Curling Irons and Eyeliner

Deadlines blown like the veins in my arms.

Though not my writing deadline.  I wrote the below before the big sick hit me again, and I ended up back in my bed at Mercy hoping and trying to keep the dragon in my stomach at bay.  It’s been an intensely crap week.  There was a little bright spot that I’m happy to share, however.  When I sent out those poems a while back, I got a nibble, and one of them will be featured in Ghost City Press August issue.  So that made me feel better while my body took care of making me feel worse. Enough of this sad stuff.  Let’s get nostalgic.

***

The other day I watched as a young girl sat on her living room floor in front of a full-length mirror, wearing one of three outfit changes that day, frantically trying to curl her hair so that it looks just the way she wants for her birthday party.

Remember that girl? We were those girls.

Growing up with Kevin led me to a friend circle that was mostly male, but going to an all-girls school definitely gave me a strong circle of female friends as well.  I remember many nights at my friend Christina’s getting ready for dances and parties, and later, when older and out of high school like the girl I just described, living on the cusp of our twenties, I would find myself applying makeup on Molly’s kitchen floor.  How many nights of hair dye and nail polish did we live through?

My taste in makeup evolved over time.  I was never very good at it, and I always bought the cheap stuff, and to this day will remember the time I spent 20 bucks on a tube of lipstick.  It seemed so extravagant.  Of course, now I use 40-dollar face cream in little droplets like it’s made with real gold.  I don’t dye my hair crazy colors, though it has been a few.  And I don’t try on twelve outfits anymore, I pretty much always know the look I want and feel comfortable with.  Which is all part of growing up.

I often talk to Bernie about youth, because she is in it, a precious 21-year-old who has never eaten a tide pod and will vote for gun control.  It is the youth I see through her that makes me know the world is going to be alright.  It is.  There are some super bright young people out there and we are not giving them enough attention.  But I digress…

I like looking back to my youth through her, but the part that’s really amazing is knowing how much easier that stuff gets.  It takes me a full 30 minutes to get ready to go out now, something that once took hours of my day.  I am comfortable in how I look, something I could not say was true of my twenties.  I don’t need to spend two hours curling my hair because I can do it in less than a half hour now, and I wouldn’t anyways because my god!  So much work for so little payoff.

Being young is beautiful, but so is growing older.  I think that as we age we fall into deeper versions of ourselves, getting in touch with who we really are and shrugging off the baggage that we don’t need anymore.  I don’t NEED to spend an hour on Molly’s floor trying to perfect a wing-tipped eye.

But damn, if it wasn’t fun.

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