Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Adventures in Sisterhood; Part Two

On that historic Saturday, we decided to give Baby Sister a makeover. A much less harrowing though also substantially less thrilling venture.

We got out all the various pots and palettes that my mother trustingly kept beneath the bathroom cabinet, and went to work. Baby Sister sat agreeably still while we tried to copy the techniques we had seen our Mom use. She opened, closed and pouted on command, no doubt pleased as punch to have our undivided and seemingly benevolent attention. Poor kid.

As I was applying the finishing touches, Middle Sister said,

“Ummm, Big Sister, that doesn’t really look like when Mom does it.”

She was right. I was going for Olivia Newton John, but somehow, Baby Sister looked more like Joan Crawford on a bender.

“Well that’s because I’m not finished yet.” I said indignantly. “I have to do the contouring.”

“Contouring? What’s that?” Middle Sister asked. Her tone was doubtful.

“It’s a technique that make-up artists use. You’ll see.”

I continued layering and blending, until Joan Crawford had morphed into Bela Lugosi. It was hopeless and I had to concede defeat.

“That looks kind of bad, Big Sister.”

“Yeah, we should probably wash it off.”

Baby Sister, completely unaware of her unsettling appearance, demanded,

“Me see!”

Middle Sister and I exchanged looks and she shrugged.

“Maybe she’ll like it.” she said, hopefully.

“Me see!” Baby Sister demanded once again.

I hesitantly handed Baby Sister a mirror. Her look of gleeful anticipation quickly turned to shock and horror. The crimson slash that was her once cherubic pout opened like a gaping wound and she began to shriek. The tears ran from her mascara caked blue eyes, turning her already ghoulish visage into an even more horrific display.

We offered her cookies, piggyback rides, unlimited choice of television programming…nothing would stop the disconsolate wailing. We began to panic, knowing that if Dad was roused from the couch, there would be Big Trouble.

“Offer her your Purple Pie Man.” I commanded.

“What?!?!?” She huffed. “Why should I? She likes your Fashion Plates just as much!”

At this point, Baby Sister’s cries escalated a notch, and we abandoned the argument in the interest of shutting her up. Middle sister closed the bathroom door and frantically stuffed a towel into the one inch gap beneath the door, while I tried to scrub Baby Sister’s face with spit moistened toilet tissue, which, of course, immediately disintegrated and stuck to the mess already caking her face.

She looked like she was molting. Now instead of Joan Crawford or Bela Lugosi, she looked some large species of fowl with a serious problem. Her fine red-gold hair, which had a tendency to stand on end, contributed to that impression. I stealthily slid the mirror underneath the bath mat, terrified that she would get another glimpse at herself.


“Middle Sister, this stuff won’t come off. What are we going to do????”

“I don’t know!” she wailed. “You’re the oldest!”

The honor and distinction of being firstborn comes with certain responsibilities, which, depending upon the circumstances, are either grievously lamented, or blatantly exploited. In this case, I would have willingly relinquished my place in the birth order and given up all the associated perks to escape the blame and guilt that was sure to be heaped upon me in the form of a “we expect more from you because you’re the oldest” speech.

Our parents were masters at making us truly sorry for our errant ways. Not because of consequences, which, though often suitably disagreeable, were nothing compared to the shame of letting them down. Spankings weren’t half as effective as a slow sad head shake and a look of heart wrenching disappointment on the face of the people who gave me life. I dreaded the guilt, and, like all parents, mine were disconcertingly aware of that fact.

Something had to be done.

I’m sure that cosmetics in 1978 were full of carcinogens, lead, red dye No. 5 and rodent droppings, but they sure had staying power. I began rifling through the bathroom cabinets, looking for the stuff I had seen my mother smearing on her face to remove the pancake foundation, mauvulous blusher, and spiced plum iridescent eye shadow.

I loved that plum iridescen eye shadow. In later years I would sneak it out of the bathrooom and apply it liberarally to my lids. I would wear it to the roller rink, feeling sophisticated and glamorous. Often, I would forget to put back until my Mother was getting ready for work the next day. She would holler “I’M GOING TO GET DRESSED NOW. WHOEVER TOOK MY SPICED PLUM EYESHADOW HAD BETTER GET IN BACK IN THE BATHROOM BEFORE I GET BACK!!”

She knew full well that "whoever", was me.

At last I found what I thought was cold cream, and held it aloft with the kind of reverence one would typically reserve for a holy relic. I opened the jar and inhaled the sweet redolence of oatmeal and honey.

14 Comments:

  • At 2:48 PM, OpenID wheelsonthebus said…

    Good thing you skipped beauty school, girl, because you might have flunked.

     
  • At 3:44 PM, Blogger Trenches of Mommyhood said…

    You had me at Fashion Plates.

     
  • At 8:22 PM, Blogger Jenn said…

    The Holy Grail: Noxema.

    Plum eyeshadow--my favorite. I wear it every single day.

     
  • At 9:39 PM, Blogger anne said…

    I always said my parents could be travel agents for guilt trips.

    I remember one time I didn't want to eat one lima bean. It was the LAST LIMA BEAN. I ate all the others but that one. My dad said "Poor little lima bean won't be with all of its friends..."

    I ate it.

     
  • At 7:45 AM, Blogger Polgara said…

    You made me smile and i'm the youngest.....

     
  • At 8:36 AM, Blogger Avalon said…

    Oh no. I am very afraid of where this is going........

     
  • At 11:24 AM, Blogger drowning pisces said…

    HA! Damn girl you can tell a story! I'm always in awe. I couldn't stop grinning. Downright laughed out loud to the plum eyeshadow... not that I wore it in high school or anything.. ahem!

     
  • At 12:47 PM, Blogger Bea said…

    Fashion Plates! I had almost forgotten about those.

     
  • At 1:50 PM, Blogger Natalie said…

    i'm with the other girls. I miss fashion plates.

     
  • At 3:16 PM, Anonymous Miss Britt said…

    I have an overwhelming urge to call my baby brothers and apologize.

     
  • At 8:50 PM, Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said…

    You're gonna get in trou-ble. You're gonna get in trou-ble.

     
  • At 9:30 PM, Blogger kevin said…

    Whenever I do theater I dread wearing makeup mainly because I can't do it myself and the high schooler who volunteers to be in charge of makeup always enjoys tarting me up to the point that I have to spend a good hour after the show in the shower. Before that my only real experience with makeup was when I would steal my sister's "good foundation" to try and cover up a zit. I never could seem to get blending down though and therefore just became the target of ridicule from female classmates.

     
  • At 10:29 PM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    I still remember that when my baby sister screamed, I'd hold my hand over her mouth so my mother couldn't hear, all the while, I'd be promising her all my toys, my candy, anything to get her to get quiet! I never did glue her up with oatmeal face mask though.

     
  • At 4:52 PM, Blogger the only daughter said…

    What drowning pisces said, except for the plum eyeshadow. No way. No how. Uh uh. Nope.

    Moving on.

     

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