Thursday, April 1, 2010


Journal for Christa—

I’ve been reading “girl” books—not that I’m into girl books. I don’t think I really read “girl literature” when I was a young girl. But, having been told I am possibly scheduled to teach a girl’s Bible class next year, and having the advantage of a son in youth ministry, I got some names of books—girl books. Tonight I’ve been reading about make-up. I just never really thought so deeply about make-up before. It’s caused me to reflect on my own experiences with make-up. 

My first experience was a matching nail polish and lipstick that my mom bought from the Avon lady. I was in the sixth grade and delighted with my fancy looking nails. Mr. Stratton was not. I distinctly remember his calling me up to his desk during math. After looking down at my fingers, he proceeded thus, and I quote: “Mrs. Uptogrove and I do not approve of young girls your age wearing nail polish. You are not to wear it to school.” Make-up and I did not get off to a good start.

But, the following year, I entered junior high, where blackest black Maybelline mascara and I became hard and fast friends. I do have eyelashes, but if it weren’t for Miss Maybelline, the world would never know.

At some point I didn’t wear make-up for a while. All I did was birth and care for babies, so what was the point? During a hard time for me, Jay suggested that I start my day by putting on my make-up, even though I wasn’t going anywhere; and it did make me feel better. Our pastor at the time, Dr. Martin, used to say (regarding make-up): “Even an old barn looks better with a coat of paint.”

Having taught in the Springs for over 20 years, I rarely go anywhere (and I do mean anywhere) without seeing a former student. Therefore, I don’t go out without my mascara, normally. One spring morning last year, I went to Lowe’s with Jay to help him get some wood. Wanting to beat the crowds, it was 6:30—AM, I went (almost) the way I’d crawled out of bed. Once there, Jay procured the help of a young worker. When he arrived in the wood aisle on a forklift, he smiled down at me and said, “Oh, Mrs. Borkert, how are you? Are you still teaching English?” And there I stood—in Lowe’s—at 6:30—on a Saturday morning—paintless.

Sometimes, I wonder if I’m cut out to teach this class. Maybe I’m out of touch. Maybe I have too many issues of my own, including make-up. But then, maybe other barns just don’t need much paint yet. 

1 comment:

  1. I don't know how many times I've been busted without makeup at Lowes, Wal-Mart and Kroger. I supposed I should care more, but I just don't. Ha!

    Found your blog through facebook. I blog over at

    Cousin Andrea