There is a woman in my neighborhood who walks faithfully every morning. If I am out and about early enough, I can catch her walking her speed-walk and she waves or says good morning. She is not one to stop and chat. She almost always wears Pink. A Pink hat, a pink jacket or both. She also always……always wears bright red Lipstick.
My mother was a lipstick wearer. I don’t know that I can remember a time when my mother didn’t have lipstick on. The colors ranged from a darker brown-reddish color to a more peachy-reddish color. She never wore RED DOOR red, but she always wore lipstick. In fact, I cant remember a time when my mother went anywhere without lipstick, her hair fixed just right and her fake eyelashes. My mothers fake eyelashes were not like those worn today – the ones that really look fake and no one seems to care. She painstakingly glued individual eyelashes onto her eyelids in an effort to look like she even had eyelashes. Like me, hers were sparse and very blonde. Thankfully I have enough that I don’t feel I need to glue any on.
When I start walking down this memory path, I am reminded of a time when ladies, including my mother, wore wigs. Lord only knows what possessed sane women in the late 60’s and early 70’s to don a wig, but it was popular. In our neighborhood, Margaret Weil, Lisa Rouse, Trudy Sieffert and my mother all wore wigs regularly. My mom and Margaret wore “frosted” wigs. Essentially, the wig was supposed to look like their normal hair, though more voluminous, and had a “frosted” or “streaked” look to them. Trudy and Lisa’s wigs were less flashy and were closer to their true hair color. Sometime later, I think when I was in 3rd grade, I used one of my mothers old wigs to dress up as Phyllis Diller for Halloween – it was perfect.
Back to the ladies who wore wigs…..I recall this one random Saturday. It was fairly early in the day, say mid-afternoon and we kids were all out playing. Me, Lisa Weil, Lynn Rouse and some of the Klemp kids. It was warm enough that the house windows were open, so it was likely early summer. Who knows what we were doing, what game we were playing, but we started to hear some raised voices coming from the Weil’s kitchen. The noise wasn’t as much of a yelling/screaming as it was some sort of a squealing, laughter, gasping noise. It was definitely a female. Then it got louder with more voices. We were just kids. We weren’t going to go inside and get in the middle of whatever was going on, but here’s how the story goes afterward:
The ladies were in the kitchen around the table. There was liquor involved. I can tell you my mom and Lisa didn’t do much drinking, but they did once in awhile. This day, they were ALL drinking. The conversation went to clothes, looks, makeup and finally hair. Trudy said something about Margaret’s wig. Margaret claimed not to be wearing a wig, Trudy disagreed and snatched the wig right off Margaret’s head. Margaret was incensed and the rest of the ladies started to giggle. Margaret stood up, reached over and yanked the wig off of Lisa’s head. They laughter becomes a mixture of squealing, screeching and more laughter. Lisa grabs my mom’s wig off and finally Trudy’s comes off. By the time one of the husbands gets there, these ladies (ages ranging from 50 down to 40) are hysterical with laughter all around the kitchen table in their wig-caps while they continue with their little afternoon party. Eventually, the husbands come along to get their wives and everyone goes to their respective houses to sleep off the afternoon. My dad took us to Dairy Queen for dinner since mom “didn’t feel well”.
I sit here writing this and have to stop to giggle at the thought of these ladies getting wild in Windsor Road. When you’re a kid, you don’t get it at all and you think your parents are crazy. As an adult who has great friends like these ladies were, it makes me think of all the belly-laughs I have had with my long time friends and that everytime we see each other there is typically some incident, discussion or story that causes us all to squeal with laughter until we cant breathe!
Finally, and my long-time friends can attest to this too, I am indeed my mothers daughter. I do not now, nor will I ever wear lipstick, BUT I will get up, shower and “put my face on” to cut the grass. I can still hear Sue and Nancy teasing me about that when we were in Canada…….where we laughed a lot.