Thursday, April 8, 2010

Subway Makeup Lady

This doesn't have much, if anything, to do with writing, but I saw something normal on the subway this morning and it both fascinated and bothered me. A lady in her late forties putting on her makeup. Again, completely normal. Happens every day. But I don't think it should.

What is it, Subway Makeup Lady? Am I not worth looking pretty for? Why do I have to see you before you've spackled on your "good" face? If it's not for me and the dozens of judgmental ogling strangers on the subway, just who exactly is it for? Jon, the 19-year-old who punches in your double double? Ed, the pudgy accounts guy who leers at you from his cubicle? Hank, the pervy manager who keeps promoting the hotter chicks over you?

And the thing is, and after all my complaining, you look almost exactly the same now that you've been sponged and lined and painted. Your eyelashes are a bit darker and there's a new creamy line separating your face from your neck, but that's it. You were fine all on your own, SML. You needn't have invested the time and surrendered your privacy to creeps like me. Yeah, I watched you. I couldn't help it. I also watched you glaring up at the young women who stood over you, hanging on to the rancid poles for dear life. You looked so desperate to be there again, to be in that smooth, unpuckered skin. But their subway ride is just as bumpy as yours, SML. They may be young and pretty, CoverGirls without all of your cover. But you SML, at least you know where you're going.

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