Accidentally Made Up


Judy Anne was known to spend a good deal of the first part of her morning “putting on her face.” I wasn’t as perfection-oriented as she was and Steve had seen me at my worst already, so my minimum application of make-up in the morning must have suited him by now. Before I left for any shopping trips later in the day, I usually checked my face and reapplied my lipstick. I didn’t want to be caught out without my signature lips.  Judy Anne’s southern upbringing required her to look her best even in the worst of times.

I knew this because of the accident. I was on my way back from class and noticed a familiar looking car blocking the entrance to the community. Another car was parked off to the side and it was smoking. When I looked into the first car, I saw Judy Anne. Her blonde hair was slightly askew and she had a shocked look on her face. I drove around the cars to the far side of the entrance and parked where no one would hit my car as they came toward the intersection. I jumped out and ran over to the window of Judy Anne’s car. She was a little dazed and had a small cut above her eye. A thin trail of blood was rising out of it. Judy Anne looked up and recognized me and asked me what happened. I clearly only knew that there had been an accident and it looked like she had been hit by the other car as she started to enter our community. There were a couple of metal parts on the street  but I couldn’t tell where they came from. I asked Judy Anne if she was all right and she seemed a little cloudy about the answer. I asked her if she had hit her head and she reached up to feel her forehead, which ended up leaving some blood on her hand. She screamed when she saw the blood and I tried to calm her down. Judy Anne seemed to return to her usual self suddenly and asked me if her face was messed up. I told her that her face looked fine except for the scratch on her head. She shook her head in a frustrated manner and asked the same question so that I would understand it. Judy Anne wanted to know if her make-up was in a disarray. She seemed perfectly passable for someone who had just been in a car accident so I told her she looked fine. She gasped a little and turned toward the side mirror and wrenched it toward her so she could see for herself. Judy Anne told me that I needed to get her home immediately.

By this time, a policeman had come to the scene and was talking to the other driver. He finally came over to Judy Anne’s car and asked to see her license. Judy Anne politely asked the officer his name and then asked him if I could take her home. Judy Anne’s house was just a few blocks into Monterey Park. The officer asked her if she was feeling sick and she told him that she just had to get home immediately. She pulled her license from her wallet and handed it over. The policeman wrote down some information and asked Judy Anne if she would like the car towed to a mechanic. She gave him Stubb’s phone number at work and she graciously told the officer to call her husband to find out. I will admit that anyone else who made these kinds of demands might find that a police officer might tell them to take care of it themselves, but there is something about Judy Anne’s ability to increase her southern charm and accent when necessary. Judy Anne opened the car door, took my arm and walked toward my car. Under her breath, I heard her tell me, “Home, now.” So, we left the scene of the accident with Judy Anne’s car partially blocking the intersection and the other driver just scratching his head.

When we arrived at Judy Anne’s, she jumped out and ran into the house, with me several steps in back of her. She clearly had not hurt herself too badly. I walked into the house through the front door that she had left open for me but couldn’t find Judy Anne. I checked the kitchen thinking that maybe she had needed a drink; I checked the hall bath and didn’t see her. My stress level increased as I realized that she must have headed right for her bed to lie down. Maybe she was really hurt. As I got to her bedroom I realized what the problem was. Judy Anne was sitting at her three-sided mirror vanity examining the cut on her forehead. She was already wiping some liquid on it and patting it with make-up to cover it up. The only thing that was damaged in the accident was Judy Anne’s make-up. She was determined that no one was going to see her face when it wasn’t at its best.

Strangely, I knew that it wasn’t vanity that made Judy Anne feel this way. It was her upbringing. I knew that Judy Anne’s southern momma had taught her this rule. Judy Anne was not about to break hundreds of years of tradition for just a little car accident. While I waited at the bedroom door, I heard the front door of the house open and Stubbs call out for Judy Anne. I called back in return and he quickly sidestepped me and went directly to her. He knelt next to her and gently asked her if she was all right. Judy Anne told Stubbs that she had a small boo-boo on her head, but other than that, she was just fine. He kissed her cheek and gently steered her toward the bed to lie down. I said my good-byes and Stubbs thanked me for bringing Judy Anne home. As I left, he was sitting on the side of the bed, patting her hand and asking her what she needed. Judy Anne was in good hands.

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