I read that if you have droopy upper eyelids, or wrinkles, egg whites applied to the skin tightens it up. So when I crack an egg some mornings, I dip my finger into the empty shell and smear a layer of egg white around my eyes. I always think I’ll wash it off after a while, but then I forget all about it.

At least once I’ve been in company and remembered the egg white on my face. No one’s mentioned it, so maybe it doesn’t show. But people are kind. They might see it and say nothing.

Not all people. I have one friend who would say anything critical (“All you ever talk about is your damn kids! Have you no life of your own?” she said to her co-worker one day) and thinks she has such a “way” of saying things that people are not offended. I beg to differ, and told her so: It’s just that they’re so shocked that they don’t know what to say, so they say nothing. I have reacted in exactly this way to her rudeness, many times over the years.

One day we sat side by side against the south wall of my house, having a smoke. The conversation got onto hands and I mentioned that Petra had recognized mine in a photo of a group of women with our hands on a kitchen counter; that she’d remarked she could tell they were mine because of the way I hold them.

In comparison to the hands of many women, mine are quite small. My smoking buddy had never noticed. I mentioned the Saturday Night Live character who has the tiny, tiny doll hands. My buddy looked at mine and said “Ew! You’re right!” It was the first time it ever occurred to me that my hands are so small they could look deformed.

I don’t think they do. I hope not. But if they were/are, and I asked Petra about it, I know what she would say: “No they’re not! They’re nice little hands! They’re just right!”

Not necessarily because they are nice and just right, but because she is either kind to the bone, or sees me with loving eyes no matter what, or maybe a combination of both. (And her hands are roughly the same size!)

And while I value friends who tell the truth as they see it, I value even more a friend who sees egg on my face and tells me it looks good on me. Gotta love that.