Day 10

Q: What is a Sacrament?                                                                                                           Answer: A Sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.

#708 of Revlon’s Moon Drops Lipstick Collection, is called Apple Polish.  It is my signature color.  I have worn it for decades.  Previously, I was able to find it at nearly any retailer who offered cosmetics under the Revlon Brand – drug stores, some grocery stores, discount chains.  In the last five years or so, Walgreen’s has been my only source for replenishing my supply.  Alas, no more.  #708 is no longer readily available.  The plastic casing for Moon Drops has been downsized, and Apple Polish got the hook.

I wore my mother’s Moon Drops shade, Persian Melon, when I needed to wear lipstick for tap dancing recitals and school pageants.  But in eighth grade I found my first personal shade, Helene Bishop’s Pompeii Pink.  It was a one-hit wonder (literally – but another story).    In ninth grade, I found Bamboo Frost – that was a keeper for 3 years.  No lipstick was hot in my college years.  Mauve-y was the color I wore when Rick and I were married, but then it was back to naked lips until our infant daughter had open heart surgery in 1983.  Desperate to feel like I had control of something – or at least wanting to appear that I had control of my outward self, I decided lipstick would help.  Perhaps it would do for me what Persian Melon did for my mother back in the day.

~

I was eleven when I  fell out of the tree-house we kids built in the back yard.  When I fell, I hooked my leg on an errant nail and ripped a 4-inch gash thru the flesh.  Bleeding, I hobbled in to the house – terrified I was dying. My mother calmly got up from what she was doing, handed me a towel, and said something to the live-in help that she would be leaving.  She went into the bathroom and began putting on her lipstick. “What are you doing?” I cried.  “I’m dying!!”   She didn’t reply.  No compassion – no comfort, just the undecipherable smile.  She finished her ministrations and drove me to the emergency room.  Fourteen stitches patched me up; I didn’t die.

Persian Melon appeared to help my mother pull it together – whether by virtue of the pause that allowed her to collect herself or by the magic of what it represented to her and the world. The times I remember my mother not holding it together, she wasn’t wearing lipstick.  I know this because many times I was the one who held it together for her.

When Rae had her surgery, I most assuredly needed something to help me hold it together – but it wouldn’t be enough to just look good – I would need something more – something deeper.  Perhaps Apple Polish could say to the world, ‘here is a calm, together woman who can manage the fear and apprehension of what is happening to her child with grace and compassion.  Here is a woman who can pull it together, and hold it together, for herself and for her family even in the face of death.’  Apple Polish would become a sacrament:  a plea for grace, trusting grace would come; and that it would be enough.

And so, Apple Polish allowed me to project presence, elegance, and gravitas outwardly, while giving my inner self a chance to catch up and be present to all concerned and for all that unfolded.  It became my ‘Jackie Kennedy’ in a tube.

~

A quick search of the web offers me 24 Moon Drops shades at Revlon.com – but no Apple PolishPersian Melon, my mother’s signature color, remains available, however.  Persian Melon is the matte version of my frosty Apple Polish.  But I cannot replace mine with hers.  To the uninitiated, these colors appear similar, but they are quite different.  To me Persian Melon represents an impenetrable inner state; and Apple Polish represents a state of graced presence.

At this writing, I have three tubes of Apple Polish in varying stages of use – as well as one unopened tube.  I’ve probably used a total of three tubes in the last 30 years – so at my current rate of usage, I’m probably good until 2042.   And I plan to wear it to Rae’s wedding next year.

*Muah*

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About Cherylann

I live a patch-work quilt of a life filled with Family, fiber, flowers, birds, books, psychology, spirituality. Not so much with: cooking (I can do it, I don't like it), gardening (overwaterer, underwaterer: everything eventually dies) :)
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