Just Call It Mess-cara

Here’s why I don’t wear a lot of makeup, why I don’t deserve to be beautiful, and why I may stop all personal hygiene practices other than showering and brushing my teeth. I put on mascara the other day for the first time in about 25 years and it scratched my cornea and caused a 48-hour sore eye.

I know most women put on mascara every single day and don’t have any problems like this, which is why I think that makeup and I are headed for a serious break-up. It just doesn’t have the respect for me that it once had. And I’m not getting much out of the relationship.

I’m blaming the whole mascara incident on CNN. Early in the morning, when I’m making coffee, I turn on Robin Meade and - oh for the love of god, if she doesn’t look like a runway model . . . what is she doing on The News? Shouldn’t she be flapping her wings on a Victoria’s Secret ad in Elle? Like it isn’t hard enough to be an average looking middle-aged woman, but first thing in the morning? It’s hard to look at the TV screen, knowing what I, myself, look like at that moment. Anyway, her eyes are stunningly dark and lash-filled. I’m not saying I went out and bought mascara because I wanted to look like Robin Meade, but I was at CVS anyway and saw a mascara on sale, and thought, “Every woman on the planet plus Adam Lambert is wearing mascara, what’s the matter with me?”

So I bought it and put it on. Within a couple of hours, I was experiencing the same eye pain that I used to have when I had hard contact lenses and wore them too long.

Sidebar: Remember hard contacts? If you wore them a few hours too long, you’d get these stabbing eye pains that the doctor called corneal abrasion but that I called an oh-my-god-it-hurts-with-my-eyes-closed-and-it-hurts-with-them-open. More than once I had to be taken to the eye doctor and treated for a scratched cornea because I either fell asleep in my contacts or didn’t wear them at all one day and then all day the next day.

Once, in college, my friend John and I drove to Indiana to visit his friend in Indianapolis and my sister Reenie in Bloomington and I wore my contacts too long on the drive back to Kent. Some time after he dropped me off at my house, John had to come back to pick me up and drive me to the ER, where they squeezed some salve into my eyes and taped two big gauze pads to both of my eyes. There was tape all over my face. I looked like Tom Cruise in
Minority Report and I felt like Johnny Depp in Once Upon a Time in Mexico. Without the blood dripping down.

Another time, I flew to Owensboro, Kentucky, for a job interview, over-wore my contacts and ended up spending the night between Day 1 of the interview and Day 2 of the interview clutching a pillow and rocking back and forth on the hotel bed, off and on talking with an ER nurse on the phone. Not surprisingly Day 2 didn’t go well and I didn’t get the job.

So yeah, the mascara made my eyes look different. It made my left one red, puffy and leaking tears for two days. Plus I had to wear my glasses, which don’t make me look smart, employed and well read, despite the LensCrafters poster promises.

So I’m back to no mascara. I could be a nun for all the makeup I don’t wear, the jewelry I don’t own, and the fact that I wear the same basic outfit pretty much all the time.

I would put my efforts into my lips and start using lip liner, but I read about this lady who used a tester lipstick in a department store and got a big old lip infection that she said was “throbbing.”

Robin Meade? Who needs her.

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