Me Pretty

Five or six weeks into our first semester of college, my roommates and I set off on our first (and most illustrious) road trip. Some family friends of one roommate came to Rexburg, loaded us up in the Suburban, and drove us to the ranch in Star Valley, Wyoming (my furthest trip east to date.) Mike had lived in Japan for a while (perhaps as a missionary?) and his wife, Junko, was from Ai’s hometown of Osaka. Many years after he lived in Japan he and Junko were married and she moved to Wyoming. (I still wonder how she managed the culture shock.)

Ai was my room-roommate. She initially came across as reserved and quiet, but she was the biggest goofball. And she was beautiful in a very non-traditional Japanese way. She was taller than me and her features were very striking. I never met her family so I’m not sure how she inherited her traits, but if you picture a Japanese woman in your mind right now, that’s not Ai. You just have to see her to know what I’m talking about. If she wasn’t such a truly wonderful person it would have been devastatingly intimidating to have such a gorgeous roommate.

All of my roommates were very pretty, most of them exotically so. Sharon had a red bob and a bubbly personality to match; she was down-to-earth midwestern all the way. Sylvia, our eternal optimist, had the most fantastic curls in her hair; she was so well-aclamated to both her home (Chicago) and her parent’s ancestry (Mexico) that she fit in well with everyone she met. Merced was from Guatemala and although she was Latina and looked it, she had an international exoticism that allowed her to pass as a variety of other races as well.

And there was I; plain-jane girl-next-door who brushed her hair and wore some make-up just because it was socially acceptable to do so. My mother had finally broken me of walking like a lumberjack. I am genetically gifted insomuch that all of my facial features are in the right spot and have the right proportion but I’m not really someone that stands out for my looks. It suits me just fine. If I cared more I’d spend more time in front of the mirror (and at the gym) but I’d rather spend that time improving myself in other ways.

As usually happens when a bunch of girls are together for a sleep-over-type setting, it got late and we got giddy and out came the make up. My lovely (and well-wishing) roommates insisted that if I just did a little of this or a little of that I would be so pretty. I was an obliging model (but reminded them I wouldn’t maintain anything that took too long on a daily basis) and offered myself as a blank canvas to their creativity. They each took care of their areas of expertise.

What could possibly go wrong?

There is no photographical evidence of the final product (I hope) but the face in the mirror is still seared in my mind. I believe they were all proud of themselves and regailed me with compliments. The face in the mirror was not mine. I didn’t recognize it, and I admit I didn’t think it pretty.

I know for a fact that those eyebrows were not mine, but I didn’t figure that out until I washed my face that night. What I thought was the pluck pluck of my stray hairs was the erosion of half of each eyebrow and the decimation of the “intact” side. They laughed, not at me, per se, but at my lack of eyebrows. Junko had been in charge of the tweezers and had tweezed and drawn my eyebrows to resemble hers. My roommates even asked me, “how could you let her do that? I’d never let anyone get rid of my eyebrows.” How could I? How could I?

But I loved my roommates and I forgave them. And the next year I let them cut my hair.

I’m a slow learner.

18 thoughts on “Me Pretty

  1. So, I want to know how the hair turned out. Not as bad as the eyebrows I hope!! After a few interensting makeovers (nothing as dramatic as yours) I managed to convince most of my friends that I am a confirmed tomboy and happy to be so. If only they could se me now they’d faint (I wear make-up, and pink!!!) I think it is good to be comfortable in the skin your in.

  2. I thought I had been doing a great job on my makeup, its on, its there, its a little noticeable, but I always tend to do it lighter. For the Halloween Party I did it all way over the top, I asked Shane “does it look way over done?” He said “it looks great, you should wear it like that all the time!” I was a little shocked, I look around and think I’m the girl that wears too much makeup and now he wants me to wear more!?!?
    I’ve always been the tomboy type, but I grew tired of always looking like a little girl, I find myself being more open to hairstyles that require a little more work, as long as they can still be easy to pull back on the days I don’t do anything. Right now my hair is pulled back in two ponytails. (sorry for the long comment,I seem to have a tendancy to do that.)

