An Ode to Mascara

We finally met when I was 15, and you made me feel pretty.  I had watched you from afar for so long, but it was forbidden.  You were a fascination, but once I was old enough, it was as good as I thought it would be…

I was self-conscious, and shy, and awkward.  My physical infirmities made me feel ugly, but you gave me confidence.  It is true, what they say – you took my natural self and enhanced it.  And for the first time, I believed I might be pretty.

Strangers told me I had beautiful eyes, and you helped me call attention to something besides what made me feel unattractive and unlovable.  You were more than a $5 tube of black ink from the drug store.

We’ve had a lot of good years together, but lately, your wand has become too heavy for my weakened arms to raise to my eyes.  My fingers struggle to hold you at the proper angle, and I’ve suffered from eye-poke syndrome and raccoon-eyes in increasing failed attempts to sweep my lashes into graceful doe eyes.

I’ve fought to give you up.  I’ve tried going without, but I feel inadequate again without you.  I’ve tried letting others help us, but the eye-poking continues and much as I love you, I also love my eye-sight.  And, as with most love triangles, this one can’t continue.

So we are at an impasse.  My hand has been forced.  I choose my eye sight, and I have to let you go…

For a while, I mourn the loss of you, and more-so, I mourn what the loss of you represents.  It frightens me, and saddens me, but as I surrender, an amazing thing happens…I find a new love.  I went on a blind date with eyelash extensions…and once again, I feel the attention move to my eyes instead.

I know what you might be thinking – this is a superficial relationship, and it is.  But there is something deeper there, too.  And now, there is loss that am forced to see as I look in the mirror each morning.  But dangit.  I’ll be darned if the broken reflection that stares back doesn’t have doe-eyes…

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Mindy Henderson

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