Until this Late Unpleasantness that was a Southern ice storm, I had not gone without makeup (not even lipstick!) for four consecutive days since I gave birth to the Princess 16 years ago and apparently didn’t have a friend bold enough to suggest some blush and a hairbrush during that entire hospital stay. I have since cut my blotchy, bloaty face out of a few of those first-day photos, making The Princess’ first pictures look like something one might see taped to the wall of a serial killer’s hideaway.
Even during assorted hateful hurricanes over the years, I kept my little makeup pouch by my side (along with a terrifying assortment of canned meats). It was all part of Survival Mode, Southern woman-style, and I became very good at it.
Hurricanes were no excuse to skip moisturizer and even a decently crafted smoky eye. But this? THIS? A four-day period of confinement due to snow and BLACK ICE? What was the point?
When I texted a friend in New York, she seemed to find delight in my whining. “When it snows, Southerners just seem so BAFFLED.”
Well, yes. If I wanted this kind of weather I would live in Ne-freaking-braska, I told her. Only I didn’t say freaking. This is simply untoward, as we say in the South. Mother Nature broke the dealio, the way I see it. We agree to summon gills to breathe along about August and, in exchange, we don’t suffer snow or ice.
Yes, it was pretty. Yes, the kids loved sliding all over it. Yes, every mother I know fairly dropped to her knees in despair when the “robo-call” informed us that school would be canceled again, wise though it was.
What were we supposed to do for four days? How many games of Bananagrams and how much tomato soup could we honestly stomach? I realized by the afternoon of Day Four that I had slept in my clothes for two nights straight. Duh hubby wasn’t home for any of this due to work so it was just me, the Princess and four cats who seemed miffed that I had forgotten their needs and was offering them Honey Nut Cheerios for supper.
Of course, we were crazy grateful to never lose electricity. So I basically spent four days watching two whole seasons of “Dexter” with the Princess, doing laundry, cooking all the weird stuff in the freezer, alphabetizing spices and, yes, not wearing makeup.
Predictably, the Princess and I were starting to get on each other’s nerves by Day Four. She wanted to be with her friends. Hell, I wanted to be with her friends. But our street was a sheet of ice.
“I can make it!” she said looking out the front window with the delusional confidence of someone who has had her license for exactly six months.
“Oh, shut up,” I said lightly.
Finally, on Day Five, the sun came out. And so did my mascara.