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Archive for October, 2009

My little ritual

My husband is due home most evenings around 5:30.  I try to pause in my dinner prep around 5:00.  Our home is typically nuts at that time but on a really good day the two older kids are playing outside and the baby is catching a quick catnap on my back.  I step into the bathroom just off the kitchen and take a quick glance in the mirror.   Since a hair “style” is still something I need to work on, the most I’ll do in that department is re-clip it or maybe run a brush through it.   Then I rummage in my purse and pull out a powder compact to touch up my makeup as necessary.  Then I always add a little lip color.  Lip gloss, tinted lipbalm, or lipstick depending on my mood.  I’m always amazed at the difference even a hint of lip color  will make.  Then to finish off this two-minute ritual I sometimes add just a tiny dab of fragrance.  Light enough that I’d hope only  my husband would notice.

Taking two minutes at the very craziest time of my day to do something completely unnecessary is a bit jarring–in a good way.  It is just far too easy, for me, to lose perspective in the sea of laundry and dishes and kid needs and tinker toys that surrounds me day after day.  I would love for my husband to come home every evening to a tidy house, happy children, dinner on the table, and a calm, relaxed, smiling wife.  I’m working on it but I’m not there yet.  All last year–a year made stressful by job loss and a new baby–I noticed my habit of greeting my husband each evening with the most harried look I could muster.  He would walk through the door and be assaulted by the mess, screaming toddlers, dinner in (at best) the early prep stage, and then see that look on my face.  And the worst part was that sometimes I would legitimately have a really bad day.  A day when the chaos was worse than usual and even less in my control.  The kind of day when you ask your husband to pick up pizza on the way home.  But my husband could not distinguish these legitimate bad days from most of the other days.  After several months of this happening a few times a week (or more) it occurred to me the one easiest thing for me to change about the evening scenario was my face.

While any makeup I’m wearing is superficial and definitely not the most important feature of my face I have found that taking a minute to look at myself in the mirror, and freshening my appearance a bit grounds me.  It reminds me that my husband wants to see my face when he comes home.  It reminds me of our courting days when I would take so much care about every detail of everything to please the man I loved.  And, honestly, I smile more when I’m wearing lipstick. We seldom have the same evening scenario we had last year.  The kids are usually happy–even if they aren’t outside.  Dinner is usually close to on-time.  And while my husband would probably love to come home to a clean house everyday I’m pretty sure it’s not the most important thing for him.  Most days now I greet him with a smile.

I have no idea, really, if my husband notices  my lipstick or powdered nose but I wouldn’t care if he went our whole marriage completely oblivious to my little evening ritual because I don’t do it for him.  I do it for me.

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