So if you haven’t noticed already, my creative writing portfolio is due tomorrow. Well actually, now that it is after midnight, it is due today, technically speaking. Anyhow, that means that I’m working late into the night trying to revise and edit all the pieces for my portfolio. My last two posts were also revisions to pieces that I did for my creative writing class. This one is one that I posted earlier in the year and was supposed to be a short short story. Well, I have a problem with making things short. I just have too much to say. So anyway, it didn’t fit the confines of a short short, which doesn’t bother me any. It wasn’t fiction anyway. So here is the revised version. Let me know if there are any farther revisions that need to be done. 🙂

Getting Ready

Sometimes it feels like our bathroom is the center of the universe.

I have less than thirty minutes to do Jill’s hair because Kelsey just informed me that she needs me to take her to town to take pictures of her and her date and she has to be there in thirty minutes. Not to mention that we live way out in the country and it is a good fifteen minute drive to town. Therefore, I really only have less than fifteen minutes to have Jill’s hair done. Why did I spend all afternoon cooking lunch? I should have started on this sooner.

I grab a chair from the dining room table and drag it into the bathroom, ordering Jill to promptly sit down. She sits in the chair and not two seconds later, I hear a creak and the whole chair starts leaning to the side. I look down and see that one of the legs is almost completely unscrewed and her weight on the other legs is about to break the chair completely. Just then, my older sister, Blair, walks through the bathroom, sees the dilemma and says she has it under control. She flips the chair over and tries to screw the leg back in. However, it just doesn’t seem to go in any farther. After wasting a good five or so minutes messing with the chair leg, I leave it to Blair to fix and I go get another chair.

I have to make Jill sit on three pillows to make her tall enough that I won’t get hairspray all over the back of the chair. I’ve got the curling iron plugged in. I’ve got a whole pack of bobby pins and a brand new can of hairspray, thanks to Drew who had to run to the store and bring them to me this morning because Jill forgot to get them yesterday when she was in town. As soon as the curling iron is hot, I’m ready to roll.

I’m definitely not a hairdresser. I usually don’t even do my own hair on a daily basis, and I’ve never even tried to do fancy hair before. Wait, I take that back. I tried to do my own hair for my senior homecoming when I was in high school. I guess it turned out okay, but not like anything that I had hoped for. Jill had wanted me to make her an appointment with the lady that cuts my hair, but I figured that this close to homecoming she would already be booked solid. To keep from causing any grief, and since I was already coming home from school for the weekend to see the girls all dressed up, I volunteered to do it myself. What are older sisters for anyway?

I have a plan and I hope that it works. It makes sense in my head; let’s just hope that it transfers to hair correctly. Paint and canvas is more of my comfortable medium. I grab a huge clip from the counter that I had Jill get from Mom earlier and I clip all of her hair to the top of her head except for the very bottom layer. I start to curl her hair in medium sized ringlet curls. Two down, only like forty left to go.

I get into a routine. Small section of hair, twist around the curling iron, hold for a second, slowly release, grab the curl and hold it in my hand, then drench it in hairspray. I have to be careful to spray each curl individually, instead of her whole head because I don’t want to end up with all of the curls sticking to each other. Not yet at least.

I hear Mom walking down the stairs that are right outside the bathroom door.

“Jiiiiillll…I need you to try this dress on right now! I need to make sure that it is going to fit correctly before I sew the zipper in,” she yells as she is walking and finishes her sentence right as she turns into the bathroom door.

“Mom, you’ll have to wait. Can’t you see we’re a little busy right now?”

“Well you better hurry up because if I don’t get this dress done, she’ll be going to the dance naked,” she says as she spins around and heads back up the stairs.

I roll my eyes. She always waits until the last minute to do these things. She volunteers to make dresses for us, and she is an amazing seamstress, but every single time she waits until like two days before the event to even start it and then is super stressed out right up until it needs to be worn, stressing everyone else out as well.

“You are stiillll doing her hair! I have to be in town in like five minutes!” Kelsey screams as she walks by the bathroom and sees me.

A minute later she returns with an arm full of make-up to apply to Jill’s face while Jill is sitting there. Doing her hair and make-up both at the same time sounds like a disastrous plan to me, but I don’t say anything because I don’t want to hear Kelsey rant about it.

As I’m hair spraying curl fourteen, Drew walks through the bathroom.

“Geeze…there is a huge hole in the ozone layer above here now,” he says jokingly after getting a sniff of all the hairspray fumes. “Aren’t you glad I upgraded and bought TRESemmé, instead of the cheap White Rain?”

I told him to just get hairspray; it wasn’t for my hair so I didn’t really care what kind. Jill isn’t picky either.  Now that I’m standing in a cloud of it, I am thankful that it at least is scented and smells kind-of like flowers, or something like that. Kelsey of course is complaining about it, since she has to smell it while she is doing Jill’s make-up. But really, when isn’t she complaining? I did accidentally spray a little of it on her arm and so now she is whining about her arm hairs being stuck together.

