Jenny knocks on the door of the guest room, where I am getting dressed. She hands me a box. “Open it,” she urges.
It contains a pair of lacy blue silk underwear. “That’s your something new and your something blue,” she says. “I thought about wearing them once to make them old, but there are too many bad memories with those days.”
She is referring to our childhood, when I would accuse her of wearing my underwear. She probably didn’t and if she did, it was by accident. We shared a room and a dresser. It is possible our mom put the wrong underwear in the wrong drawer. Why a mother should even have to put clothes in her children’s drawers I don’t know. If a kid is old enough to dress herself, she is old enough to put her own clothes away. My mom figured that out pretty quickly and soon got to the point where she left the clean clothes on our beds.
And yes, we knew where our own clothes went.
We even know where bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen linens were stored. We knew all this even though neither of us had a PhD in English.
“Let me do your hair and makeup,” she says. “You need to look good.”
Not that this sexpot even needs lipstick.
She opens her bag, removes makeup, a hairdryer, a curling iron, and various potions, and gets busy. She puts some magic potion on my hair, then dries it while she pulled it out with a round brush.
I don’t even own a round brush.
She plugs in the hot iron, then runs it through my hair several times.
“Don’t move!” she snaps as I lean into the hot wand. A little burn on the neck to celebrate the wedding.
She plucks my eyebrows, which I have never done.
She strokes foundation on my skin, blending it quickly and decisively. The few times in my life that I have tried to apply foundation, I have ended up looking like a kabuki dancer.
She applies eyeliner, a skill I have never mastered, then eye shadow. Three colors. All blended together. I’ve seen it done in magazines but have never been brave enough to try it on myself. Mascara. Then lipstick. I have never been good with lipstick. Putting it on seems easy enough, but I have never figured out how to pick the right color. I don’t own any. I just get the chapstick from my dentist – it’s what he gives out instead of lollipops – twice a year and that’s enough lip adornment for me.
Let me tell you about my sister and her mad makeup and accessorizing skills.
In my first job out of college, when I was 25 and she was 22 and already established in her nursing career after earning a two-year RN degree for which she borrowed no money – smart girl, smart career choices – I wish I had had her sense and majored in something more practical than English – Jenny came to visit me at work. She was in
Austin for a meeting and picked me up for
She walked in the door wearing a miniskirt and high heels. Her shirt was not low cut, but it was pretty obvious that she had gotten all the bosom that was allocated to the Digger sisters.
Her long, curly blonde hair tumbled down her back. It had grown back since the Great Haircutting Debacle of ‘XX when she and the neighbor boy, Stevie, got into the gardener’s toolbox and found the hedge clippers.
|My sister and me, back when we didn’t need makeup. Although I do know of people who happen to be Texans, which makes me sad, because it gives people a bad image of Texas, who put full makeup on their elementary school age daughters|
Her long nails were red. Her makeup was perfect. She was wearing long earrings that twinkled against her hair.
I was wearing my little navy blue suit and a pink cotton blouse with a bow tie, for that was what proper young corporate women wore to work in the that time. It was radical for a professional woman to wear a dress to work and pants were out of the question.
I introduced my boss and a co-worker to Jenny when she arrived, then she and I went to lunch.
After she dropped me back at work, my boss sighed, “Your sister oozes sensuality.”
“Yeah,” my co-worker breathed. “You guys are complete opposites.”
Jenny knows what she is doing with hair and makeup. When she finishes, she turns me to the mirror.
I swear I do not even recognize myself. She is a miracle worker.