Living the Dream

As a young girl, I always dreamed of becoming another Lucy Maud, devouring books sometimes three and four on the go at one time. Now, here I am, 50-something, and the dream keeps coming back to me. When Magpie Tales started publishing their prompts, I couldn't resist. My first few attempts were shared with a very select few - and it is thanks to their encouragement that I am emboldened to share with more of the world. Read, enjoy (I hope), critique, and tell me what you think.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Beauty Is....

This week’s prompt from Magpie Tales:
Jane was beside herself with anticipation!!!  That’s the only way to describe her feelings.  She felt just like 2-year-old Mhairi and Mick, when they would run around in circles saying, ‘But we’re so ‘cited, Mommy,’ when she asked them to sit quietly.  She wanted to run in circles, dance, shout out to the world, ‘I get a big-girl night out tonight!’  She felt like a teenager going on her first date, like she had felt the night of her first date with Jock – nervous and scared and excited all at once. Humming and singing, Jane went about her routine housework and child-care duties – nothing the children said or did could faze her today.  After Jock’s death, Jane had not had any desire to go anywhere.  And then, with the birth of the twins a few months later, there had been few opportunities for outings that didn’t include them.  Certainly there had been no occasions like this one.                                          
Tonight, her cousin Patrick was being honored at a ceremony for achieving his doctorate in archeology, followed by a reception.  The invitation said, ‘Dress: formal’.  Prior to the ceremony close friends and family were gathering at The Towers restaurant in a private banquet room for a pre-celebration dinner.  Jane would be leaving the children with their grandmother, Jock’s mother, for the night, and staying at a hotel in the city after the reception.  The children were almost as excited as Jane, looking forward to their sleep-over. 
Jane’s new dress was laid out on her bed, a soft mint green with just a hint of a pearly sheen, matching shoes set on the floor beside it, the pearl necklace-earrings-bracelet set that was a gift from Jock on their 3rd anniversary in the box on her dressing table. 
The children went down for their nap, giving Jane enough time to have a leisurely bubble bath, do her hair, nails and make-up.  The plan was to take them to their grandmother when they woke, then return home and finish dressing, then drive out to meet everybody else at the restaurant.
Jane tuned in a favorite station on her bedroom radio when she went in to run her bath.  Singing with the radio, she lowered into the warm bubbly water, and just laid back with a sigh of deep satisfaction.  When the water started to get chilly, she got out and wrapped in a towel while she curled and sprayed her hair.  Then she got out her manicure set, shaped her nails and applied a soft pink polish.  She decided that a cup of tea would be nice while she waited for the polish to harden, before putting on make-up.
After her relaxing cup of tea, Jane proceeded back to her bedroom to get her make-up on – it wouldn’t be long and the children would be awake, and Mhairi for sure would want to ‘help’.  Foundation, eye-shadow, eye-liner, mascara, blush and lastly, lipstick to match the nail polish.  Jane picked up the new tube, pulled the top off, turned the base – but the  lipstick didn’t rise!  ‘This is impossible,’ Jane muttered to herself, ‘I guess I should have checked the tube to make sure it worked.’  Starting to dig through her make-up box to find a lipstick brush, thinking she could get enough out of the tube that way, she heard a clopping sound from the hallway.  Looking up into the mirror, she could see Mhairi coming into the bedroom in one of Jane’s dresses and a pair of Jane’s high-heel shoes.
’Hi Mommy, I’m ready to go, I even have make-up on!’
Indeed she did – Jane’s new pale pink lipstick was smeared all over Mhairi’s lips, cheeks, and eyes, no wonder the lipstick didn’t rise, the tube must be empty!.   What was a mother to do?  Jane just burst out laughing.
For more stories based on the prompt, visit Magpie Tales


  1. Awww, and she CHOSE to have children!

  2. A nicely detailed piece with a twist! at the end. Oh the joys of motherhood. Well done.
    Blessings, Star

  3. Jane is a way more patient woman than I. If this had been my first taste of freedom in a while, I bet I would have had a melt down. I am wondering if Janes meets someone new on her city adventure?

  4. Mothers have a good sense of humor and tons of patience - cute story!

  5. Kids and Murphy's Law!

    Great story, Sis. Kids, I'm sure, are put on earth so we learn not to take ourselves too seriously. I'm so glad that Jane could laugh about it!

  6. Wonderful short story about the beauty found in the everyday. An endearing lesson here; appreciate the moments; they are fleeting. How could anyone get upset at the adorable child and her make-believe dress-up antics? Count to ten Mom; moment by moment, no need to get upset; these things will work themselves out. Hugs!

  7. This sounds just like one of my real life episodes...way back when.

  8. Delightful read... and what patience, sweet innocence, how could anyone get upset with that? Ah, the joys of children! Well done.

  9. you left me with smiles...such a nice story for the prompt!

  10. Oh, I was so worried about the mint green dress... Nicely done!

  11. I loved this story. I smiled from the first sentence and laughed at the ending! Great job.

  12. I loved this story. You can't help but love those kids. Good job.

  13. Have to admire her patience. Lovely light-hearted tale

  14. You gave me a smile too
    How nice to be nice
    Twins....such sadness hidden in this story
    this is one heck of a woman
    But I is on the way
    The Mounties (!) are coming (!!)
    the calvary is riding....
    well, you get the picture


    I did my first one,
    I appreciate your feedback!

    Happy Tuesday!

  16. I saw her shower and wrap herself with a tower..
    peaceful and beautiful.
    cool magpie!

  17. Your story took me straight back to the day my daughter came in the room with red lipstick drawn all around her lips...none of it made it onto them. She looked like a cute clown. I had to take a picture

  18. That reminds me so much of the time I lay down with my son for a nap...lo and behold, he woke before I did and had a hey day with my makeup. He was quite the artist but the lipstick was on his eyebrows and eyeshadow was on his cheeks and he looked most bizarre.