I can hear Mom yelling something about Jill’s shoes not matching her dress. She says that she has spent hours working on this dress putting layer after layer of cerulean blue satin and tulle together and spent all night hand-beading the top and there is no way she is going to let Jill wear gray suede pumps with it. Dad yells behind her that they better match because she is wearing them because they cost him ninety dollars. I can hear their voices getting closer. Mom and Dad stomp down the stairs and into the bathroom, still arguing. Our bathroom is pretty big, but I don’t know if it is big enough for all this drama. I’m only on curl twenty-five.

Kelsey is yelling at me because the curling iron cord keeps almost knocking her make-up off the bathroom counter every time I start a new curl. There really isn’t anything I can do. I tell her to move her make-up elsewhere. She doesn’t do it. Luckily, I never actually knock it off.

The next time I look down, I see that Kelsey has conveniently perched herself on Jill’s lap for the duration of her make-up doing. Jill grimaces from the added weight and drama. Kelsey says her feet are cold from standing on the hard tile floor and that Jill better not complain because she is taking the time out of her own getting ready to do her make-up. I ask Kelsey if she thinks that wearing four inch heels all night is going to be any more comfortable than the tile floor. She just rolls her eyes.

I think that Jill might be a little overwhelmed by this point. For Kelsey this is all a daily occurrence. She ever leaves the house without her make-up on, hair done, clothes perfect, and her nails freshly painted to coordinate with her outfit. Jill, however, is much more relaxed and generally puts on the first thing she sees. Over the last year, since she is in high school now, she has started to pay a little more attention to her appearance, but she definitely doesn’t go to all this trouble on a daily basis. I don’t think that for her first homecoming dance, she expected me to be doing her hair in the bathroom with Kelsey sitting on her lap doing her make-up while Mom finishes sewing her dress together in the other room. Thank goodness I’m almost done with these curls.

I don’t think that any of my homecomings were ever quite this dramatic. I was the organized one, so I generally had everything taken care of beforehand. I do however remember my freshman homecoming. Mom was ironing my dress right before I was getting ready to put it on, and she had the iron too hot and melted part of the satin strap. I definitely was freaking out about it. So I do give Jill credit for staying calm throughout her whole getting ready process, despite everything going on.

Whew, the curls are finally all done! Now it is time for the up-do. This is the part that I’m not so sure about. I pull all her hair back except for a couple curls in the front and put it in a low ponytail on the back of her head. I take each curl individually from the ponytail and put it up to her head and pin the curl down with a bobby pin so that eventually, they will all cover up the ponytail holder. So far it seems to be working. This part is going much faster than the curling, but still not fast enough for Kelsey.

Kelsey is done with the make-up so she runs off to go put on her dress. I know I only have a few minutes before she will be back to yell at me some more about it being time to go and that she is going to be late.

“Awww….Jilli! You look so pretty! Cakie, will you do my hair after you are done with Jilli’s?” Evie, my niece, asks as she walks in and sees Jill’s hair and make-up.

“I’d love to Evie, but I don’t know if I’ll have time today. Maybe for church tomorrow,” I tell her.

Blair comes in and asks Jill what her jewelry looks like. There is a long silence. Apparently, she forgot to buy any. I tell her that I think I have the earrings that I wore for my senior homecoming somewhere. Blair says that she can wear her three tiered diamond necklace. Blair puts it on her, but the clasp doesn’t clasp all the way and it falls to the ground. I look at her. I think we are both thinking the same thing. Jill is relatively clumsy and good at forgetting about things or losing them. We decide she doesn’t need a necklace. I tell Blair the earrings are in my suitcase in my jewelry bag and she goes to look for them.

Crap, I’m almost done and I run out of bobby pins. How did I manage to already stick sixty bobby pins in her head? I only have the two front curls left to pin back. I yell for someone to get some. The only person that can hear me is Drew. He is sitting in the floor in the family room playing with the baby and Evie. He doesn’t know where any bobby pins are. Where is Blair when I need her?

I rummage around in the bathroom drawers. I find four. Luckily I get those in her hair and get the last coats of hairspray piled on before Kelsey comes back downstairs. Mom waltzes in right then and seeing that I’m done, grabs Jill and whisks her off to try her dress on. I’m pretty pleased with how my masterpiece turned out. Not too shabby. Maybe hairdressing is my calling. Well, maybe I shouldn’t go that far.

I unplug the curling iron and run to the other room to get my camera, since I’m always the designated photographer for every occasion. I grab the camera and barely make it back down the stairs before I run into Kelsey.

“Ohhhh no you don’t. We don’t have time for pictures here!” she screams. “I’ve got to be in town NOW!”

“Oh relax. You have time for at least a couple pictures.” I tell her. “Plus I’m sure the background is prettier here anyway, so don’t even get your panties in a wad.”

Now she is just trying to be difficult. She knows she wants pretty pictures, so she follows me outside onto the patio and we both yell at Jill to hurry up and get out there too. Eventually Jill joins us, her dress hot off the sewing machine, and they smile and pose. I notice that Jill is wearing the gray shoes and my earrings. I get several pictures, Dad gets a few more with his camera, and Blair a few more with hers until Kelsey has had enough. She is almost thirty minutes late by now, so I guess I don’t blame her for yelling this time. Although, she should be used to it, my family is never on time anywhere we go. I don’t know how I got volunteered to do all this, but regardless, we get in the car and I’m off to the next adventure.


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