21 November 2011

The French are Always Right

This morning I was feeling sniveley. It’s a grey November Monday and I would have preferred not to get dressed. And when I did put on clothes, I made the mistake of wearing sweatpants (not exactly the Rocky Balboa kind, but close). Don’t know why I was feeling so drab. Maybe it’s because my eyelashes are thinning and I’m feeling like less of a girl. Still, it’s temporary – hardly grave enough to warrant dressing like a boxer, even if he was Heavyweight Champion of the World.

My nurse warned us patients against letting ourselves go. They urge us put a little care into how we dress.  On dark days, especially, it’s best not to give into the gloomy moods that might come our way. Nothing brings a girl round like a stylish sweater, and a smear of bright lipstick!

It’s good advice actually. French girls do it all the time. Even for days like today, when one’s main activity is to drag a basset hound down the street, and do taxes, it doesn’t hurt to add a bit of colour.

But this morning I didn’t feel like it. Today I grabbed the heap of hair from the dresser and slapped it on. Then the largest toque in my hat collection and pulled it down low like bored rapper. I put on a fleece that wasn’t supposed to be fluffy, it was just covered in fur. Then on the way out the door, with one last reluctant swipe, I added a bit of colour to my lips.

Following Jed down the sidewalk I had to pass by my neighbor, a tall man who was holding his toddler. I moved to the edge of the sidewalk, and attempted to walk by. The toddler, who was at my eye level, said something in gibberish as I passed and I gave a halfhearted wave in return.

As I kept walking and in the background I heard a little voice say, “Nice lady”.
It took a second to realize that he was talking about me. And that he correctly assumed my gender!  Feeling the gloom lifting we trotted off merrily to Queen St, feeling that no matter what, I’m still a girl, and you should never underestimate the power of lipstick.


  1. And what a girl! oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  2. I had a great Aunt who, at 107 and in a nursing home, put red lipstick on each and every day. She said it made her "look smart". And she was right.