Mama, Don’t Let Your Babies Look Like a Hooker

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I’ve decided to refocus my writing back to the well from which it came, and that is with the divine, maternal, tactless wisdom of my mom, the Captain.  And not that it can ever repay her for “carrying me for nine LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOng months.,” but I figure its wise for the sake of my place on the offspring totem pole to pay homage to her royal wisdom at least once a week.

I’m calling this feature on my site, “What Would the Captain Say?” this week I’m just letting my beloved readers know the Captain’s stance on when is it appropriate for a young girl to start wearing makeup.

This is a no brainer.  The Captain would answer unequivocally, “Threaten them that if they ever leave your house looking like a painted up hooker, or even dare to think about puiting makeup on in the girls’ bathroom behind your back; you will come into their classroom with a washcloth and wash the makeup off their face in class, in front of all of their friends.”

I never did.  In the deepest, darkest corners of my pre-teen soul, I knew that there was an outside chance she just might.  The horror of entertaining the thought of such maternal humiliation kept me far away from the blue eyeliner being circulated in the bathroom during homeroom.

For girls blossoming into womanhood and their mothers, this is a rite of passage riddled with pre-teen angst and the slamming of doors.  I don’t know that there’s a woman among us who doesn’t remember the war waged with mom over cosmetics and their proper application.  The Captain was the clear winner in the Battle of Revlon in our house.  I remember it going down something like this…

One sticky summer day, I walked in complete stealth mode to the drugstore whose back lot bordered my childhood home; allowance money stuck to my sweaty palm and visions of slutted-up supermodels dancing in my head.  The bell rings as I push open the front door of DiStephano’s Pharmacy.  I beeline to the makeup aisle as if on autopilot, having staked out the colorful cosmetic Candyland for months now.

At age 12 and on the precipice of teenage status, I wasn’t aiming for the full Monty.  I knew that blue eyeliner and a neon pink shade of blush (or rouge as my Aunt Dot –God rest her soul) would call it) were way out of my league.  I was just asking for a little touch of color on my pouty lips.  Surely the Captain couldn’t find fault in innocent, little lipstick?

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. 

Here’s where my juvenile thought process and my feeble plan of attack came unglued, opening the door for the Captain to crush my high fashion hopes in one fell swoop.  My color choices clearly reflected my juvenile teenage tastes; I was, after all, just a wee, boob-less child lost in the Crayola Big Box-with-built-in- sharpener, wandering unattended in the forbidden Land of Revlon.

I saddled up to the cosmetics counter with the swagger of a veteran runway model, never letting on in my put upon, mature demeanor that this was my first rodeo.  I reached into the fishbowl pre-teen priced  lipsticks that sat on the counter to the cash register, and picked out a foursome of colors appropriate only for Cyndi Lauper or Boy George.

Pink.  Coral.  Blue and Green.

Yes, please!

I should have maybe stopped at pink, but clearly I didn’t have a lick of sense in my body.  I remember my hesitation and showing The Captain my new purchases.  I started with pink–she shot my ass right down.  Revealing the blue and green certainly didn’t stem the bloodshed.

For the next eternity I was subjected to my mom’s lengthy oration on why she would never let her any daughter of hers walk out of the house all “slutted up.”  She made it clear that my choice of cosmetics and their age appropriate, and tasteful application were a direct testament to the community’s perception of her as a fit mother.  The Captain made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that if I so much as thought about painting my face like a two-bit hussy, she would have no choice but to caste me forever in shame among my peers.

Point taken.

The War of Revlon and me fate were sealed when my brother appeared from the bathroom with my new blue lipstick all over his face, “Look.  Papa Smurf.”  The jackass broke out in a terrible rash that cost the Captain a healthy fee and a heaping pile of disgust to clear up.  Needless to say I never got to wear that blue shade of lipstick.  Damn.

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4 Responses to Mama, Don’t Let Your Babies Look Like a Hooker

  1. dianne says:

    AMEN. Nuff said!!!!

  2. Erin Higham Karicher says:

    I remember DiStephano”s!

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