like a whole bucket of stars

August 4, 2006

While applying eyeliner this morning, my face inches from the bathroom mirror, I remembered something my mother used to say to me for a period of time when I was a teenager. She said it out of exasperation, surely, but it was something along the lines of “Why do you try so hard to make yourself look as unattractive as possible?” Because I wasn’t an unattractive girl, but there were a few periods of time where I did things to myself/my wardrobe that I thought were cool (blue eyeliner used as lipliner, hair parted straight down the middle with no bangs and my very round face, a shapeless black skirt an old woman of my acquaintance gave me, etc.) but were not necessarily a way to enhance any attractiveness I might have had. I don’t think those things were an effort to look unattractive on purpose, I guess I just thought they were cool at the time, and I was more interested in doing something visually obnoxious to myself than in looking attractive.

Anyway, applying my eyeliner, I wondered what my mother would say now. I cut my hair a few days ago, it’s kind of a severe, short bob. It’s my usual cut, but the first week after a cut it tends to look a little off, a little too much. And I don’t wear any make-up but eyeliner and mascara, don’t take the time to blend things and make them look attractive, to follow the make-up rules. I just lay that eyeliner heavy and swooping across my lid. And I like the way it looks. But it can be a little severe, and perhaps not enhancing any attractiveness I might have. But that’s just the way I like it, I guess.

(I love you mom, and I’m remembering those words you said with some fondness! You were the best mother a teenager could have.)

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