“I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.” Coco Chanel.
When I first read this quote, I laughed at the loftiness of it. Clearly Coco Chanel had not tromped through a playground with her children while carrying sticky sippy cups and smushed goldfish in her pockets.
Nevertheless, the quote stayed with me. For several mornings while my brushing my teeth I thought about it. Then I began to think of my Grandmother.
Helen Sophia Kelly had many great adventures throughout her lifetime. In 2002 she traveled with some of our family members to Galway, Ireland to attend my graduation ceremony.
They stayed at Jury’s Hotel, in the heart of the city. The elevator doors at Jury’s are mirrored. As we stood before them waiting for our car, Grandma whispered to me, “I forgot my eyebrows!”
I of course told the others to go on ahead and walked her back to her room. I was stunned by her comment. In the first place because at the time I had never thought much about my eyebrows, never mind penciling them. Second, I hadn’t noticed she was “missing” hers.
The more I think about it, Grandma always had her lipstick and her eyebrows in place. That was true even when she took my brothers and I on walks through the woods behind her house. For Grandma it was just a matter of politeness.
While I have scuffed over this notion of being properly turned out each and every day. I’m beginning to realize I missed the heart of the message. As I ponder Ms Chanel’s words, I believe her sentiments may already be at work in my own home.
Last year Santa left my daughters animal shaped nail brushes and glycerin soap in their stockings. I encourage the girls to scrub their nails daily. I tell my little women tattoos and chipped nail polish are too distracting for school days. What I should say, clean hands are a simple matter of politeness.
I should listen to Coco’s advice too. I may have goldfish in my pockets, but that doesn’t mean I can’t swipe a little neutral lip gloss across my mouth and toss on a modest pair of earrings before I make a dash out the door. After all, you never know what destiny may have in store for me today.
I am clearly not a beauty expert, but here is a tutorial from Maybeline for my Grandma’s Eyebrows.