No Waterproof Mascara Here

The extent of my love for Doctor Who is large, very large. I suppose it is somewhat more accurate to say my love of Doctor Who is great and my fan-girl love of former Doctor Who David Tennant is even greater. My husband knows of this and isn’t terribly worried. After all, I’m a middle-aged lady in the US…how likely is David Tennant to even notice my existence, much less leave his fantastically adorable brand-new wife…for moi? Slimmer than my thighs, that’s for sure. And besides, Mister Soandso has his own thing going for the ladies of Who, starting with Billie Piper. I can’t blame him, but what in the name of all things Maybelline were they thinking with that mascara?

Say it with me people, caked-on waterproof mascara is so not right. Make-up is supposed to enhance what you already have, not create something you don’t. And besides, who really thinks eyelashes that could be mistaken for a wooly mammoth look attractive? No one that I know. If you hadn’t noticed, without proper attention to detail, waterproof mascara can truly get out of hand. Being as I’m not the most attentive girl on the planet, it’s no big surprise to hear I eschew the “waterproof” and simply go for the “mascara” on the days I even bother with such things.

But also, there’s something to be said for the risk of black goo running down one’s face. It’s honest and vulnerable and real. It captures in stark relief the evidence of emotions and motivations. It is a testament to being alive. Or something. And that makes it pretty awesome in my book. Because every time my mascara goes sliding towards my chin, I am reminded of how far I have come.

For there was a time that very little in this world could make me cry.

Whether times of great celebration or times of great loss, I rarely lost control of my emotions. Instead, they would lie dormant, festering almost, until they overwhelmed me in waves far more powerful than what my dear Pacific Ocean can rustle up during a winter storm. Oh sure, I cried. But not as much as my emotional health may have needed. And when I say I “cried” I should probably amend that to “felt”. I was a champion toe stuffer. All those emotions were just stuffed way down deep in my toes where I could keep them out of sight and keep me safe. It was safe to laugh, to crack jokes, or be a socially acceptable amount of sad. But that’s all.

And then, something odd happened. I got better.

It started went I left home and lived in the United Kingdom. I was far from home and frankly, I didn’t give a f*ck who saw me cry. If I got mad, I let it out. If I was over the moon happy, everybody could tell. And so on. It was the most emotionally liberating year of my life. And while I couldn’t sustain it when I returned home, the truth is that once the dam is cracked, it is only a matter of time.

Fast forward many years and I became a mother. It was as if that placenta pulled from my body some emotional stopper as three things were birthed: my son, that placenta, and another aspect of myself.

Now I cry over all kinds of things. My kids giving me sweet hugs at the end of the day, too-skinny dogs in shelters, old people holding hands. Happy, sad, it makes no matter. My dam has broken.

  • Yesterday Mister Soandso showed me this video of Mason University. Totally teared up. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps because I was a marching band geek. Or a basketball player. Or a teacher that loved the profession so much I couldn’t hide it. Or because I think the youthful are amazing. Probably a bit of all those reasons and more.
  • And this story of a big brother, a little brother, and a father who will surely lose his sons’ love unless he becomes more deserving of it. It takes so much bravery to stick up for someone. It takes even more bravery to be who you really are.
  • Happy news for a friend.
  • Terribly sad news for another.
  • When a writer’s dreams come true. A writer to watch for is Kerry Schafer. It will be so wonderful to watch her along this writer’s journey.
  • A child’s smile.
  • Listening to my Littlest read to me. From a chapter book.

So many things in a heart perhaps too full to hold them all. These days I don’t just get verklempt, I cry.

And so, each time my mascara runs, I leave it for a bit. Reminding myself that tear stains are evidence of an overly full heart.

3 thoughts on “No Waterproof Mascara Here

  1. Okay, I admit I thought before that washed down mascara was not a good thing, a thing indicating an utter failure of … of… Gee, I don’t know what. That was then. This is no longer then.

    I can definitely relate to the whole coming to terms with emotions thing. Of course, being a manly-man *chokes on coffee* I still prefer to not cry in public. That said, and my manly-man-ness upheld, I have spent a lot of time and a lot of money learning to identify the causes of some of my stronger emotions, and yes somewhat how to be ok with having them.

    But here’s the real point (see I do have one occasionally) I certainly could not have put it as eloquently as you have here, nor probably with as much bare-assed honesty.

    Thanks much for sharing this with us, it’s good to know you’re getting better Kiddo. I’m Proud of you.


    ps – Yes, that Kerry, she is one to keep an eye on, i’nt she?

  2. You made a believer out of me. I’ll be replacing the waterproof mascara—after I safely navigate the current crises.

    Is that cheating?

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