My Beautiful Wickedness

Bad Case of Clown Face (or Bridgett has a beauty mishap)
March 15, 2007, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I usually look…well, not exactly daft. My socks match each other, but sometimes not the color of my pants. (White goes with everything, right? Right?) My hair could use a cut. I’m growing older, wiser, and greyer, but I don’t color my hair, so there’s some grizzled bits in strange textures sproingling out. I’m too fat. I could use two new pair of shoes (my habit is one black pair, one brown pair and wear them out. Then wait about a year too long before buying another two pairs.) I bite my fingernails, but just to even things up. I have things in my wardrobe over twenty years old. I’ve been a mother for nearly nine years and was in grad school for over a decade, with the various sags, stains, and neglectfulness to one’s appearance that sometimes accompanies these conditions.

I was not always like this. Friends can vouch that while I had outre taste in clothing (y’all, it was the 80s), I was pretty spiffy back in the day. But any hawtness that I might have had is loooong gone.

This is a long way of saying that if I was riding on a bus and you were a passenger, you would not try to move away from me but you’d hope for my sake that I had a rich interior life.

So. Last night’s dress rehearsal for my daughter’s dance recital was my idea of hell. We had to do the kids’ hair and make-up to the exacting specifications of former cosmetologists turned dance instructors. I haven’t used a curling iron in nine years. I never have gotten the hang of eyeliner on myself. I have make-up in my ziplock bag (No fancy case for me! I hardly ever use the stuff.) that I bought in high school. Clearly, I was going to need some remedial help. To compound things, my daughter’s age division of dancers is burdened with a surfeit of “dance moms” who were former pageant queens. Former cheerleaders. Former figure skaters. (I refer to them in my head as “the formers.”) They come into dress rehearsals with CASES of make-up. Like small footlockers! On wheels! Four different kinds of curling irons. Fistfuls of brushes. They refer to hair stuff as “product.” (“You need to put product in that.”) It was hell, I tell you.

The dance instructors explicitly do not want scary pageant-freak looking kids…they just want them to be visible under stage lighting. I was good with that. But I’m a mom with a kid that dances, not a “dance mom”. The formers — who are under other circumstances perfectly nice, sane, friendly people — began competing with one another (must have been the smell of hair spray that triggered this) for the approval of the instructors. And while they were playing a vicious little game of bumper cars using their kids as vehicles, me and mine were sitting over on the sidelines patiently putting on eyeliner. Then wiping it off, because I got it wrong. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Finally, on the fifth try, the instructor took pity on my daughter and put it on her so that we could move on. She told me to go home and practice on myself. Same story with hair. I was told to go home and learn to use my curling iron before I tried it on her. I love my kid — she was so patient and cooperative at times when other girls were all in tears. Then again, no one was making her look like a hooker and because she had an incompetent parent (the shame!), she became the class model. She was very proud that she looked so nice and I was glad she wasn’t disappointed that I don’t know cheek mousse from glissade. (I did, however, know that Waterloo was a land battle, which made me the hero of the 14-16 age group studying for their world history exam. I’m not wholly without talents.)

Which brings me to the moment. I took a break from grading and decided, since I had to buy my daughter all this new make-up, that I would try some of it myself. The first time, I looked like a birthday cake drawn by a three-year-old. This time I just look…eccentric. I’m going to keep this on for a while just to see if it will grow on me — could be that I need more subtle shades or maybe I’ve forgotten what I look like with mascara on.

The curling iron is plugged in. If I can find any product, I’m going to give it a go.


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[…] to do it — to the studio where he endured the hyper-feminine attack that is the Formers (see this post for more details on them). He brought back a great dinner so that we could all enjoy our evening […]

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