As I was getting ready to go play at a friend’s church this morning, I stopped mid-way through styling my hair. “Oh my God…I am my mother- just with different hairspray!” After all the times I teased her and joked about the primping and her liberal use of hairspray…I was doing the same exact thing (except for the “liberal” part…Mom’s hair was like a helmet- mine actually moves). I burst out laughing, shaking my head. I always thought my sister was the only one who got the Dorothy beautification gene, but maybe I have a bit of it, too…to tell the truth, I’m a little relieved.
I have never been a girlie girl. Don’t get me wrong- I love to get dressed up for recitals and always try to look nice at work, but if I’m honest, I’m happiest in comfy clothes, no make-up, and sneakers. Dan calls me his ‘wash and go’ girl, something I take great pride in…but somewhere along the way, those years growing up with Heavy D must have rubbed off on me. Mom wouldn’t even get in the ambulance until she was assured that I had packed her hairspray, brush, face powder, and lipstick. I would tell her that it didn’t matter, she was going to the hospital, but she replied, “Neese, it always matters. A lady needs to look nice.”
My sister has it in spades. By the crack of dawn, she is perfectly coiffed, make-up just so, dressed nicely, nails done, and jewelry in place, ready to start her day- just like Mom. Me? If it’s not a work day, I am thrilled with showered and sweat pants. But, those times when I will be in the spotlight performing, my mother’s words ring in my ear…”a lady needs to look nice”. Yes, Ma’am.
As I get older, I have a feeling that I will notice more and more of my mother in me. I used to want to be different, go my own way. I have gone my own way and am very much my own person, but I like the thought that I will also be a little like my mom. Even as I would get exasperated with her sometimes for holding us up while she did her hair or powdered her nose, I admired her. Even when things were tough and I knew she didn’t feel like it, she made the effort to spruce herself up- and you know what? It always seemed to make her feel better, truly better. There must be something to that.
So, I’ll be happy being the same girl, different hairspray, and on those special occasions- or maybe if I’m feeling a little blue- I will let my inner Dorothy come out. I’ll fix my hair, put on a bit of make-up, and dress up a little. It can’t hurt, and I have no doubt it will make me stand a little taller. Heaven forbid I become Ralph the carpenter from Green Acres (I admit to owning overalls, but they are from Victoria’s Secret- I do have standards, you know). When I get my primp on, I will smile and think of my mom, hearing her giggle in approval….or maybe shock. Either way, I know she’ll be proud.