March 6, 2010 9:48:00 PM
David Creel -
She is, quite simply, the personification of class. She doesn''t need to shout to be heard. When she speaks, people intuitively listen.
"It''s for those of us who have had just a few more birthdays, and you will love it," she says. That''s nothing more than my special friend doing the very thing she does best and always with integrity, sincerity and honesty.
Jackie Chasteen might be recommending an anti-aging moisturizer or foundation to someone who has just walked up to the makeup counter. Maybe it''s an old friend; maybe, a new one. Regardless, one thing is certain. She greets every minute and each client with the same amount of excitement, joy and appreciation that is not surprising to all who know her, because she has figured out that the cliché is true: "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." And she has also learned that greatness comes through simple goodness and elegance through simplicity.
Beneath the surface
One of my favorite things to do is find a forgotten piece of furniture in a barn or thrift store, peel away the old paint and sand off the years to discover a splendid "new" treasure underneath. For instance, I just stumbled upon the most divine set of dining chairs, all dusty and pushed way back into the far corner of an antique store. Neglected, the past had not been kind to my six new friends, their beauty faded.
I brought those chairs home in my attempt to help them, the ones in which no one saw beauty anymore, and began reclaiming their hidden magic. A few coats of sage green paint, some gold leafing, and many hours later, I sit here with my new "friends" writing this column. Their beauty was always there, you see, it was just hidden.
What I did with those chairs, Jackie does with people. "Old paint" might take the form of worry and stress; fatigue or depression might be the tarnished hardware. Jackie just smiles from behind the makeup counter, dressed in signature ink and gold, and says, "Welcome. I would simply love to help you."
A true Southern lady in every sense of the word, she embodies grace and wears it well. Customers are friends, and co-workers are family. And when a client leaves her makeup counter, the beauty -- inner and outer -- that had sometimes been hidden is once again revealed.
Tomorrow is Jackie''s birthday. There she will be from 9:45 a.m. until 5 p.m., celebrating the way she enjoys most, surrounded by lip liners and mascara, putting out the welcome mat for all, placing their needs above her own. We could all learn a thing or two from my dear, sweet treasure of a friend. It might be about makeup on the surface, but it is really about so much more. There is honor that comes from doing a job well, all day, every day.
I have learned so much from you, my mentor, my friend, and I am better for knowing you. Happy birthday, Jackie!
Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.