  3. Were you able to grow your eyebrows back in? (Speaking as one who grew up in the era of Brooke Shields and Mariel Hemingway, I was a little traumatized by that part of your post.)

  4. Yes, my eyebrows are back to their “Bert-esque” proportions. (Which is why they were under the tweezers in the first place.)

    I don’t tweeze often. I guess now we all know why.

    The hair story is not quite as dramatic. It was just another attempt on their part to make me take more care with my looks on a daily basis. The new haircut was very short and required showering in the morning (which meant getting up at 5:30), blowdrying, moosing, and curling. What I tried to tell them but they ignored is that my hair doesn’t curl. By 10 am my hair was always straight. They woke up, saw my straight hair, and chastised me for not doing my hair.

  5. heh. now that’s funny stuff. eyebrows are peculiar things for sure. and some eyebrows look totally ashamed to be plucked. i’m just saying…

    when i was little, my father was a preacher dude. one time a woman was staying with us who was about to be married by my father. her fiance came over like two days before the wedding, and she asked him to help with her eyebrows. after he was done, she had half an eyebrow. i don’t mean half an eyebrow on each side, i mean a total of half an eyebrow. it was the best!

    apparently, it’s only funny to the groom and the 8 year old who was probably crushing on the groom.

  6. I just about never wear makeup! I hate how it feels on my face! I wore it with my Halloween costume this year, and I wore a lot thinking it was clear that I was going over the top. No one said anything about it. They probably think that I don’t wear makeup because I have no idea how it is supposed to look 🙂

    When we moved to Oklahoma, one of our money saving techniques was for me to learn how to cut Nathan’s hair. The first time I cut it I messed it up so bad that I had to buzz every thing off till he was just about bald! To make up for it, I let him cut my hair. He was nice, it didn’t look too bad!!

  7. My eyebrows have had quite the makeover since I was in high school. I like them now and would never go back to the hairy caterpillers they were before. People even comment on the perfect shape of my eyebrows… 🙂

  8. fs- where in ooooooooooooooooklahoma did you live?

    i burned my eyebrows off once. (ok, like 5 times, but there’s nothing like the first burning.)

  9. wha? you haven’t lived till you’ve almost caught your face on fire. it’s like a holy experience or something.

  10. FF, did you have a gas stove in your house by any chance? I’ve crisped many hairs (eyebrows, bangs, and those little hairs that grow out of your knuckles — okay, well, I have them on my knuckles) in pilot light accidents.

  11. I find that I almost never pluck my eyebrows… it hurts too much! However, I have three sisters who are all hair dressers so I always pluck before I go home to see them 🙂 If not, I find myself being strapped to a chair while they do it for me OUCHIE!

  12. karen- yes, we had a gas oven, and a gas heater in the bathroom too. that’s where i first burned my eyebrows off.

    but, i also just have dumb experiences with fire. i live and learn though.

    i lived with my fake folks (term of endearment people) in my early 20’s for a short time… and i smoked. (i know. bad habit)… one day i went up to my fake mom and said, “do you want me to catch your hair on fire?” sarcastically she said, “yes, cara. please catch my hair on fire.” so i flicked my lighter close to her head, not thinking about the inordinant amount of hairspray she’d used just prior and WHOOOOOOOOOOOSH!… i got the hole left side of her hair. it was awesome! (only because nobody got hurt)… oh wait, that’s someone elses eyebrows. heh.

    i have singed mine a lot though. and my hair is pitch black (naturally), so when i singe, i have orange tips to black eyebrows. i have style.

  13. ABQ, April and Julia, I’ve been thinking about all us music majors; I wonder if spending many hours every day on our instruments has something to do with the fact that none of us spent many hours a day in front of the mirror.

    And we turned out just fine!

  14. That was an interesting story, fourth_fret. Torched your mother, shaved a cat. You don’t know where I live, do you? Hmmm, let’s just keep it that way, okay? 😉

    Uh, you do know I’m kidding… right?

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