There are things in life you would prefer not to confess - your ugly middle name, your tendency to drive drunk, your tendency to completely forget your mother's birthday - but confess you must. Here's one from the vault.
As my buddy Jill and I were driving around last weekend, the day before her wedding, we got on the subject of makeup. Specifically, that which she would wear for the wedding. This conversation reminded me how really, really bad I was at doing my own makeup in high school, and I said so. "Yeah," she said, "you always had those WHITE eyes in pictures. That was a little weird."
Now, Jill's actually not talking about white, white eyeballs. Which can be achieved, I discovered only in my twenties, with the magic of Visine. What Jill is referring to here is the technique by which I applied undereye concealer. Like....way too much of it. You know pandas? Think the opposite of a panda.
The significance of this will become important in a minute.
Ok, so forget the normal-skinned face of me with two shining WHITE undereyes for a minute, and think about one time in high school where you were actually really happy. Shucks, proud of yourself. Lil ol' me? Getting honor roll? Playing 2nd chair in jazz band? Whatever. For me, it was something I - and most of the people around me, come to think of it - never really dreamed imaginable. I was the freaking Homecoming Queen, y'all.
I can hardly express how surprising it was that I was even on the ballot. And, I'm not trying to be obnoxiously modest here, I really do think it started out as a joke between friends. Apparently the rest of my class saw my name written on a piece of paper and thought, "wait - who? Oh her? Well, that's different. Why not."
The way homecoming worked at my school was that every year, at game halftime, the dance team performed a "novelty" routine on the football field. By "novelty" I mean 20 or so girls prancing around in animal costumes to a ridiculous pop song - in our case Rod Stewart - set to marching band music. Guess who was on dance team?
Ah...I remember it well. My special homecoming outfit tucked underneath my giant, smelly pig costume (yes you read that right. "Pig."). My proud mother on the sidelines, ready to help me strip off my hula-hoop pig body, my stupid pig head with the hole cut out for my face, and my even more stupid curly tail. I reeked. My hair, stuffed inside a tight hat of pink felt, was matted to the side of my face. I felt sorry for the girls around me.
But while the hair was a problem, guess what stayed exactly in place? The white undereye concealer!! Dark circles? Please! I may be sweaty, but so help me God, I am AWAKE.
When my name was announced over the loudspeakers, everyone in our little circle was really shocked. But nice. After the hugs and the smiles and the "oh my God, Tolly!" from the twins and the cheerleaders, a crown was placed. A staff was handed. A cape was donned (are you snickering? Stop snickering). And finally, pictures were taken. Oh, were they taken.
Which brings me to my confession.
Those pictures haunt me every day of my life.
Why? Was it the hideously bad hair? Hair that was matted and on top of that, resembled a pyramid? Or maybe it was the outfit - oh my God, the outfit! A cardigan with flowers printed on it! What was I, six? Or how about the zits - of which I'm quite sure I had several of that day, bright and shining for all the world to see post-pig performance?
No. It actually wasn't any of those things. All of these sins are forgivable - from a certain angle (a faraway angle), the hair, the zits, the totally dumb cardigan all recede into the distance. But the one disgraceful thing about these photos was the fact that TWO CIRCLES APPEARED TO BE SHINING FROM MY FACE LIKE HEADLIGHTS. That damn undereye concealer!
Someday, I'm going to find the pictures and show them to you. You'll laugh. Or maybe you'll cry (if you're my mother). To have one of the arguably most exciting moments in my high school career ruined by my abominable skills in the cosmetic area. Oh, and this is compounded by the fact that I thought, back then, that I was really awesome at makeup. WRONG.
Some people regret the drinking or the drugs they did in high school. Guys, I commend you. (That phase didn't start for me until much later). But if you were messed up, you probably weren't caring about undereye concealer, were you? I imagine not. And thus, you spared yourself from a lifetime of humiliation, the next time mothers, or relatives, or old high school friends want to go rehashing your one standout success by hauling out those hilarious photos.
Anyway. I'm proud to say that now, I am a recovered undereye-concealer-abuser. It's been a long road. Sometimes I fall into my old ways. But today, I think you'll (literally) hardly recognize the girl who stands before you.