Face(s)

nope-stillpained
me at the ranch closeup

My sister visited me this week as she brought her son down from northern Idaho to attend BYU. I was sitting here in my handed-down cream leather chair with my foot elevated on to the adjacent sofa watching my sister just a couple of feet away from me and seeing my mom.

We both are very much Rex women, but my sister also looks like my mom. And never before as much as she does now.

I once mentioned how my mom’s lips disappeared when she is unhappy with you. My friend told me my lips disappear when I smile. Which makes me sad, really. Because I want my smile to be open and welcoming, not disapproving. And I want to my smiles to be way more abundant than my frowns.

I have my father’s eyes. I see my eyes in the eyes several of my aunts and uncles–his sisters and brothers. They are hazel. And the color green sets them off like nobody’s business.

On numerous occasions I’ve had people interrupt me mid-conversation to make a statement about my eyes.

One time, as a new missionary in Belgium, I earnestly told the story of Joseph Smith to the frite man selling frites from the frite cart and he interrupted both me and the spirit with “You have the most beautiful eyes.”

I can take no credit for this fact. They are my dad’s eyes. I hope I manage to keep the twinkle he often managed to keep in his eye, even through hard times.

I remember when we were first married and had insurance and I could go to the dentist again. I was having my teeth cleaned and the dentist told me, “We can fix that gap in your front teeth.”

“I have a gap in my front teeth?”

I didn’t know. But I refused to see it as a defect–something that needs to be fixed. It is what it is and it’s part of my smile, which, disappearing lips or no, is still my smile.

My skin is somewhat oily, but, like my paternal grandmother, that keeps people guessing about my age.

Like my mother and my sister, I have some degree of alopecia where my eyebrows are patchy (I rarely have to shave my legs as well), but I found a wonderful powder–meant for covering roots if you cover up your greys (which I refuse to do)–that, at least for now, fills in what’s there enough I still have eyebrows.

I used to tease my daughter about how funny it was that all that effort girls made in my day to perm and otherwise curl our hair seemed wasted as we watched our girls spend an equivalent effort to straighten their hair. In any case, and as stated in a previous post, I can’t be bothered with hair. I like my color. Embrace the greys. And, on most days, simply want it up out of my face.

[Day 163 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]