I grew up as the oldest child — and the only girl — in a fairly large family. My younger brothers were my first playmates when we were kids. When I started going to school, I continued to gravitate toward the people I had more in common with — the boys.
I didn’t play with Barbies, refused to wear pink and absolutely pitched a fit when my mother tried to brush my hair. I played baseball, climbed trees, rode horses and spent hours running around outside catching frogs, snakes and fireflies.
In many ways, I am very similar to my mom. She was usually dressed in jeans, didn’t mind getting muddy with yard work and frequently blasted Metallica or Aerosmith in the car. We’re tomboys — and always have been.
But every now and then, situations or events arise that require a more thorough knowledge of feminine ways, ways of which I am woefully ignorant.
This weekend, my brother-in-law got married and I had to get dressed up.
Although my wardrobe mainly consists of holey jeans and tank tops, I do own a couple of dresses. And when I say “a couple” I literally mean two — one of which would be suitable for a casual outdoor wedding, as long as I dressed it up a little, which is where I ran into trouble.
I have no idea how to accessorize.
To compensate, when shopping I normally drag my friend Kim out with me as she is much more skilled when it comes to “girly things.” Unfortunately for me, Kim was busy. I was on my own.
She did give me a few suggestions. Because my dress was black and white and I was planning on combining that with black sandals and a white cardigan, Kim suggested I needed a “splash of color” — whatever the heck that means.
The first thing I saw in the jewelry department was this giant, braided, beaded rope necklace that was bright blue. Bonus! It even came with a matching pair of earrings. I bought it and called it a day.
Now that I had successfully accessorized with my “splash of color,” I had one more problem: it was a wedding. I was going to be expected to wear make-up.
To the women out there who carefully and artfully apply make-up every single day as part of your morning routine: I take my hat off to you, because it is way harder to do than it looks.
I don’t wear make-up. Now, that statement is in no way meant to be construed as some sort of “Oh, I’m just so beautiful, I don’t need it” kind of thing. Trust me, that’s not the case. The simple truth of the matter is I don’t wear make-up because I have no idea how to do it. Did I mention I’m 35-years-old? What 35-year-old woman doesn’t know how to put on make-up? I suck.
With no clue as to where or how to begin, I turned to the internet for help.
Three YouTube videos later, I closely resembled Mimi from the Drew Carey Show. My second attempt resulted in a look that I expect is popular on sketchy street corners in questionable neighborhoods. My third? I’m not even going to tell you …
Finally, I just decided to go with the “less is more” approach by simply switching out my customary glasses for contacts and adding some lipstick and eyeliner. Still a little gun-shy from the whole Mimi thing, I decided to skip the eve-shadow and foundation entirely. Blush was nixed after I remembered my grandmother’s firm belief that “ladies pinch, whores rouge …”
Am I going to start wearing make-up more regularly now that I’ve at least learned the basics? Eh, probably not. But if any of you are planning on dressing up as Mimi for Halloween this year, give me a call. I’m happy to help.
Kasie Strickland is a staff writer for The Easley Progress and The Pickens Sentinel and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.