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Tag essay smudge dee abrahamsen.png

My friend, Mary, calls me lipstick-everywhere. One day, he tilted his perfectly coiffed head and said, Dee, why is there lipstick on your eyelid? Everywhere indeed. On the computer screen. On my apartment door jams and inexplicably one morning on the white sole of my Nikes'. Normally this occurrence would unhinge me. But that morning I laughed out loud. Huh, three-hundred women waking up in New York City with lipstick on their shoe. Two-hundred and ninety-nine pole dancers and me. On the small things you cut yourself some slack. 

One evening, I peered into the mirror and Cyndi Lauper peered back. A red spit-curl dead center. Hmmm, how long had that been there? And my post-meal flatware? The Rolling Stones after-party. So. Red lipstick will smudge. However, I continue to wear it for two reasons. 

The first, is that I am in continual fear of having my girl card taken from me. Hoping the swipe of red will deflect from my otherwise lack of girlish pursuits. My loo-cabinet sentineled by SMASHBOX Matte Bing. No less than three on any given day. The second reason is of far greater importance.

Shortly before my Mom died I asked her, What do you want me to do with you? I do not know where the boldness of the question came from. Perhaps in the not wanting to choose myself. She told me she would like to be cremated and spread into the sea. But Mommy, I said. You can't swim. And she laughed. Do you know why? She asked. No Mommy, why? Because, she said, then I will get to every beach and every beach you are on I'll be there. Her eyes smiled and I could see she was already on some distant shore.

When that day came I gifted the sea with my mom. And after her a tube of lipstick as far as I could throw it. Revlon, Hot Coral. Because I wanted her to look pretty when she got to Monaco. So. I wear red lipstick. Unbothered by the trail it leaves in my wake.  I wear it because it suits me. I wear it because it lifts my spirits. But mostly I wear it in honor of the woman I was fortunate to call Mommy. Perhaps my girl-card is safe. 

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