by Melinda Gallo

Bellissima!

As I was leaving the hair salon, with all my bottles of lavendar oil, herbal tea, shampoo, and conditioner, the girl at the front desk decided to also put some make-up on me as a special treat. She probably put on more than I would normally feel comfortable with. I had pink plastic, shiny lips the kind that my husband detests. The ones that look like you could just take it all off in one piece. All I could think of was I'm sure I have some Kleenex in my purse to wipe this off before I get home. Dave would probably freak out if he saw me.

She asked me, "Di dove sei? Sei italiana?" (Where are you from? Are you Italian?) I told her the same story I tell everyone about where I'm from and my origins. "Non ho capito perché il tuo cognome è italiano," (I didn't understand because your last name is Italian.) she said to me.

But, as many women know, when you have make-up on you feel almost transformed. You feel different, even more attractive.

As I walked past the Santa Croce church a few men were standing near the parked cars and one of them looked at me and said, "Bellissima!" No one had said that to me in a long time. Was it the hair? The make-up? The fake plastic pink lips? I felt flattered and just smiled to myself. The reason didn't matter.

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