Don’t Judge My Something, Please

I have no mascara. It’s a long complicated story that I don’t want to get into, but the last week I’ve been out in the world with bare eyelashes. Not since I was old enough to legally drive a car has this occurred. To you, this is no big deal. For me, well—I’m blogging about it, aren’t I?

When I was a teenager, my mother and I were shopping in a gift shop on Providence Road. As we were checking out, the clerk looked at my face and said, “Look at your beautiful eyelashes! That makes me want to run home right this minute and put on some mascara.” I wasn’t used to getting compliments, much less compliments from strangers—I would be in my early forties before anyone again used the adjective “beautiful” to describe any part of me.

I took the clerk’s assessment to heart. I had an asset. I needed to play it up. To paraphrase a friend, ever since that day I’d rather leave home without my panties than leave the house without mascara.

Yet, here I am, prancing around bare-lashed.

Do you know how tiny an eyelash is? All together, my lashes aren’t bigger than well-drawn hyphens. Insignificant doesn’t begin to describe it . . . to you.

There’s a lovely thing going around the internet about being nice to people because everyone you run into is going through something. The reminder is intended to build empathy, and that’s good: life is hard for me, life is hard for you. Let’s go easy on one another.

I’d take it one step further. Everyone is going through something AND you don’t get to judge their something. You haven’t a clue the background that produced their something. Even if they explain it to you, you will never experience the emotional wave of it. It may be too hard for them to talk about anyway. After all, not everyone is willing to tell the world they’re having a bad day because their mascara went rancid.

here’s to creative synthesis . . .

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