Put on Your Reddest Lipstick and Move (On), Musee Rodin, Paris

Or, Seven Ways to Reduce Puffy Eyes.

I sprained my little four-chambered muscle in Paris, not terribly easy to mend in a city that’s all la vie en rose and stripey-teed couples canoodling and a quiet underpinning of jazz always in the air. But these seven steps made moving on bearable: finding the simple pleasures in a new day in Paris.

1. Stop crying.

On the windy tip-top of the eighty-one story Eiffel Tower, this place so fraught with romantic sensibility in this capital of Romance, noticeably absent was his affectionate nature. Nothing as much as “If you’re chilly, we can go.”


We got to his apartment, and down came the velvet hammer. We’d spent I don’t know how many hours talking. To be more accurate, he was talking; I was a blubbing, ugly-cry idiot.

2. Sleep, if possible.

I didn’t act like an adult and declare, “I am going to bed!” collecting the shreds of dignity in the forms of dermatological and dental hygiene and soft pajamas. Oh no. I ended up in the fetal position, exhausted of sobbing, having tore off my clothes from the day thrown in a rumpled pile on the floor, wrapped myself up in a blanket between smeared mascara and snot. That’s how I found myself in the morning.

3. Take a bath or shower.

I snapped awake after only four hours. I peeked over. He was still sleeping, so completely on the other side of the bed, he was as far away as he could have gotten from me without ending up on the floor. 

I quickly sought creature comforts. What simple soothing shampoo, soap, wash cloth and warm water give! In a tub of used bath water, I thought, I could spend all day in this warm filth. To avoid further sulking, I unplugged the drain stopper so the cold would force me to get up. I watched the water slowly drain to a gurgle and kept on.

4. Wear the reddest lipstick.

You don’t need little glass pots chock full o’ concealer or slices of cool cucumber to hide the bags under and above your eyes. Just draw people’s gazes away from puffy eyes down to a considerable rouge pout with good swipes of MAC’s lip pencils (my favorites are Cruella and Jungle Red).

Red lip, Rodin's salon

5. Get a little exercise.

Instead of using one of the carnet for the Métro, I opted for the Vélib instead – the municipal bike share for visitors and locals. The sun helps and the feeling of a working body, the wind in your nostrils and the freedom of a bicycle.

Vélib public bike sharing, Paris, France

Vélib public bike sharing, Paris, France

6. Go somewhere worthy of your fabulous red lips. Get out of your head a little bit. GO.

The Musée Auguste Rodin is in the former house, studio, garden and grounds of the sculptor.

Rodin’s complete retrospective is displayed within: from his days as a youth, winning fine art competitions and early casts like John the Baptist and Man With a Broken Nose; his best known work, The Thinker; his twenty years’ endeavor, The Gates of Hell.

Like a living sculpture, the garden and grounds well highlight Rodin’s fountains and other bronzes hidden about.

7. Eat well and do other things you love.

In the garden is a cafe where I took lunch in the dappled shade of the sycamores. A sparrow fluttered, then hopped to gobble a few brushed-off sesame seeds from my tuna sandwich. After a bottle of Pellegrino, I jotted a mammoth entry in my notebook and fell into some serious REM on a park bench on the museum grounds.

Musée Rodin is on 79 Rue de Varenne, Paris, in the 7th arrondissement, Métro Varenne (line 13).

For my dear friend, G.


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