I never cease to be amazed. Stunned. By what I call the eyebrows. And the nails.
I was watching a harrowing tale on the news about a young woman who had had the family house razed to the ground through the employment of a ‘dodgy’ builder. She was paying rent for somewhere for her, her husband, and their children to live and it looked as though there would not be enough insurance to rebuild after all the carnage that the Clint Eastwood of the building trade had wreaked.
But she had the eyebrows. You know the ones – where the real ones have been removed and false ones have been drawn on – in pencil, or whatever it is that they do. Like old movie stars, of what? The Forties? The Thirties?
In such a nightmare state and possessing of the time, the money. The inclination? It was somehow a truly modern tragedy.
It reminded me of meeting my friend’s neighbour a few weeks ago. This was a qualified paramedic, currently working as a ‘111 lady’. She has a husband, children, and some health issues of her own- and a very busy, busy life. But she has the nails. Is it French polishing? When the ends are very white and usually a bit sqaure shaped? Why would anyone do that to the ends of perfectly reasonable fingers? When, indeed, would she have the time to get herself to a salon and sit there for an unspeakable process that must take a minimum of thirty minutes?
I knew a church minister who never caught up with all the demands on her –
But she always managed to get the nails. And my daughters. Working. Long hours, fitting it round children and housework. Always telling me they have no time. But…
Nails beautifully red today, pink tomorrow, pearl the next day..
Even if they wanted scarlet each day of the week, they would still have to redo them every day or it would get chipped. Mine certainly would.
To me it is a mystery. But I guess we all have priorities. In Neverland Gladys certainly has a lot on her plate . A houseful of children and her fifth on the way. Cat, husband, housework, meals, shopping, money to be managed (none of which she has much time for) but she is always at the mirror over the fireplace titivating about with her hair or her earrings or her general appearance…
… however, for me, Gladys is one of the best parts of the book. I find her a haunting character. Today of course it would be the eyebrows or the nails. Then, it was the earrings, the hair and the lipstick. There was always time for that.