Vernon sees it and heads to the trash can. I know — I’ll hide it under the bed.” But it wasn’t under the bed — not a single one of the many times I fell to my knees and poked my hands and head beneath the dust ruffle, scanning, of course, nothing but dust.

It wasn’t in any closet in the house, carefully secreted behind ski parkas, the wet suit or boxes of Matchbox cars. It wasn’t in the attic, playing coy behind a bag of tinsel or that inflatable reindeer. It wasn’t in my trunk, which inexplicably still holds some giftwrap bought on sale four summers ago. It was just gone, and I moaned about the loss often — and loudly.

Naturally, we all suspected Vernon, who often views my “treasures” as mouse fodder, and 160 used napkins from a barbecue dinner ten months ago stored in a Hefty bag would certainly top that list. But I had big plans for them, and he swore up and down that he hadn’t touched them. And after all, I had told myself that I had to move them. Didn’t I move them? And where the hell were they, hidden so well that I hadn’t stumbled across them in ten whole months?

They weren’t just any napkins. I handpicked six different fabrics and hand-pinked them for my son and daughter-in-law’s rehearsal dinner. Besides the sentimental value, which was elephantine, they were splendid, happy fabrics, which allowed me to justify the purchase because I knew I could use them for fun dinners on the lawn, and make patchwork fabric for a sundress and some nifty studio aprons. And now, it was an absolute necessity to make a string (or five) of bunting flags. Quite simply, no other fabric would do.

And so this morning you could have found me again on my knees, poking impotently about beneath the dust ruffle and pulling back empty-handed and pouting, tiptoeing through the attic to peer high and low in the dim morning light, opening and closing one closet door after another.

And then suddenly I found them. Sitting in the very same bag in the very same corner they had enjoyed for the last ten months (and one week), with a snowfall of boxes hiding them quite neatly. I thrust my hand down and claimed them, slung them over my shoulder like a jolly old guy, hoisted them into the washer, and jumped into Vernon’s unsuspecting arms as he was climbing the stairs. “I found them! I found them! I found them!” Sometimes it’s the little things . . . .

I knew a girl in high school, Karen, who used the following as her Senior Quote: “Itching for what you want doesn’t do much good; you’ve got to scratch for it.” And usually, you gotta scratch pretty damn hard. They say Seek and Ye Shall Find. I seeked, sought, soaked — nothing. Sometimes you gotta dig down deep. As humans, we have an aversion to it, but in my opinion, that’s where your life is waiting.

Or in my case, bunting!

Bunting