The fake eyelash is something that many women have a chance to get to know throughout their lives. Some of us loathe them. Some of us love them. Some of us manage to avoid them. My girl has set herself on a path where a pair of fake eyelashes or two may someday come into play. Whether it’s lucky or not, her mother has had an opportunity or 20 to wander a day sporting those long lashes.
So as she asked I reached into the silver train case that over the years has become home to my various cosmetic accouterments. She waited patiently as I pulled out the false lashes on their special holder, my lash curler and then a tube of lengthening mascara that I rarely use and explained to her the lash “longification” processes.
I expected them to be viewed as implements of torture but they were received with curiosity tinted by trepidation. At her request I applied one and batted my mismatched lashes at her. Through a peal of giggles, my own, I heard her loud protest that it was horrible and reached to pull off the lashes. Before I could strip them off she stayed my hand and asked instead that I put lashes on the other eye as well. And so I did and as I did I began the the talk that I heard so often as a child and that I hope mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, caregivers, teachers, coaches and female role models all the way around give to kids. No. Not just them. Fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers and male role models too. That people are beautiful for who they are. Special by their very nature and beauty is in the eye of the be-holder. But that yes it is fun to get dressed up and sparkle from time to time. And with that and a few tickling swipes of my luxurious lashes they were unceremoniously removed and placed back into their case for a far off time when I may need them and we were left to think.
And what began as silly talk about long lashes became a few simple words on the symmetry (or lack there of) of the human face. It expanded to thoughts on the human form.
Later, alone with my thoughts I ruminated on the lack of balance inherent in human nature. Not just in our thoughts and desires but in the world today. And to the lip service given to balance – to symmetry – to equality – when what we really want is just to be happy.