Saturday, February 06, 2010

False Eyelashes

Oh dear, we're back to that, are we?

I suppose I'll be spared this time around as the adhesive would probably send me to the hospital with an allergic reaction-but for the rest of you...oh dear god...why? Even the drag queens look shit in false eyelashes. I had a friend in middle school that figured out a way to glue several pair to each eyelid for better effect. She had this incredible magnifying mirror that could simulate various sorts of indoor and outdoor lighting, and she sat before that thing, applying a thin layer of goop to her lid and tapping the lashes into place with a toothpick. We'd smoke cigarettes while she waited for each layer to dry, oblivious to the flamability warnings on the little tubes of adhesive. She smoked Chesterfields, I preferred Kools. I think she was swiping her old man's cigarettes-Chesterfield's weren't exactly the brand of choice among false-eyelash wearing middle school students. Sometimes we'd get the multi-coloured Shermans from my dad's friend who was a tobacco salesman who never smoked, but thought it was A-OK to hand out cigarettes to teenaged girls. Hell, they used to hand out sample packets with five cigarettes in them on the street downtown. You could walk down State Street, and in the space of a few blocks, gather a couple days worth of smokes. My dad's buddy the tobacco peddler ended up dying of cancer, but the pancreatic variety which was kind of disappointing. He was a nice man-his kids were mildly fucked-up. I can't remember if any of them smoked.

So yeah, my friend never ignited herself, but I guess the nail varnish probably held better potential for combustibility anyway. She looked like a damn clown with those eyelashes-and not like a cool clown, or even a frightening clown. Just a clown. It might have been the blush. This was around the time that women decided they needed to apply three shades of the crap to their faces for "contouring." My friend looked like Gilda Radner-only skinnier, the last thing her cheekbones needed were contour. She needed food. She went for blush and false eyelashes instead, and she looked like a clown-a beat-up clown. Ah hell, I can't believe we've gone back to false eyelashes. First the footless full-length spandex foundations (but er, it isn't an...uh...girdle), then the Bumpits...and now this abomination. Didn't we have a women's movement to spare your generation all of this nonsense? As my husband likes to tell slacker youngsters:
"Hey punk, I smoked Peraquat so you could have meth!"

All right, fine then, if you're determined to look like a drag queen, you might as well watch the little video to help in the application. My friend was ritualistic in her insistence that the only correct way to apply the damn things was starting at the inner corner of the eye. She was also ritualistic in her belief that your shoes should match your handbag and that wearing a dress without stockings was slutty. Three pairs of false eyelashes and frosty white lipstick wasn't-but dear god, you can't wear a sundress without stockings.

Unfortunately, Maybelline no longer makes cake mascara, which she would then layer over the false eyelashes. It came in a small, red plastic box that slid open and had a compartment for what looked like a mini-toothbrush. You'd wet the brush, and then gently stroke the crap onto your eyelashes (or three sets of false ones).

So I don't know-anyone care to wager what the next forty-year cycle return fad will be? I was kind of hoping inflatable furniture would have a Renaissance. My sister had the most incredible clear, red plastic chair, which I believe bit the dust after she burned it with a cigarette. Sort of a wonder any of us are alive today, what with all the petro-chemicals coming into contact with burning tobacco. The cigarettes were probably pretty bad for us too. Eh, times change. Sort of...

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