Now this topic is something that only a woman can sympathize with. Men are rarely concerned about getting caught out in public by someone they know only if they are engaged in something that constitutes an affair. Well most women will tell you that just when you think it is safe to run to the store with out make up or looking just a little haggard you will most surely get caught. I must say that I have experienced just about every possible indignation in that sense. You are painting the bedroom. You were sure that you purchased enough paint but as you nearly finish you are just short of completing one wall. You want to finish today so you may move the furniture back in the room. You have been painting with a bandanna tied around your head because you tend to be one of the world’s messiest painters. O.K. you decide you will run into town and buy just enough paint to finish this room. It is 2:00 in the afternoon. You haven’t put on any makeup today because you are doing home improvement. You have worn a kerchief on your hair all day. You decide to throw caution to the wind and pull off that babushka and run into town Au’ natural’. You have a plan of action. You will go to the Wal-Mart straight back to the paint dept. You will not look at anyone for fear of making eye contact with someone you know. If they should ask how long you had been sick you will have to explain that without foundation and mascara you tend to look rather anemic. You have the paint chip in hand, they can mix the paint while you “hide” in the next aisle hoping the paint shaker doesn’t decide to break down.
You then proceed to the express aisle where you scan your own purchase and thus eliminate virtually nearly all human contact. As you exit the express aisle who runs into you with their cart….none other than your high school homecoming queen. You know the one…the first person in your community to think Botox Cosmetic was something everyone should have just like a blender. She is wearing spandex and a crop top and you can tell from her flat tummy that she has every ab enhancer that has been advertised after midnight. She looks at you in all your unfeathered glory. Oh my God! She recognizes me! She speaks. You smile…at least you brushed your teeth this morning. She is scanning your overall impression. You watch to see if she is beginning to gag. O.K. she is not to the hurling stage…that’s good. She then asks “What have you been up to….” You hear the inflection that someone gets in their voice when they are being condescending. A self-visual picture flashes before my eyes…I am wearing paint speckled sweat pants with my hair plastered to my head…no make up with dark circles under my eyes so I look like a malnourished child from a third world country. There is no foundation garment in the world that is going to save you know….every brownie you have ever eaten is screaming hysterically. Somewhere in the vast space of creativity the artist in you takes over and you speak…. almost channeling in a third person….”oh well, I have been so busy with my art commissions…I'm doing a vast mural in a home…had to have just a little more foundation paint to finish up.
Thank goodness I wasn’t doing a ceiling like Michelangelo!” You stand there looking like a derelict and not believing what you have just said. She looks aghast and says…”Well it was great seeing you” and she literally runs out of the store. You get your gallon of “ecru linen” and walk to the car. On the way home you wonder what she is thinking. Does she really believe you to be an artist? Does she have visions of you painting a great panoramic mural-scape in some lavish home? Or does she realize that instead of painting your porcelain you are instead painting your bedroom because household chores speak the loudest. Oh well, if nothing else, she believes you to be completely eccentric. Then she has to believe you are an artist. Forgoing worldly pleasures for the sake of your art. All I wanted to do was paint the bedroom and from this I have been relinquished to the community gossip caverns as being an oddity. I guess that is how it goes. In the realms of Hollywood as they say….”no matter what they say about you…at least they are talking ABOUT you”.
The smell of fresh paint down on the farm in Indiana
(c) 2013 Ellen Wilson-Pruitt