It puts the lotion in the basket.

Away, I was, from my children for a week.

Oh, Master Yoda, tell us more!

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was the cliché-est of times as I drank red wine and read bound pages of words and slept in a bed, alone, without fear of a krav maga tiny footprint in face alarm clock or, “Hey honey, you awake?” shakes of force, with a penis, so strong that the undead rise before Halloween.

Instead, I began moisturizing. I had not seen a bottle of lotion in 6 years. When I first pulled it out of my travel cosmetic bag, I had to check the expiration date. Just my luck, moisturizing does not go out of style…until August 2013.

While I was at it, I may as well shave. There was no sense in wasting a perfectly good, nearly expired travel size bottle of cheap motel lotion on overgrown leg hair, so, I took out some gardening shears and got to work. Besides, what the hell else did I have to do?

As I shaved, I noticed I’d packed a leave-in conditioner. Something I’d ignored since I clearly bought it when I was dating men who cared about the silky softness of my hair. Since 2006, that conditioner never even once bothered to offer to cut up my kids’ food. Leave-in conditioner is such a selfish bitch. Oh, you think you’re so great…doing nothing but just sitting around on people’s hair. Wow, so important *world’s biggest eye roll*. Then, I conditioned my hair. I take it back. That shit is amazing. I now realized I only hated what I didn’t understand. I was shiny and fabulous.

Then, I stared at my Victoria’s Secret era bottle of perfume. DARE I? I dare. I double dog dare me.

My legs were shaved. My hair was conditioned. My skin was moisturized. I smelled like kept promises. I was a woman, damn it.

Every day, I would further expand my beautifying ritual. At the end of each day, I would video chat with the kids. They would comment on how, “Pretty mommy looked!”. I would pretend that I didn’t know what they were talking about.

Today, after being home for 3 full days, my 3-year-old looked at me and said, “There’s my mommy! You look like my mommy again!” and my dry-skinned, unconditioned hair, stubble legged, “smells of the Earth” self smiled so wide that my once again ignored laugh lines around my eyes turned into laugh canyons.

I have never been less attractive. I have never been happier.


  1. Oh, I just loved this so much. Thank you for putting a smile on my unmade-up face 🙂

  2. I’m so glad you’re home! No matter what that conditioner did to you, your smile is still shinier than any hair. (Says the woman whose heart pounded with jealous anticipation as she read about the conditioner.) On the rare occasion that I do fancy things like blow out my hair and put on lipstick, my kids look at me like I’m a stranger (a freaking beautiful stranger) and tell me that I look funny. It’s my haggard, half-curly hair and the-opposite-of-plump-and-shiny lips that they know and love.

  3. When I was in grade 5, my older sister told me never to leave the house without mascara. To this day, it is the only makeup I wear – except for wedding – then no one recognizes me.

  4. Love this. Love you. Glad you’re back. 🙂

  5. Loved this (as i sit in alarmingly ugly pajamas at 5:00 Pm).


  6. Love this whole thing – but especially the title!

  7. Glad you got some rejuvenation time!

  8. I’m still stuck on ” I smelled like kept promises.” Whatever that smell is, you need to bottle it and I’ll be your first customer. Sounds divine. Anyhow, I’m new here, found you through mommyshorts and I’m enjoying your writing.

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