Sunday, November 12, 2006

I Guess I'm a Hooker

Today I sat in the basement of my grandmother's house. I was at the kid's table with several of my other blood- and non-blood related cousins. We were eating soup and bread. We were drinking a bottle of elderberry wine we found in the kitchen, smuggled downstairs, and finished before anyone knew what was happening. As we drank and chewed, we stared at our surroundings: statues of the Virgin Mary, canned pickles, fake daisies, knit dream catchers, an old exercise bike, abandoned baby dolls, and a caddy filled with fifty different bottles of glue.

One of my non-blood-related cousins leaned over and squinted at me. "What color mascara are you wearing?" she asked.

I put down the biscuit I was eating. I swallowed. "Black," I said. "Why?"

"Well," the non-blood-related cousin said, "it's just that only Asian and black girls and hookers wear black mascara."

I blinked. "What?" I asked.

"I used to work for Estee Lauder," she said. "They taught us that in a seminar."

And that's how my grandmother's annual Christmas in November party started. It's an annual thing, this party, something grandma throws before she and her husband go off to their winter home in Florida, and I've missed it for the last three years. But this year there was no excuse: I was in state and very capable of making cupcakes, so I did. And I showed up at grandma's door with a smile on my face. An hour later I was being told I was making some grave choices regarding my makeup. I was told it was possible my makeup was making me look like a hooker.

Later, after the dinner dishes had been cleared away and I had eaten my weight in both soup, bread, and cupcakes, we all gathered in my grandmother's tiny living room to exchange gifts. We watched as the grandparents opened gifts from all their children. My grandfather got things like a grease gun, batteries, and a flashlight. My grandmother got candles, kitchen tools, and earrings. Then it was the grandkids' turn to open their presents.

There was the standard $30 check, of course, and then there was the "extra"—something my grandmother never fails to supply each and every year. Sometimes it's something crafty (handmade booties or scarves), sometimes it's random (fleece blankets), and sometimes it's just strange (things from garage sales). This time it was a winter headband—the type you would stick over your ears to keep warm on a brisk morning walk. It was a nice color, it was fine, it was warm on the ears. It was everything you could hope it to be.

And all of us—because each girl gets the exact same gift—stuck them on our heads and started our gushing and thank-yous.

So warm!

So festive!

Such pretty colors!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

That's when the man my grandmother married opened his mouth. "You look like a bunch of Arabs," he said.

I wanted to put my head through a wall.

"Yeah," he continued, "look at you all in your headdresses. A bunch of Arabs."

Merry, Merry Christmas.

5 comments:

Diana said...

What are the non-hooker mascara colors? Because all I have is black so I need to know.

Just This Girl said...

Brown, I guess, and navy blue, which "opens your eyes quite a bit."

Bah. I like wearing hooker-mascara.

Jason said...

I could never put anything that close to my eyeballs. I'd be one hideous, ghost-faced woman. If I were a woman. With my squeamishness about eye-proximity.

Yeah.

Kristin said...

Excuse this comment because I am so highly offended I cannot even think straight. HOOKERS? HOOKERS? Just FYI to your non-blood-related cousin that fucking Estee Lauder is TRASH. That shit gives you eye infections and is fucking ugly. Oh my god I fucking wear black mascara. AND IT LOOKS FABULOUS.

Okay I had to stop typing for a second because I had a mild stroke.

Let that hoe know that if Estee Lauder had any good makeup, then my GINORMOUS makeup budget would be spent at their counter. AND IT ISN'T. CAUSE IT'S TRASH. TRASH I TELL YOU. FUCK THAT.

You know what really opens up your eyes? A bit of green or blue mascara on the very tips of your eyelashes. Not a lot to be noticed, but just a little. I bet they didn't teach them that at FUCKING ESTEE LAUDER. And where did I learn it? FROM MALLY RONCAL, SEPHORA'S RESIDENT MAKEUP ARTIST AND I LOVE HER. Mally would never steer me wrong.

Nobody fucking talks shit about makeup and gets away with it.

Jess fuck that you look fabulous. WEAR ON SISTER WEAR ON.

Again, excuse this post cause you know how I love makeup.

Heh. Estee Lauder. Fuckers.

Just This Girl said...

Wow, Kristin. I enjoyed every second of that post. Thank you. I thought I look surprisingly non-hookery in my hooker mascara.