Since my days of Care Bears and wall ball, I have been a girly girl. It all started out in the form of tutu's and peel-off nail polish but gradually and steadily grew with me from My Little Ponies to Barbies. American Girl dolls to dress up clothes. Jewelry making to baking. I loved it all. Especially if it was pink. Oh yes - pink always played a strong role. Still does, in fact...although not in the same consuming capacity.
As the years rolled on I always found ways to express myself in creative ways that stayed true to my girlish nature. Then - the teen years hit. God bless my parents who stuck with me through those years. By the time I was about 13, all I wanted in life was to be allowed to wear make-up. Make-up was cool, make-up was fun, make-up was all up in the pages of Seventeen magazine and I needed to get my hands on it. I felt so envious of the girls in school with black eyeliner and mascara. Make-up was my Red Ryder BB gun and "You're too young," was my "You'll shoot you're eye out kid."
I solved this lack of parental support by digging through my Mom's back-up make-up bag. I didn't really care what she had in there, I just knew that she hardly ever used the stuff so as far as I was concerned, it was free reign. I would take whatever I could get my grubby little hands on with me to school and put it on in the bathroom before classes started. Then, before I walked home after school, I would wash it off in the same bathroom. Perfect plan. Fail-safe. Waterproof. Or so I thought...
When one is 13 and has stolen her Mother's early 90's turquoise eyeliner and shellacked it on her eyelid with zero practice or artistry, it does not come off quite as smoothly as that 13 year old might think in a halogen-lit bathroom with paper towels as soft as a brillo pad.
My Mom was on to me in no time and the gig was up.
I thought she was going to freak out. I had lied. I had stolen her make-up which, in the process of using, had ruined with my total and utter lack of a clue as to proper application. But...to my surprise, she didn't. In fact, it was quite the opposite. She understood.
I guess I had to get my girly-girlness from somewhere.
Shortly after I was caught, my Mom took me to the drug store and helped me pick out some make-up. She explained to me about skin-tone and how to pick colors accordingly. She showed me the difference between brown, black/brown and black mascara. Once we got home, we sat together while she showed me how to apply it and what I remember most is the peachy-pink Cover Girl lip-gloss that made me feel like a movie star. Finally, I had my own make-up.
As I write this today, it seems like such a trivial matter - my desire to wear makeup - but, as I have been going through this process of planning my wedding and defining my style, I have realized how much my Mom has influenced me over the years. There are a million moments like the make-up lesson in the drug store that I have had with her over the years that have wholeheartedly shaped who I am today. Not only did she allow me to be the girly-girl that I have always been, but she pushed me to try things that scared me or intimidated me. When I showed interest in sewing, she bought me fabric. When I felt like painting, she cleared the table. When I was deciding if I should leave my stable and comfortable job at an insurance brokerage for an uneasy and volatile job in the film industry, she reminded me that I went to film school for a reason.
So, Mom, thank you. Thank you for always accepting who I have been and for teaching me how to be a lady. The lessons you have taught me will always be in my heart and will be lessons I can hopefully carry forward to my future children.
And thank you, so dearly, for that Cover Girl peachy-pink lip gloss - it meant more than you ever knew.