Her lipsticks are kept hidden in an old, faded case underneath the bathroom sink. Glittery pink for glamour, dark red for drama, peachy orange for dreaming; that’s when no one is looking. To the world at large, the message is different: creamy beige for church, soft pink for school meetings, and brownish red for tea with her friends. The smooth multicolored tubes remind her of the candy store next to her parents’ house in the small provincial town where she grew up. What did red candy mean in those days? When she was allowed to buy huge cherry lollipops that would turn her tongue the color of cranberries and tulips. She remembers running and playing in the snow, the frosty air turning her cheeks and the tip of her nose crimson; she was laughing back then. When did the magic of childhood wear off and wash away the many shades of joy and freedom? Did someone tell her one morning, “You are too old to live in this shiny and vibrant world; it’s time you embraced your dark and light grays, dull greens, and dated browns.”? She listened, fool that she was, she got trapped in the mirage of respectability and duty; she became addicted to the reflection of herself in other people’s eyes. The perfect wife, the caring mother, the attentive friend; and a few lipsticks to play with.
(to be continued)