Posted by: pendrops | December 1, 2006

something’s missing


I haven’t been myself lately. Something has just been off. I’ve been doing my best to keep up appearances, acting like everything is fine. But I can’t deny it any longer. Something’s missing.

John Mayer sings his own song about missing something and ponders the ups and downs of figuring out what it is. He claims he’s got everything he needs (friends, money, a lover, and his guitar), but something’s still not right. Like John, I’ve contemplated my own depths and found that I, too, have everything I need.

So why do I feel a gaping hole?

Why don’t I feel like myself?

Why do I look in the mirror and feel like a stranger’s staring back at me?

A couple days ago I answered the whys. I was digging through my purse for a scrap of paper to discard my taste-less gum when I noticed the lip liner swimming around the bottom of my bottomless bag.

This isn’t my color, I thought, picking up the thin stick and reading for the first time the color on the side.

“Baby buff?” I said out loud. “How’d I end up with Baby Buff?”

Keeping an eye on the traffic in front of me, I pulled down the visor and looked in the tiny mirror. Sure enough, there was that stranger, wearing Baby Buff lip liner instead of Honey Stick!

I examined my lips, being careful not to hit the car in front of me. A muted conglomeration of light pink tints with hints of pale brown covered them. Far too neutral for my skin tone. Honey Stick, the color I’ve been wearing for nearly 10 years, has more pink-red hues, not overbearing, not subdued. Perfect for me.

“No wonder,” I said, flipping the visor up, satisfactorily discovering the reason for losing my groove. Without a second thought, I changed lanes, turned into the mall, and speed-walked to the Clinique counter to make my purchase.

As I drove away with a Honey Stick smile on my face, I thought about how I felt. And why I felt that way. There are deep spiritual, emotional, intellectual and relational needs that can never be satisfied by trivialities, by money, by possessions. But sometimes what’s missing really is the little things, the simple things. The right color of lip liner, for instance.


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