The doorbell chimed. I opened the door to see double. Marylou and Marysue, the Sassy girls, arrived to help.
I should step back to explain…I couldn’t stop thinking about Mag’s red lips. The color haunted me. I found myself staring at red delicious apples while grocery shopping, slowed down to catch red lights, paused longer than safely at stop signs, and searched everywhere for red. It was an unnatural mini-obsession. I needed to consult a professional. I stalked the cosmetic counters at department stores, zeroing in on the reds. There were many to choose from, but none were chosen. The painted ladies behind the counters couldn’t satisfy my need. I sampled select hues on the inside of my wrist, making slashes of red against the pale underside. My wrists resembled the unstitched-up version of a patient’s suicide attempt. I selected more contestants that never matched my fantasy color.
The futile searches brought me to call sisters Marylou and Marysue. They were the local representatives for “Sassy,” a cosmetics company. Dressed identically, coiffed dramatically, and able to complete each other’s sentences. I invited them into the living room. It had been a while since I’d seen them and I prayed that they were up to the task. I demurely described my interest in “updating” my look. Marylou began to describe the latest technique for drawing a longer, darker eyeliner that would make me beautifully exotic. Maybe I should have been more direct with my needs. Twenty minutes later I stared back into a mirror to see Elizabeth Taylor minus her glamour, natural beauty, and violet-colored eyes.
I shyly asked about lipstick shades. Jackpot! Marysue opened another compartment to offer samples – Crimson Crush, Scarlett O’Hara, Radical Rose, Redvolution, Blush, Rust, Romantic, Fire Engine, Beet, Brick Cherry and Poppy. I lifted my head and looked at their smiling faces and said, “Which one?” Marylou started to wave her hands over the samples. Her eyes were closed and her long fingers danced lightly over each tube. She stopped finally at one, opened her eyes, gazed deeply into mine, touched another, lifted it,and then returned it to the compartment. Six samples later, Marysue slapped Marylou’s hand and grabbed one from the center of the samples. Marysue grabbed my chin, lifted it, made a quick swipe across my lips and ordered me to purse them. Marylou handed me a tissue to blot my lips. Marysue touched up the bow of my lips and smiled back at me. “Perfect,” she exclaimed. I took the mirror and gazed back at myself. Was it magic? I loved the color! I may have to order several tubes so that I can stash them in multiple places. I reached across and placed a big kiss on her cheek, leaving a beautiful outline of my sultry new vixen lips. Whew…I was exhausted.