I was giving a talk today, so I was trying to dress the part of "lady professor" by wearing a dress and stockings and a nice flowing scarf. But looking at myself in the mirror I decided that I looked very pale. Since it wasn't the bad lighting, it was probably lack of sleep.

Now I don't wear makeup normally except when making a video (lipstick and eyeliner do wonders for a crisp presence when you are on video, as I demonstrated on some test videos a while back). But I do have a case for this purpose, so I got it out.

There was lipstick in just the plum color of my scarf, so I put it on. Now my face looked unbalanced, so I ended up putting on eyeshadow and eyeliner. I had this saying in my mind that is attributed to Andy Rooney, but is actually from Frank Kaiser: "A woman over 40 looks good wearing bright red lipstick."

It was time to dash for the bus, so no time for second thoughts. It was kind of fun at the conference, going up to people I knew and smiling. They tended to cock their heads a bit and look puzzled - they couldn't decide what was different with me. I kidded one colleague (who never wears a tie) about his mini string tie, he tried to kid back about my appearance, but couldn't name it. Not even WiseMan said anything when he came by to join me for the conference dinner.

Am I different when I am dressed up like this? Well, it is difficult to crawl along the floor searching for electrical outlets in a dress. And I have to be constantly on my guard not to rub my eyes or mouth, or else I will look like a grubby schoolgirl who got into Mom's lipstick.

I was very glad, however, to scrub it all off and get out of the costume.

No comments: