Sunday, April 15, 2012

...across the room to share some abnormalities.....

When I hear about some of the antics of my grand-babies I am reminded of my own growing up years and some of the things that I did way back then. The eyes in this picture belong to one of my beautiful grand-babies. I don't think my eyes were ever this pretty but I remember wanting pretty eyes, lips, hair, etc. Make-up was not allowed in our house. I remember my mother wearing only powder "to take the shine off" and for cheek colour.....well, she would pinch them! I was probably ten or eleven when I began seeing flaws in myself and thinking of innovative remedies for a more beautiful face. I saved my pennies and together with my cousin purchased the cheapest hair dye in the bluest black colour we could find. She dyed mine; I dyed hers and that night we slept on the metal curlers in our hair. My natural hair was almost blue black to begin with but my mind told me I would wake up to a completely transformed "woman" and in the morning ran to the bathroom to get the curlers out of my hair to admire my new look. I could have died when all I could see was WHITE all over my head! No more secrets for this ten year old as I ran from the bathroom to the kitchen to take whatever I would have coming for doing something so WRONG behind my parent's backs and hopefully get some advice from my mother about what to do with this hair before school! It turned out the dye was probably so old it turned into a powder as it dried and was easily rinsed out and my mother realized I had learned enough without any admonishment from her!
You'ld think I would have learned my lesson? Eyes were next on the agenda. The same cousin (3 years my senior!) told me that if you cut your eyelashes they will grow back looooong and curled! That's all the encouragement I needed as a 10 year old! I found a pair of small scissors and off they came! May as well continue with the beauty regime and attack those pale lips while I was at it! Memory fails me regarding the colour and it may have been just a plain gloss but since we did not own lipstick I thought a longer lasting application might be found in nail polish. I always did these things just before bed time. All I can say is "MY POOR MOTHER" although she's probably laughing it up in heaven if she has time to think about these memories there! For the next few days I suffered through the worst case of self inflicted chapped lips ever! I tried peeling it off but my skin would come off right along with it. A painful lesson to be cemented into my memory for life!
I admit I was aware of how desperately my mother tried to cover her disbelief and nearly uncontrollable laughter as I showed up time and again almost unrecognizable some days. Eyebrows cut off with the same little pair of scissors and drawn in again with the artful style of a ten year old; haircuts too embarrassing for any girl my age to admit to and equally embarrassing for my poor Mom probably although she had the best sense of humor! I remember desperately wanting a slim skirt which my mother would not make for me so I found a long piece of fabric and sewed the two ends together to make a tube (who needs waist bands, zippers or hems anyway?!) tried it on and hid behind the washing machine since I was supposed to be helping with the laundry that day. I could tell my mother saw what I was wearing and I just knew she left the room to laugh her face off and not to "get something". Next I found a bra that actually fit around my slight frame but of course I had nothing to put into the cups so I stuffed them with socks and pranced around in the back yard like that! If you could see me now you would see that my face is red.
One day my cousin applied the nicest shade of red lipstick to my lips when we were outside one evening and assured me it would come off without any problem. Before she left I wiped it off until she assured me there wasn't a trace left. Of course we had no mirror for me to see for myself. She was older and I trusted her. I can still see the look on my mother's face when I walked in the door and the near explosion of laughter. I even remember my father's eyebrows way up in his hairline and the look he gave my mother. It meant "she needs soap and she needs it NOW!" To make matters worse, they had company in the house to witness this ten year old "rebellion"!
This post could be SO LONG but if I continue you might think I was, well, abnormal?
I think it is good to revisit the past. Especially when you are raising children and they are doing and saying things that begin to scare you a little. Just remember me. I turned out OK. I'm almost normal!!

6 comments:

not Mary Lynn said...

Beautiful eyes.

Not all ten year old girls are as daring as you were, but not all ten year old girls have a mother that is as understanding!

Elayne said...

So true. She was a wonderful Mom and for the most part I just really wanted to please her and never upset her in any way. I don't think it dawned on me at the time that if I could see the difference my primping made, others would notice as well!

Renita said...

Oh my dear friend ........ I NEVER cease to be amazed at ....... you!! How you make me laugh and surprise me with ever wonderful stories!! LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!!

And I really try not to be wistful (too much??) when I experience your mom and dad through your stories! You are blessed indeed!!

Elayne said...

I just remembered this morning that to this very day I sometimes hear my hair stylist say "It will grow" after I've attached my hair with my own scissors!! Some things never change, hey?

Jobina said...

my girl is only seven and already I can tell that she may just take after her Nana :)...cutting her own bangs at 3, applying "lady of the night" makeup to go to church, and the array of interesting clothing combos! At least she has personality and isn't boring. And I think you're right, I'm sure Grandma still gets a kick out of those stories!

Elayne said...

She may take after her Nana but at least she didn't ever crawl out the door to the middle of the yard and suck out the insides of a caterpillar. Like I said, my poor mother! LOL!