It was the first word in the first reader I remember in elementary school. Four letters; one syllable. Look. Simple enough. A word you easily remembered without needing to understand the phonics to come and sound it out. Little did I suspect that “look” would be so useful. Here’s how it made a difference’ a couple of days ago.
There were three events on this day and, had they occurred several days apart, they would not have made such an impact. Yet, because they happened all on the same day it became one of those “what could possibly happen next?” situations.
First – lipstick, or more correctly, big fat Revlon lip pencil. I had seen the bright red color recommended in an article about the favorite products of makeup professionals. I love red yet most shades of red leave me feeling like all mouth and no face with my pale skin. Nevertheless I decided to give this recommended color a try. It worked. Loved it. Bright but not overwhelming. I bought a second one so I would have one at home and one in my purse. Not once did I consider how I would sharpen the pencil. After all, I used to sell makeup and give home parties, so all the tools of the trade must be in the house somewhere.
After a week of wearing this new find I started thinking about the sharpener. I looked all over the house and checked the things I keep just for travel. Not finding the sharpener I stopped in at drug stores in 4 cities. Alas, no sharpeners for big fat lip pencils. What to do? Soon a sharpener would be needed. At the last stop, before I posted my plight on Facebook and begged for help, there was a large Revlon display of lipsticks and tools, yet still no sharpener for the big fat lip pencils. Was there a secret I’d missed? I took a lip pencil from the display and looked closely.
As I held the lipstick in both hands to try and get the top off something twisted slightly in my hands. The tape on the new pencil kept me from further discovery so I put it back on the shelf and reached for my purse. I took my lip pencil from my purse and gave it a good look. Hmmm, the bottom section was silver. A clue? Feeling like the dumbest adult in the world I took off the top and put my hands on the silver portion. Gently I tried to move it. It moved. I twisted it and, just like a regular lipstick, the lipstick started to twist up. No sharpener needed! If anyone looks at the store surveillance video they will see me standing quietly and staring at a big, fat, lip pencil. Look. All I had to do was Look!
I drove my dumb-feeling self back home only to be confronted by a hubby annoyed that the blinking blue message light on his desk phone blinked continuously whether there was a message or not. He left for an appointment and I, fresh from my lipstick revelation, thought I would take a look at the phone and there it was on the side. A switch – on and off. Moved the switch to the off position and the blinking blue light became no light. Proud of myself. So proud. I’d put the “look” theory into practice and it worked! Sadly though my confidence was short lived.
It wasn’t long before I wanted an afternoon pick-me-up and leftover morning coffee was calling my name. Large, tall, dark blue plastic glass came off the shelf, crushed ice, some sweetener, and half-and-half. Fill the rest of the way with coffee. Stir well. Add straw. Yum! Well, about a third of the drink was yum. Then I saw it as I gave the drink a fresh stir. Maybe it was a shadow or a lump of ice. Nope. No such luck. There on the inside of the glass was a black glob. I ran my finger over it and came up with something that looked like a moldy leftover. Oh yuck!!! What in the world? All I could think of was a past protein drink with powder that didn’t get mixed all the way, and didn’t come clean in the dishwasher, and that I had failed to LOOK. I didn’t look when I took the glass out of the dishwasher and I didn’t look when I took the glass off the shelf, so there I was, having nice dark mold with my previously tasty iced coffee drink. The rest of the day I checked for signs of some toxic malady overtaking my body. All because I’d failed to look.
Four letters, one syllable. LOOK. It can make life so much better.