“She Cleans Up Nicely”

Picasso, Woman Looking Into a MirrorHop aboard today’s train of thought!

It began when I was looking in the mirror, blow-drying my hair with my usual let’s-get-this-over-with attitude because I was in a hurry. We were leaving for the supermarket, and I was rushing because we have an appointment this afternoon, which gives us a terminus ad quem.

(To digress: terminus is, as you already spotted, related to terminal: a station, a point to begin from or arrive at. In this case, ad quem, to which. So, a point to arrive at, a destination point, which is the 2 p.m. movie we’ll be showing this afternoon for our community. Two p.m., then, was our destination point. ((The other end of this coming-and-going continuum is terminus ab quo, a point from which to leave. I LOVED high school Latin, even if there’s no one in the world who actually speaks it. It appeals to lovers of crossword puzzles, which is — But no, that’s too many digressions already.))

Anyway, I was looking in the mirror, trying to kind of fluff up my hair as I blew warm air over it, more like the attention my hairstylist gives it then my usual lick and a promise. And sure enough, my hair began to look more like it does when she’s wielding the brush, and as I looked in the mirror, the thought came to me, “She cleans up nicely.” And I smiled, involuntarily, picturing the friend about whom I first had this thought.

This friend of mine, we’ll call her Z—, can look really really plain. That’s when her hair just kind of hangs there limply around her face, or gets scrunched back mercilessly with a rubber band, and she’s wearing no makeup whatever, and her clothes owe all to comfort and nothing to style, and —- well, you get the picture. When she makes even minimalist effort, though, she’s transformed. She’s really really good-looking. That’s when I first thought, “Z—- cleans up nicely.”

I haven’t thought of that expression in years. It’s an old-fashioned one, the very opposite of effusive, and understated in the extreme. But it says it all. Take a little care, make a little effort, get out the soap and washcloth and everyone can clean up nicely! Just thinking about it makes my grin return. I guess my inner grownup was happy I’d taken a little more time and effort with my hair, hurry and destination be damned.  I guess I’d subconsciously been thinking, not only about Z—, but about the face in the mirror. Look at that, “She cleans up nicely.”

And now we’ve arrived at the terminal, and it’s time to move on with the day. Thanks for riding this far with me!

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16 Responses to “She Cleans Up Nicely”

  1. tms says:

    Nice ride, Judith! I also liked the digression … Have a good Sunday!

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  2. franhunne4u says:

    You should think like that about yourself more often :D

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      It made me laugh to write this post — and laughing always feels good!
      Thanks for coming by and commenting, Fran.
      (I seem to have lost the link to your blog where you have photographs. ?)

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  3. Lucid Gypsy says:

    It feels good to ‘clean up’ doesn’t it? :-)

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  4. Funny, I was just finished blow-drying my hair, turned to the computer and read this post :) My hair is really big and fluffy now, for a little while.

    I have a thing for Latin too, but I never took it in school … I’ve only taken the medical stuff.

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      Big and fluffy is good, R. When it’s hair. Not so much when it’s snowflakes!
      Did you ever see the movie A Fish Called Wanda? Where Jamie Lee Curtis goes weak at the knees when a guy talks to her in a foreign language? Really really funny —

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  5. 2e0mca says:

    My Hair is an absolute mess at the moment. When I was a kid it was combed to give a parting on the left. Being very fine it never liked the idea of a centre parting as favoured if you wanted to have long hair in the ’70’s. In fact I’d have looked better keeping it short as it lacked body. Now I’m past the worrying what the ladies think except for my lady who met me when it was relatively short and still had the LH Parting. I just keep it short (number 2 with no parting) except when the Blues are struggling and then I may allow it to get a bit longer and the light-brown becomes very grey – something that is definitely the case at the moment ;-) The irony is that my hairline receded early compared with most of my colleagues but now a lot of them have bald spots but I have a full head of hair! Funny how mens hair works ain’t it ;-)

    ps – Fawlty Towers for John Cleese at his best (worst) ;-)

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      Some men decide to grow beards and stop shaving at special times, like when the Blues are struggling — you let your hair go long and grey! In an odd way, women’s choices of making a statement with hair are more limited. As long as your lady approves, what the hey —
      Fawlty Towers: John Cleese beating his car over the hood (bonnet) with a huge tree limb, “you bahstahd” —
      and snapping out “Sybil!” You know that texting phrase ROFLOL? Fawlty Towers can make me do it.

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  6. Madhu says:

    He he, I am like your friend Judy! People don’t recognize me when i bother to dress up, which isn’t very often :-) Great read :-)

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