One of the benefits of being Middle Age Plus is that you can laugh at your embarrassing moments instead of getting all upset over them. I'll have to admit this took some doing before I reached this stage, but now, almost as soon as I make a faux pas, I can start thinking about the fun I will have telling about it.
For example: I have been having trouble with chapped lips recently. I think the house is dryer now that we have the heat on, so I lick my lips when they get dry and therefore they have become chapped at times. I was in church when I became really bothered by the dryness, so I decided to discretely use the lip balm I carry in my purse. I didn't want to be obvious about it, or give the illusion that I wasn't paying attention, so I reached into my purse without looking until I felt the nice round container of lip balm that I use. Without taking my eyes away from the front of the church where the action was taking place, I unscrewed the top and liberally smeared the lip balm over both of my lips and a little above and below the lip line because there is often some dryness there also.
It felt much better and I was able to participate in the rest of the service without distraction. When I left the sanctuary to go to my Sunday school class I stopped to visit with a few friends but then went to my class. I needed to use my pen to mark a date in my datebook so I opened my purse. To my horror I saw that the nice tube I had lavishly smeared over my mouth area was not the colorless lip balm, but a tricky lipstick tube that had been given to me as a joke at a meeting. The container looked like any lipstick, but the color that appeared on your lips was not the color that was indicated on the outside. I had never tried to use this gadget, so I had no idea what color I had plastered on my face. A quick trip to the rest room showed that it was a vivid red. That wouldn't have been so bad if I had kept somewhat within my lip lines. But my face looked like a 3-year old who had been into her mother's cosmetics.
The red looked a little like the make-up that actors used when they were playing in a minstrel show. It was a good quality make-up in that it didn't wipe off easily. In the restroom I hurried to see what I could do with a paper towel, soap and water. I made some progress, but there was still a very rosy glow beneath my nose and down to my chin.
None of the friends that I had greeted after the service seemed to be alarmed at my appearance, but later a couple of them mentioned that they had noticed that I had changed lipstick color. Since I rarely even wear any lipstick it must have been more noticeable than that. I confessed to those in the Sunday school class what had happened and they all enjoyed laughing with me.
But I guess the biggest lesson I learned that day was that people don't really look at each other when they are exchanging greetings in a public place. Maybe someday I will try again with some black lipstick and see if they notice that.