A Hint

Long time readers might remember my childhood obsession with Heloise (as in Hints From). I’m still not over it because there’s one unresolved issue that is still bothering me.

I might have been around 12 years old when I read this and I couldn’t wait to tell my mother about it. Her usual clam and patient response was to just wait it out until I got over whatever was my breaking news of the moment. But this time, I never got over it.

I’m recalling this letter to Heloise from memory, but believe me I’ve memorized every word and rehashed it for decades. This is it in its entirety:

Dear Heloise, This hint is for ladies only. If you put on a light coat of fresh lipstick before you go to bed, you will be pleasantly surprised in the morning.

I can’t remember the name of the person who submitted it but they were probably in Arizona. Sandy from Sedona. Mary from Mesa. Terry from Tempe. I don’t know. Heloise published a disproportionate amount of hints from Arizona, where she herself lived. (p.s. all of the hints were for ladies only)

Anyway, this time my passion for action did not wane. I tried and tried to get my mother to do it but she was not interested in getting a surprise in the morning. At that time, our family was just climbing out of the crushing poverty of my early childhood so now that I looked back on it, I’m fairly certain that the last thing she could want was to wake up to another surprise. As the 8th child of a coalminer’s widow with 5 out of 6 of her brothers also working down in the mines, she must have had a lifetime of surprises most of which were unwanted. So, I took action myself.

One night, I helped myself to one of her wee little Avon lipstick samples and put a pretty good coating on myself and then went to bed, waiting for my surprise in the morning. When morning came, there was no evidence of surprise in my bedroom so I rushed into the bathroom to look there. When I looked into the mirror, I saw …….. nothing.

There was no surprise. It was just me with my fright wig hairdo looking back. Later – maybe years later – my mother explained to me that the surprise was probably a faint remaking tint to the lip and the lady would feel confident that her beauty was enhanced by a cosmetic from Minute One without any additional effort during her busy morning.

I suppose it didn’t work for 12 year old me because my mother’s Avon lipstick samples were in the pink and pale rose family and obviously Terry from Tempe was the Ripe Cherry Red type. I’m still mad at Sandy from Sedona for writing this and I’m especially mad at Heloise for publishing unverified hints. Didn’t she have a test lab? Was she just filling column inches with any crap that happened into her mailbox?

Addendum: Come to think of it, I had another bad experience with one of her hints. So in conclusion: what a crock of shit. To this very day, I remain disappointed.

Vintage Avon Lipstick samples

In Which the Complaining Starts

So much to complain about. On a hyperlocal level, let me go on the record to say that mothers of small children annoy me very much.

I was rolling through the supermarket on a search for vegan face wash (not kidding) and a mother was pushing her 5-6 year old around in one of those car/steering wheel shopping carts. The kid was big and pretty crammed in there and he was totally engrossed in his video game as Mother shopped. Mother asked him to choose between two brands of the same product on a shelf. Without looking up, the kid let go of the video game with one hand, pointed to the shelf and returned his hand to the game box.

Mother was so pleased with his selection that she complimented him by singing out “GOOD JOB” in that high note/low note style so popular with complimentary mothers today. The child ignored her. If that lyric had musical accompaniment, it would look like this:

disclaimer: I am not musical in any way, shape or form.

Also, who came up with the idea of calling small children “littles”? I find that highly annoying. In the south, they make it even worse by referring to their “sweet littles”. Stop it, Mothers.

I am not all doom and gloom, though. Not entirely. To end things here today on a positive note, I’d like to tell you that I have finally located the perfect nude nail polish for me. After many false starts, dashed hopes and wasted money, say hello to the Sally Hanson Color Therapy color “Re-nude.” I thought it was perfect but after years of color-selection failure, I began to doubt myself.

But then, I went out into the open air to mingle with the GenPop. I was standing at a clip-board, signing in as one must these days, and the person watching me do it literally choked out “wait … what?” and then said “Oh! What a great nail color. It’s like it’s there and it’s not there.”

And that is how I know this is the perfect nude nail polish.

hello, perfection!