Around 4pm I finished my desk work and, sufficiently pleased with the results, braided my hair, strapped on my equivalent of Harriet the Spy’s uniform—blue sneakers, blue trench coat, blue glasses, blue scarf, fur hat, scarlet lipstick, and waterproof, floor-length Meg shops pleather skirt—and gave myself 20 bucks to buy an afternoon treat. Off I waltzed into the teatime sky. Said hi to the old movie of a waterfront, said hi to my neighborhood guys, said hi to the sun as it changed its angle, said hi to each street corner as I loped on by. Finally, near the end of my big loop, I espied a very shiny, very large pair of royal blue earrings in the window of a store I’d never noticed before. Naturally, they cost 20 bucks. All in all, twas the kind of scavenger hunt of an afternoon that makes a ladygirl glad that she grew up.
Here is why I always buy a lipstick when I am in the throes of a serious case of the Mean Reds: Because no matter how broke I am, the highest of high-end lipsticks will prove (vaguely) affordable; because no matter how shabby I’m looking, a lipstick will jazz the joint up; because no matter how vulnerable I’m feeling, a new lipstick will arm me with at least one significant weapon of glamour. Today, it was Dior’s Serum de Rouge in Prune (pictured here on my Mean Red self). J’adore its healing powers.