Advice to my teen self: rock the lipstick.

There’s no spoilers or anything in this post, but is anyone else surprised Grey’s Anatomy is still on TV? I haven’t watched that show since they killed off super-hot Mark Sloan, because I was on the fence about the show’s kind-of lameness for months before that, and killing off McSteamy was the last straw for me. His romance with Meredith’s cutie-pie step-sister was the only thing that was keeping me going, and after that? NO THANK YOU. It’s kind of like how I refused to watch American Idol after Chris Daughtry lost and that old Elvis impersonator won. Even the addition of super-hot Harry Connick Junior wasn’t enough to keep me interested in that show.

Speaking of which, my kids are totally into watching the Shark Tank with their father. Their father is, naturally, extremely gratified by this development and talks to his little acolytes about sales, net worth, and ownership percentage. The boys love this show, and they love being little Alex P. Keatons with their dad. They have favourite “Sharks,” least favourite “Sharks,” and they often talk about “Mr. Wonderful.” For me, watching the Shark Tank is akin to getting my teeth scaled at the dentist; painful and boring and way too much of a time commitment. I think the thing about it that bothers me the most is that these so-called entrepreneurs will come out with an idea for a new kind of golf tee, and then it turns out that they left their day job to pursue the manufacturing and marketing of this golf tee, and they triple-mortgaged their house and borrowed all their aging parents’ retirement savings for said manufacturing and marketing of the golf tee, and it’s a shitty golf tee. Then, when none of the “Sharks” decide to invest in this shitty golf tee, the “entrepreneur” is all indignant and talks about how they are just going to keep on keeping on, and the “Sharks” will regret this excellent opportunity to get in on the ground floor. It is just like American Idol; on occasion there is someone talented, but mostly it’s just a bunch of mediocre hacks.

And while I’m talking TV, I’m just going to come out and say it: these final episodes of Mad Men are a total snore. No, I get it, we need to wrap up the story line, I get it. We need to show just how lame and terrible Don’s giant lie-of-a-life is and how everyone hates him and is leaving him because his whole life is a sham, but zzzzzz. So dull. I am enjoying the 1970s costuming though. The orange-and-brown motifs remind me of my childhood.

Halloween 1981 001

Oh, Halloweens of my youth, when it was socially acceptable to masquerade as a gypsy or a homeless person.


In all my discussion about birthday festivities, I forgot to mention a very important thing that happened last weekend: the boys got their purple belts in karate!


Is it me or does it seem like the kids are growing up really fast? This morning I crossed the street with the help of the crossing-guards; Mark and my friend’s daughter were on duty. I got a little teary eyed – they’re such big kids now! They started kindergarten together and now they are responsible for getting kids across the busy street safely; the next thing you know they’ll be DRIVING through that crosswalk (you know, safely). Not to get all Landslide-y on a Friday, but children get older, I’m getting older too.

Speaking of getting older, I’ve noticed one thing in my three days of being forty: dark lipstick no longer suits me. Maybe it hasn’t for a while and I’m just sensitive to it now, but I slicked on a rich colour and then was startled at my old-lady clown appearance. I thought I’d have another thirty years before I really rocked the “dark lipstick bleeding into papery white lines around my mouth” look, but no. I guess it’s just tasteful colours for me from now on. Maybe my skin has changed, or maybe it’s my altered hair colour, but I kind of looked like a bloody-mouthed crypt keeper. This is a major departure for me. For many years, bright red lipstick was my thing. Check out this photo of me at age 16.


A couple of things: I LOVED that outfit. It was a skirt and swingy top from Le Chateau, black with little daisies sewn onto it. It was my very favourite outfit in 1992. Please note the long, permed hair and the – you know it – bright red lipstick. Also, if I wasn’t prematurely grey due to genetics obtained from my father, I’d say this is the reason Dad was so grey. Sixteen year old girls, they are a race apart, no? Anyway, I dredged up this photo for a compilation on Yummy Mummy Club – advice you need to give your teen self. It’s worth a read, especially for the photos of some of the writers in their teens. The hair! The makeup! The outfits!

So here’s a question for you: what advice would you give to your teen self? I’d say travel more, and be more adventurous, because one day you might find yourself staring in the mirror, wondering what to do with all those dark lipsticks in your purse. xoxo


  1. I agree about the lipstick. I notice the only ones that look right on me anymore are sheers. I used to have this deep dark purple/wine color that was THE BEST: it made me look super pale and freckly and I loved it. I can’t IMAGINE wearing it now.

    I would tell my teen self to color her hair wild colors. I was so shy to do it, and it was the PERFECT time for it.

  2. I’m still sticking it out with Grey’s. I’m about three episodes behind on the PVR right now but while reading today for people just as upset about this week’s Survivor as I was, I accidentally read The Big Spoiler. It’s kind of ridiculous but I know it won’t be enough to make me quit watching. Grey’s! I’ll never quit you! Loyal to a fault :).

  3. I’d tell me to go ahead and date those boys, but not take it so seriously because dating boys is just going to be a phase for you.

    Congrats to the boys on their purple belts. That’s quite an achievement.

  4. So interesting. I’ve actually gone brighter with lipstick as I’ve aged. I feel like my natural fairness has turned to wane pallor and a nice slick of eye-popping red or pink lipstick brightens it all up. I haven’t noticed many mouth wrinkles, though. Mine are mostly around my eyes so I don’t wear eyeshadow. Hold it… Apparently, we have the same problem just different body parts.

    This will go down as the smartest comment I’ve ever written on the internet. *bows out*

  5. Purple belts! Accomplished AND stylin’. They let KIDS be crossing guards at your school? Clearly people don’t drive like assholes as much as they do around ours. Our crossing guard might be armed with an AK-47.

    I actually thought the Grey’s episode was quite well done. I have watched with bemusement some of the vitriol and outrage on message boards. I understand about over-identifying with a tv show (I was depressed for weeks when Buffy had to kill Angel) but really…. it’s a TV SHOW. And you know me and turgid medical melodramas…. I’m there til the bitter end (which in this case will probably be a giant UFO crashing into the hospital and killing half the staff, leaving the remaining half to save the little alien babies that were in cryo-stasis.

  6. I had a very similar Halloween costume one year except that, AT THE SUGGESTION OF MY MOTHER, I dusted cocoa powder on my face to darken my skin and make me more… gypsyish? I guess? Or something? I was about seven or eight, I think, so in 1985 I went out in an incredibly racist and vaguely chocolate-scented costume because THE EIGHTIES WERE SOMETHING ELSE, NICOLE.

    So, my advice to my younger self is “don’t accidentally wear blackface trick or treating”.


  1. […] I had; I had purchased a bunch of dark lipstick on sale, and time ticked forward and suddenly, that dark colour no longer suited me. Instead of making me look perky and red-lipped, I looked like a papery-skinned old crone who was […]

Leave a Reply