Joseph Kellerman

  1968 -
  City of Birth:
Lansing, MI

Joseph's Story

My Entire Life
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Joseph's Story > Chapters > My Entire Life

"The Lies We Tell" 


Date Range: 1968 To 02/27/2009   Comments: 2   Views: 5,393
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"Does this lipstick make me look old?" Oh sh#t, the dreaded words. When my mother would ask that, my father and I would look at each other and the closest one to the door bolted as soon as he could.

"Ma, what are you talking about? You look great."

And she did most of the time. I mean she looked like a mother her age. Except that she had this really weird obsession with purple lipstick. Look, I don't know anything about women's makeup. I know that it can make average looking people into goddesses (or is that photoshop) but overall I know that it's also the stuff worn by clowns!!!

My mother was a pretty lady. She never thought so, which probably made her prettier to the men who were always hitting on her at the grocery store, getting gas, the post office.

My father never really paid my mother many compliments, something he only ever said once about it that I knew he kind of regretted that later, after she was gone.

But she'd get her share of attention from the town men when she was dragging me around on errands. I hated going on errands with her. HATED it. (What I wouldn't give nowadays to have a few more errands to run with her). She'd talk to EVERYONE and I do mean everyone. The dog walker, the barber, the grocery guy, the gas station attendant, Joe Schmoe walking down the street. I tell you she should have been a politician. She remembered peoples' names, their birthdays, their kids' names, where they went to school, how old they were, would ask how someone's parents were even if she'd never met them she'd know their names. She had a gift that way. Made people feel special when she was talking to them, like no one else mattered. You could see why my dad fell in love with her. Why all the men did.

But crap, this fugly purple lipstick she insisted on. I don't know the term for this - but you know how some people don't really have lips? Like they're real thin and putting lipstick on just floods their mouth like a bunch of little rivers? Well that was my mom. She had really small lips and she'd smear purple lipstick, her obvious favorite, all over her mouth. It'd look ridiculous. By the end of a few hours it would have melted all over her face. She'd take out her little mirror, wipe it off and repeat the ritual. Like 20 times a day.

She was always buying lipstick. I swear every week she'd have three new shades, and she'd always ask us that dreaded question.

My mom looked fine; if only she could see that. Lipstick didn't make her look old, but it did often make her look ridiculous.

When she died, my dad said that she had an entire drawer full of different half used purple lipsticks. He couldn't bear to throw them all out so he gave them to the homeless shelter (at first my reaction was that people in a homeless shelter have a lot more pressing issues than if the shade of purple lipstick matched their clothes) but they seemed to like it. I can understand that. Everyone wants to look good. Poor Ma. She never did really look all that great in lipstick...

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Member Since
Aug 2007
Kimberly Johnson said:
posted on Apr 20, 2009
my mom likes red

She's always wearing bright red lipstick and has spider veins too, but we love her, and it feels good to have lip marks on your cheek :)

Member Since
Jan 2008
Suzan Kilner said:
posted on Apr 21, 2009
funny & sad

This story is both funny and sad, but not bad because you can tell it's told with love. It's always funny some of the things we are remembered for. Sometimes I should remember that when acting weird...