Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Self Portrait Challenge~Bathroom 3

I admit...I don't like this theme. Or I do because it makes me think?.... Makes me think about how incredibly tiny my bathroom is. There's only one in this old country house and it is small. Makes me think about how I don't go out of the house into public restrooms very much anymore. I've swapped the glamorous night life bathrooms that looked dark and sultry in my drunken haze, for the dark and dirty bathrooms that can only be found next to a playground when your three year old really needs to pee. No thanks. I suppose there is one other bathroom out there that I can think of that I could try and sneak into and take a photo in, at the old restaurant I used to work in...but the thought of trying to figure out a time to go do that without the three year old...or even with the three year old...seems so exhausting and out of my element that it makes me think about how relevant taking pictures of myself really is in the big scheme of things. See, too much thinking....

So every time I walk into the bathroom at home to try and take a picture it seems that I'm always reverting to the lone mirror in the bathroom. My tripod broke (I know, boo hoo....) and I'm forced to either hold the camera or place it precariously somewhere and try to get an angle. That almost never works. I was thinking about what the bathroom means to me...I mean I just can't quite grasp onto some deep meaning for me and my bathroom. It's not my favorite place. I long for a large one. It is so cramped in there that you basically want out as soon as possible. These thoughts took me down memory lane....of how I used to be such a bathroom hog. When I was a teenager I used to get up at the crack of dawn so I could curl my hair just so, and apply concealer all over my acne. It never did much good....no one ever noticed. I wore makeup a lot...it was a real part of me. I was active in drama and was almost always in some play clear through college. (My Bachelor's is in Theatre.) Makeup was a big part of that. Always had to have some sort of facade going on. It shifted as I got older to getting ready to go out at night. I would curl my hair and conceal my acne, and now I would add eyeshadow to the mix and rouge....had to look good going out. And no one noticed. Not in any kind of a way that meant anything. Men, certainly, did not notice. I waited tables for so long and always made my face up for that....that was an area where people didn't notice the makeup...but they did notice the lack of makeup if that was the case. Somewhere along the line I gave up. I didn't like it anyway, and my life became a situation where the bare necessity of makeup was all I needed to "get by". Pretty soon I forgot about that too.

Now I have makeup in a box that I should probably just throw away, it's so old. I hold onto it with that weird sense of when I was a child and how fun it was to have the little boxes of things that I would never dare to wear, really. I used to go play in the bathroom all the time, trying on makeup and hats and what not...participate in "make believe". Almost every Halloween I would dress up like a gypsy. My mom had these great earrings that had gold coins hanging off of them....and this scarf. It was green originally...sheer and beautiful. I've had it since I was probably born. Or my mother had it, and I confiscated it. It was my crowning piece to so many projects involving my beautification. Though of course never worn in public for real...that would have been peer suicide. But for Halloween, perfect. It got shoved in the old umbrella holder for awhile and I rescued it. Buried in a drawer through time, and somehow it would come back to me. In one of my first apartments it hung as a curtain....but the sun faded it greatly, and the age of the thing started to come through as the material became so dry and fragile it would shred. And then a cat most likely got a hold of it at some point. It's almost like a scrap now....torn and tattered. A piece of tangible memory I don't want to let go. It has no home that I can find...particularly...and so it finds itself hanging in my bathroom off the lone window. An afterthought.

Last night I thought I might try to dress up like a gypsy again. I pulled out the make up and put it on....found an old earring that my older sister mysteriously gave me last Christmas that immediately reminded me of those days in an odd sort of way. I took as many as I could and then I heard my husband come in. I suddenly felt shy about the whole thing...though God knows he's used to me taking pictures of myself now. I shed the scarf and the earring....wiped off the makeup and came out of the bathroom.

more spc's here.

p.s. It did all make me think about how maybe it wouldn't hurt to wear a little makeup every now and then. ;)


L.M.Noonan said...

You look very beautiful in your closet bathroom. I loved your post...so poignant, so relateable.
The bit about changing back for husband raised a smile.

dianeclancy said...

There is a lot of beauty in these photos - very moving.

~ Diane Clancy

daisies said...

these photos are so beautiful!!

like you, i have a closet for a bathroom but unlike you i haven't even had the energy to try and take photos in there ~ i love that you do and are :)

you should still wear makeup if it makes you smile and dressing up is fun even if you're only going to the playground i think ... i really do ...

warm hugs .. xox

adriene crimson said...

i just love the way you captured the cramped-ness of your bathroom in both of these images.
i had a silk scarf when i was a baby - i called it my "soft." i don't know where that particular scarf is now, but i do have a few different ones in my closet that I rarely ever wear but am glad to know that they're there.