A few Saturdays ago, I got invited to my favorite coffee house for breakfast with a friend. I had not planned on venturing out anywhere that day other than a sweet little organic farm to collect my weekly produce share. Vegetables don't care whether or not you are wearing makeup or have your hair fixed. Hoping not to see anybody who cared more than vegetables, I put on a bra, brushed my teeth, donned a baseball cap and headed to breakfast.
Upon walking into the coffee house, I ran into another friend. We greeted each other with hugs and then she held me at arm's length and said, "Are you feeling bad?" UUUUUGGGGHHHH! I laughed and said, "No, I'm just not wearing any makeup, to which she replied, "No, that's not it. You look like you aren't feeling well."
HOLY FREAKING COW!
Now, mind you, this is a nice person. She really does have my best interest at heart. But I don't know. Maybe SHE had not had enough coffee. That had to be it, because I was feeling great! I had the weekend off and I was hanging out on Saturday morning with my girl. I was on top of the world!
Suddenly, I felt the urge to run to the bathroom and check myself in the mirror. I looked and it was just as I had suspected: little old me without makeup. I guess I do a better job than I realize at making myself look active and attractive on work days. This fact made me want to run home and apply the "war paint," because as far as I'm concerned, them's fightin' words!
DISCLOSURE: I hadn't seen the offending friend in a while and my first thought when I walked in and laid eyes on her was, "Girl, you have put on a few pounds!" But you'll notice how I didn't SAY that. I was raised better. Whose mother hasn't uttered these words at least once, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." I didn't, so I didn't. And honestly, I was really happy to see her, extra poundage and all. :D
Seriously, she is a very nice person who usually goes out of her way to be polite and appropriate. So, of course, I'm getting paranoid now. I did bring my sunglasses and I felt the need to keep them on inside the coffee shop because my tiny little eyes with itty bitty lashes are what give me away- EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I kept berating myself for not taking a few minutes to at least have put on some eyeliner and mascara. Or to have worn my black framed glasses that camouflage my eyes instead of my contact lenses. But there I was, so I adjusted my attitude and enjoyed my breakfast. Whatcha gonna do?
The whole affair got me thinking about exactly that. Whatcha gonna do? First, let's look at my well-meaning friend's original statement. DON'T. JUST DON'T. There it is. Concern without tact can be misinterpreted as rudeness and AGAIN I know she meant well, but come on! I'd like to say that I got over it and moved on, but here I am writing today, so I guess I didn't, huh? It reminds me of a fire prevention poster from my childhood:
Just think. Stop for a second and think about what you are about to say. If the person is in imminent danger, has a booger flapping in their nose, has their pants unzipped, by all means, risk it and say something! If it's just your opinion and they might have missed the mark on personal grooming today, let it go. Hug them, tell them you love them and are happy to see them, pray for them silently, whatever, AND GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE.
Second, and vastly more important, GET OVER IT! Figure out why it bothers you so much and adjust yourself. Is it something you can change so that this scenario doesn't play out again? Then change it. If not, change your attitude about it. In this case, I decided three things: 1) I will try my hardest to look good in public and not let the fans down, 2) but when I do get caught unmasked, I will simply smile a little harder, laugh a little more and hug a little longer and maybe-just maybe they won't notice my unadorned face or mistake it for illness. 3) I have made an appointment to have permanent eyeliner applied to lessen the likelihood of history repeating itself. If you think I am kidding, I'm not! I like to put people at ease and keep them from being embarrassed. It's the least I can do and it might make us all a little happier. Call me crazy, but if it spreads happiness, it keeps my people healthy! Mission accomplished.
Go forth and do good works.