Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Face Time

Dad and Paula
The other day, I called Paula, my dad's girlfriend (every 90 year old man should have at least one) to wish her a happy birthday.  Ladies of her generation would never reveal their age, unlike moi.  In the past week I've blurted out mine, repeatedly -- "I'm 54, bitches!"  I may not know Paula's exact age, but I sang to her anyway, in my best Ethel Merman style.  "Well, dear, I have to go put on my face," she said, and it was adios. How much do I love this expression?  So muchly, it's hard to quantify.  My mother said it daily.  She was very big on putting on her face.  She never appeared in public without makeup.  Never.  I rarely saw her without makeup, in fact, except in the early morning hours, when, according to her handbook, it was okay to go without lipstick, blush and eyeliner.  But once she headed out to the market or a meeting with like-minded liberals raising money for important political causes, she always looked incredibly put together. Of course, Paula is the same way: tres chic.  The gals who came of age when, dare I say it, Frank Sinatra was a teenager just know how to dress and impress, effortlessly.  I'll never forget when Paula casually mentioned that she'd once dated Frank Sinatra.  I won't deny it.  I was impressed.  "He was very rude," she told me.  "I didn't care for him at all."  The date took place in a restaurant.  Frankie wasn't pleased with the waiter and threw an ice bucket across the room.  The nerve!  How much do I love this story?  Muchly, I can assure you.  When it comes to putting on my punim, most days, I take under a minute.  Powder and lipstick and off I go, hoping I don't run into anyone I know.  It's an art form, to put on your face.  I'm better at taking mine off.