Friday, October 21, 2011

Locker Room Revisited

A couple of months ago a friend asked if she could use one of my blog posts as a monologue when she auditioned for a play. She found a post she thought would work and we worked together on revising it. She auditioned for the play, scored the lead, and the highlight of my life was that I got to see the play AND see my name in the program (she thanked me in the program, that's huge!). Anyway, it was really fun and just yesterday I saw something in the gym that reminded me of this monologue inspiring experience...someone was combing their eyelashes with a toothbrush. Is this normal? I should make a poster "Everything I Need to Know About Personal Hygiene I Learned in the Lifetime Fitness Locker Room". Because really? It's true.

Locker Room
by Kristi Bassett

I grew up in a family of five. But it was kind of a weird family of five because I had three siblings who were, WAY older (I may be slightly off here but I believe my older siblings were ages 17, 14 and 13 when I was born). And my brother Shawn, who was just four years older than me, was too busy plotting ways to raise my parents blood pressure to pay much attention to me. So - for all intents and purposes I was basically raised as an only child, with some of the joys of having siblings thrown in there - like being impaled by horse chestnuts each fall and having to watch Shawn turn his eyelids inside out just to torture me while riding in the backseat of the car (gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking back on it).

What I am trying to say here, is that I never learned how to be a girl. Really, I didn't. I mean sure, I would sneak off with Stef at recess and discuss the intricacies of menstruation. And once on a shopping trip with her family we even pooled our money together and bought deodorant (which we secretly applied while riding in the back of the station wagon). But I didn't exactly have anyone around who I could mimic- who could teach me the ins and outs of being cool, boys, and most importantly of things like make-up.

I mean, sure, I tried to mimic my mom - which is how I assume most girls learn how to primp and pamper. Growing up in the 40s she clung tightly to the trend of nearly shaving off your eyebrows and then penciling them back on, creating a look of permanent surprise. But when I tried to do the same thing I wound up shaving an eyebrow completely off and cutting my eyelashes precariously close to the lid. And maybe some people can pull off the uncle Fester look, but unfortunately, I am not one of those people. My quick thinking saved me a punishment when I falsely accused Jimmy, my childhood friend, of being the mastermind of the assault on my face. And though my eyelashes and brows have long since grown back, she’s still working on treating Jimmy civilly.
What I desperately needed was someone two or three years older who was infinitely cooler than myself, who could be my mentor. I needed DJ from Full House or Topenga from Boy Meets World, but unfortunately I hung around with more of the Kimmy Gibbler crowd, and it showed.

The moral of the story is that the locker room at the gym baffles me. I’ve never been around so much estrogen! There are women in there primping and prepping in ways that I never even imagined. Straightening Irons, finishing creams, powders, potions, it’s overwhelming! These women are dolling themselves up more for an afternoon play date than I did for my wedding! I can’t say I blame them, rather, I admire them! I want to look nice, I want to pucker my lips and trace them and make kissy faces in the mirror without looking like a moron. People probably think it's a bit odd to see me gawking as they meticulously apply their make-up, but I simply can’t help it, I want to learn!

The bottom line is.... I saw someone blow-drying their eyelashes yesterday. And I don't understand why. Is this something I should be doing? Am I unaware of some health hazard resulting from simply letting your lashes air-dry? Does it make them darker? Curlier? Or have damp lashes just gone the way of my beloved boot cut jeans? Are they sooooo 2009? I am kind of panicky about it because as much as I want to embrace my femininity and apply the knowledge I gather from the gym locker room, I can sense a revisiting of the whole "shave the eyebrow" incident, only this time involving fire and eyesight impairment rather than just social suicide. But on the other hand, they do say that pain is beauty...

What else am I missing out on? And for the love, will someone just invite me over for a sleepover and teach me the fine art of putting on eyeshadow? I'm 28 years old, I think it's time I know.


Janelle said...

I don't know about drying eye lashes, but I do have the eyeshadow bit down. Next time you're in Seattle, you're officially invited over for a sleepover.

Anonymous said...

Love it. What a gem.

Saskia said...

Amen to that! I'm 24 and I don't know how to do that stuff either. I think I'm missing some kind of femininity gene or something, since I grew up with an older sister (only 2,5 years older) yet I still don't know how it all works...but I'd stay away from the blowdryer if I were you. That cannot end well.

Christina said...

Okay, as an older-sisterish-persona-cousin, I am telling you to come over and we can have a sleepover. We'll get popcorn and Lays potato chips and sour cream dip and cheese and more chips and watch Sweet Sixteen or something girly.

I own a straightener, and while I don't use it much, the fact that I own it totally qualifies me as a mentor, right? Actually, I just think a sleepover would rock.

Nathaniel and Sarah said...

I love all of your blog posts, they always make me giggle! I don't do it to often...Im more of the jeans/t-shirt/hat kind of girl, but drying your eyelashes help them to stay curled up :)Most days I am lucky to have time to put make up on, so I agree I wonder how girls know all of this girly stuff :)

Jen and Beth said...

Kristi, I honestly think people know these things because they spend way too much time reading magazines like Cosmo. You are fine! That's why I like you, you're real. You don't need to do all that stuff to be comfortable with who you are. (if you want to learn though, by all means go ahead but I dare say that's not why Blaine married you nor why you have so many friends.)


Stefanie Miller said...

Kris! Sorry it took me nine days to discover this. Thanks for the belly laugh. You had me laughing hard enough (albeit quietly) that I could feel my belly hurt and hopefully burn a little of the sugar I've been intaking tonight. "growing up in the 40s she clung tightly to the trend..." How do you do it?!

So a couple of things. Uh, are you calling me Kimmy Gibbler? I have a great picture of me putting eye shadow on you with Laurie standing by in your bathroom for your first dance (that we weren't old enough to go to). So there. And I hate to brake it to you in front of all your friends but I believe you are 29, almost 30, are you not? That's all.

Thanks Kris. You're one of a kind.

julianne orth said...

i think we need a sleepover kristi :) but just so you know, youtube is great for beauty secrets. i just typed in "smoky eye" and it showed me step by step how to do it, and i typed in how to curl long hair, and learned a bunch of cool tricks. the blow drying eyelashes thing i have never heard of though... i would skip that one. maybe the girl has a sneezing problem and likes them to dry faster... you never know. great post though, you are just too funny to hear what was going on in your head back in the day :)

Jan said...

Shawn turned his eyelids inside out????? That sounds kind of mild to me :)

Melissa Ash said...

Jan, that is all you said?!! :) Kristi, this one had tears streaming down my face, laughing so hard!! thank you!!