I’m sure it’s the same in every major city, but if you’ve ever been to London, you would have noticed the very diverse population it has. The place just seems to attract people from all walks of life. It does tend to be the case, therefore, that you often come across the occasional… “Odd” person wandering the streets. In my many trips to the capitol I’ve seen things that have made me question the sanity of our race. A grown man in a very expensive looking business suit searching through rubbish bins in Hyde Park for example. Or, one time I was unfortunate enough to bump into a guy who was taking his rather large house plant home on the tube. I’ve seen people trying to walk up the down escalator and enough stupid haircuts to last me pretty much forever.
I have a nice long list of weird things I’ve seen people do, say, or wear, but one thing which does NOT make the list is women applying (or reapplying) make up on the tube.
I bring this up because the other day, on the Hammersmith and city line train from St Pancras to Paddington, I happened to be standing next to a woman who was doing just this.
Yes, when she first took her make up out of her bag I thought “Really, Now?” There are, of course many other times and locations where this would have been maybe a little more practical, but did I let it bother me? Of course not!
I’m a bit of a nosy person, a people watcher, so I do the thing of looking in the blackened window opposite so that I can “watch people” without causing an awkward situation. In the whole 13 minutes that I was on that train, the makeup woman applied eye shadow, foundation, blusher, eyeliner, mascara, lip-liner, lipstick and finally lip gloss.
Also, during this 13 minutes, I watched through the window as almost every guy I could see rolled their eyes or shook their head at what she was doing. A few of them actually had the audacity to ask her why she was putting on makeup whilst sitting on the train and one of them decided to point out to her that she will probably poke herself in the eye.
She responded calmly, smiling and saying that she’s fine, she’s used to it and as she said it I thought, yeah, she probably is! Because if that was me, surrounded by people making me uncomfortable like that I would have thrown myself out of the train at the next station and hid under the stairs somewhere.
I’ll be honest, the whole situation annoyed me. There are so many different people in big cities like London, tourists, locals, commuters, families on a trip to London Zoo, couples going for a walk in Regents Park or a fish and chips in “Holmes” chip shop in Baker Street (the chips are stupidly good by the way). Those guys on the train don’t know anything about this girl, she could be on her way to a very important interview but she’s running late and didn’t have time to do her make up before she left. She could be on her way to meet her boyfriend (or girlfriend) who she hasn’t seen in 3 weeks and so wants to look nice for them. Or, she could have problems with self-esteem, and putting on some eyeliner and lip gloss makes her feel more confident. It shouldn’t really matter. It’s not like she was waving the mascara wand around threatening to cover everyone in black goop. And as for the comments and looks that she was receiving, they weren’t going to make her stop what she was doing, If anything they were going to make her want to cover her face up even more and perhaps want to curl up in a ball or disappear… So well done 9pm commuters, well done.
But you know the two things that frustrated me the most about the whole situation? a) The fact that she looked absolutely stunning already and I envied the skill with which she applied her eyeliner WITHOUT, may I add, poking herself in the eye. And b) I had one of those horrible under the skin spot things forming on my chin, I could feel it (ew, I know, gross). And the only reason I hadn’t whipped my mirror and foundation out of my bag was because she’d grabbed the last seat in the carriage before I could.
So in conclusion, please don’t feel the need to voice your opinions to someone who is just minding their own business, no matter how “odd” you find the behaviour. That is all.