Facemasks and Beauty and Stuff

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I spent Monday (and why this didn’t go up Monday is a story in and of itself) trying to drown out the constant noise of the world in an attempt to make some headway with the SSAP. When the building work at the centre became too apparent I migrated to the library which had become a workspace for some chatty groups of people. Monday was a loud day, an alive day and a burning day, a day for active working, and not getting down to serious writing. So, I surrendered to the will of the world, and I went to the coffee-house, and I read while taking in the delights of an oreo-milkshake and I contemplated lots of interesting things. There was a young man at the counter who couldn’t keep his eyes off a particularly beautiful woman sitting at the table nearest him; meanwhile, she was talking on the phone oblivious to his presence. As I passed to head outside again, I heard her gossiping about another girl in a rather inpolite manner, and I wondered if whether the subject matter of her conversation would alter the young-man’s perception of her outer form. Beauty is such a weird idea.

Later I went to my colleague’s home for some good old fashioned girly fun; we ate good food, and we talked fun talk, and we applied face-masks. It looked a little something like this:

And then we removed the substances to reveal soft squishy skin underneath, and this process what a bit like cleaning hardened whipped cream. Afterwards there was more fun conversation, and some serious conversation, and then they applied make-up in an attempt to not make me look as poorly visaged as I often do. That looked like this:

The ‘unveiling’ was strange and overwhelming because I didn’t look like me. When I look in the mirror sometimes I greet a person who has surrendered to the dumpish plainness of her exterior, who does the best with what she’s got, but doesn’t hope beyond her means. And I don’t admit that for the sake of pity, because in my eyes I do not see myself as beautiful; I am as I am, and that’s alright. What the ladies did was sensational. They darkened my eyes and reddened my lips, and praised me with compliments I didn’t deserve. They pushed confidence into me with their kindness, assuring me that I could do this myself if I wanted to, and I was grateful. Later, when I looked at the pictures, I still couldn’t really see what they had, but that’s another weird thing about beauty – true to cliche it really is in the ‘eye of the beholder’. I suppose I’m lucky in that many people who know me seem to see this quality to my appearance I have yet to uncover; I’m grateful, but I think that results partly from the friendships we share. Real studies show that our interactions and relations with those around us influence how attractive they are to us.

If that guy at the counter had heard the way his object of attention spoke of another person perhaps her glow would have diminished in his eyes. Maybe; I don’t suppose I’ll ever find out.

In any case, I’m so blessed to have people in my life who care enough about how I feel inside to do these things for me, and their kindnesses mean more to me than if I was voted the most beautiful woman on Earth. I’d rather be remembered for the actions I take, than for the structure of my face.

In other news, the SSAP is off to a good start, and I’ve just had an offer to be involved with another project. Hazaa! My parents made their first offcial appearence in Switzerland this week after a considerable drive. They boarded the ferry at Dover, and road tripped through France and Germany to finally arrive two days later in Basil. Their apartment overlooks a lake; their surroundings are peaceful and serene, and my hope is this becomes the state of their minds also. For the next few months my Mother will be back and forth in an effort to secure the future of our cats and to sell the bungalow in Wales, but Christmas is still up in the air. Work gets busier and we’re less than a month to the ‘big day’. Shoppers are getting that pre-noel craze where to buy anything is better than nothing. I do not like this craze, but on I work.

And I write, because that’s essential as well. Happy Saturday.

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