Sunday, November 5, 2017

Oh, For the Love of Lipstick...

I've always said that when Senia Mae was born she appeared with a poof of glitter. That's not exactly true, it was actually an emergency c-section, but even then it seemed that right after her first bath she was already wearing a tutu. Much to my chagrin, the tutu talk has now flip-flopped into in-depth discussions of bras and makeup.

"Tons of girls in my class are wearing bras," Senia Mae says nonchalantly as we stand next to each other brushing our teeth over the bathroom sink.

"What?" I gasp. "You're seven... girls in the second grade should not need to wear a bra unless they are having a severe hormonal imbalance!" I view my reflection in the mirror and am not sure if the foaming at my mouth is excess toothpaste or my body's appalled reaction to my daughter wanting to grow up too fast.

"Well everyone else is wearing one," she says.

"We don't always do what everyone else does," I say. "By the way, I noticed you've been into my lipsticks."

"How could you tell?" she asks as her face flushes a bright crimson.

"You have to twist the lipstick back down before you put the cover back on."

"Oh," she says. "I was going to talk to you about them anyway."

"About my lipsticks?" I ask.

"Yes, Momma, you have way to many of the same color."

"What do you mean? These are all different colors. There's Tobago, Rain, which is a moisturizing gloss, and this one, custard, is actually a concealer even though it's shaped like a lipstick."

"What's a concealer?"

"It hides the dark circles under my eyes when I don't get enough sleep."

"Oh, like when I come into your bed in the middle of the night and keep you awake by sleeping sideways."

"Exactly," I say.

"Well, since we're both not getting much sleep... maybe I need to use concealer, too."

Friday, October 13, 2017

This, That, and the Other

Most of the time, with the modern advances in digital photo-shopping, I am able to disguise the fact that I am indeed a child of the seventies. That is until my mother comes on the scene.

Before my parents headed south, Senia Mae and I flew up to the Beantown one last time to help them clean out the attic, which looked strikingly similar to an episode of "Hoarders."

"Mom, why are you saving all of this crap?" I asked.

"You never known when your children are going to want a piece of their childhood...," she said as she held up a Smurfs mini deck of cards key ring. "Remember this?" Mom asked. "This was your first key to our old house. You demanded to have your own key when you were only in kindergarten!"

The Smurfs key ring was not something I was particularly interested in but come to think of it I wouldn't have minded uncovering my old Pigs in Space lunchbox. I remember strutting into the cafeteria of the Shawsheen School feeling like I was the coolest kid on the block (believe me, I wasn't) just because I was toting that square metal lunchbox.

For some reason, my clouded memory seems to think I might have had an incident at the bus stop where I pounded my beloved lunchbox over the head of Richie Gardner, the street bully, and then shamefully threw it away to hide the evidence. No, I must have dreamed up that terrible story. I urged Senia Mae to keep looking.

After the last box was finally cleared, the old attic looked amazingly empty. I was reminded of how enormous the space was.
"Mom, there is so much room you could have a whole bowling alley up here! Why didn't we think of that before?" I laughed as the three of us walked down the creaky attic stairs and closed the door for the last time. There was no sight of my old lunchbox, I knew it was gone.

On the plane ride back to Atlanta I asked Senia Mae if she found any great treasures in Grammy's attic. "Oh yes," she said as she pulled out a dusty coloring book that Grammy has secretly slid into her bag. Senia Mae beamed proudly as she displayed the yellowed pages of what obviously was once my Disco Girl coloring book.
Of all of the discarded pieces of my childhood, Disco girl was what she chose. And that is why there's no real way to hide my age because there's always evidence hiding somewhere in my mother's house!

By the time we had gotten home, Kim had heard all about our adventures in the attic and my disappointment over not finding my Pigs in Space lunchbox. One of the great benefits of our modern computer age is that if you can't find what you long for in your mom's old attic, you can usually find it on Ebay! Thank you, Kim!