Sunday, December 5, 2010


When AA puts on her lipstick after eating, I have to stop whatever I'm doing and watch because it's a drama to behold.  I can imagine it as an opera with orchestral music swelling in the background.  Think Verdi's La Traviata with crimson-lipped Maria Callas singing Sempre Libera.  There's the whipping out of various lipstick-applying paraphernalia: the compact mirror, pencils for outlining before and after, and her favorite bright red lipstick.  Then the operation itself: outlining the upper lip from center to sides, followed by outlining the bottom lip...... unscrewing the lipstick cartridge and delicately painting top and bottom lips, painting up to but not over the outlines.....  smooshing lips together for even distribution of paint, consulting the mirror with every step......  then re-outlining top and bottom lips to correct any slippage..... final inspection...... and storing paraphernalia back in the purse.  At which point I can start breathing again.  It's performance art.  She should charge fees for watching.  Wait, what am I saying?

During our travels through Tuscany some years back, I took numerous photographs of AA applying lipstick after each meal.  Unfortunately I've lost them all.  I will start over again, beginning with this one of AA outlining her upper lip.

Some women keep both lips together and simply smear the tip of their lipstick between their lips.  I've never seen it done that way until this morning when Margo put on her lipstick while driving.  Pretty efficient, I must say.  It will keep the tip of your lipstick pointy too.  I'll have to try it myself.  If I remember.

When I was a teenager my mother told me that I should not wear lipstick because my lips were so big.  I believed her, never questioning why it was that she could wear lipstick when her lips were as big as mine.  Guess she was trying to save me from myself.


Look, mama, I am cheap
You say my lips are too big

for lipstick.  You’re right,
my teeth laugh in the wind.

You never laughed but once,
quickly turning your back.

Horses with braided tails
fly into the field for dreams

of water.  Women
with braided hearts

wash their prayers
as they wash themselves, but I

crave dirt,
dark and moist like an open

mouth, like I know you do too,


  1. Elsha, I read all of your posts in this new blog of yours and was so impressed I posted a link to it in my Dec 10 blog entry.

    As for lipstick, I stopped using it after getting Bell's Palsy, which has paralyzed part of my face and affects my smile. But, I don't really miss painting my lips or using makeup.

  2. Thank you for your interest and enthusiasm, Gigi! It gave me a chance to read your blog too. You are a remarkable photo diarist. What's more, you're consistent. You keep up the pace. That's something admirable!

  3. O Elsha, what an observer of life you are! Your true artist's eye inspires, teaches me to see and appreciate more actively.

    Keep doing all you so beautifully do!
    Love, Rea