My mother’s hair always made me laugh. She spent so long trying to make it look perfect that when the ends curled out in the opposite way- which they inevitably did every single day- it seemed almost satirical. Not to mention pointless.
Even so, every morning she would spend countless hours in the mirror listening to Stevie Nicks and dancing with the curling iron in her silk bath robe. I was always jealous because it looked like such fun, but my father said that because I was a boy I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup or play with my hair. Luckily for me, my mother didn’t approve of sexism and sometimes, after my father would go to work, she would let me play with her mascara.
At the age of five, I wasn’t exactly an expert at applying cosmetics, and so I would sit on her marble countertop trying my absolute damnest to get it just right. But somehow, with every attempt, it would always seem to clump up, or run, or I would stab myself in the eye and cry “Mommy! It poked me!” She thought it was hysterical, and she would tell me to hold still while she wiped the smudges off my face, which is something not easily done by a child still in the single digits. Then she would put it on for me and I would try ever so hard not to blink. Somehow, even after I always managed to do so, it would still come out impeccably. Then we would trade places and I would try to make her look even more beautiful, though she usually wound up looking like a cracked-out geisha and would later have to reapply it anyway. But afterwards we would sing and dance in our bathrobes pretending to be Stevie’s special-guest singers who would eventually bring Fleetwood Mac back together for a reunion tour.