a good friend of mine is one – a makeup artist. she’s got a resume long as your arm – movies, mini-series, politicians on tv, all of that cool stuff, & she knows dishy gossip galore … celebs tell you a lot while you’re an inch from their face, knowing that you’re in charge of whether they look hellish or heavenly in front of the camera & they better not piss you off.
anyway, maybe i’m weird, but it’s just that another meaning for the term “makeup artist” popped into my head when my friend & i were @ dinner last week.
wait a minute — you’re wanting to know if she’s done johnny depp, right? dunno. i’ll ask her & get back with you.
his makeup. get your mind out of the gutter.
so, anyway — i was thinking that, couldn’t a makeup artist be someone who’s realllly good at making up after a fight?
like, within my dysfunctional family of origin, here’s how it works. the only way you know someone’s mad at you is when you get the silent treatment. the quiet game. whatever you want to call it, the phone doesn’t ring.
until, one day…
how are you?
pretend that’s my sister.
it’s been 3 months since we’ve spoken —
highly unusual because we talk all the time.
notice how I didn’t say something snarky like,
“oh, so we’re talking now?”
that would be poor form.
well, that’s good.
my sister again.
see how she doesn’t say, “i’ve been being a shit-turd,”
or, heaven forbid, “i was wrong?”
you’re absolutely NOT gonna believe it.
it’s her breathless, secret-confidential-gossipy, voice.
the one i just love.
hear the smile in my voice?
— it’s as if we simply set the phone down for a minute
& we’re picking up the same conversation we’ve had a million times before.
& my sister & i are buds again.
she’s the makeup artist.
& it’s kind of messed-up, don’t you think? but, that’s how it’s always been done. especially the part where there’s no, “i’m sorry.” but, maybe that’s okay. i mean, we were taught to never tell a lie. if george washington would’ve chopped down the cherry tree in our front yard, you wouldn’t want to be on the premises, trust me.
but, how about addressing the problem, talking things out — you know, like a constructive, grown-up conversation? oh, hell no! nowadays, parents say, “use your words,” which i find totally annoying & i want to pinch their ninny little heads off… but, you see, no one in my family is confrontational. what we had was more like a hit & run protocol. probably sounds strange, but then, maybe it doesn’t — you decide.
&, something else — in all these years, it’s always my sister who initiates these makeup calls. she’s kind of a hot-head, & i’m what you’d call the roll-over type, but you probably figured that out already, but here’s the thing — when we’re finally talking again, neither of us wants to spoil it. bringing up the reason we haven’t been talking opens the possibility of another 3-month silent period, so where’s the sense in that? besides, saying ugly words to each other is off limits — it’s our sister-code. ugly words, we reserve those for our mother. not the really bad ones we’d whisper to each other in our bathroom when we were growing up — i mean, come on — it’s kind of lousy to say things like that about a white-haired, 5-foot-tall octogenarian.
anyway, i’d like to say my sister calls when it finally gets to the point where she misses me more than she’s mad at me, which sounds all warm & fuzzy, but deep down, i know the true reason.
without me around, it’d be just her & our mom.
god, i love my sister.
you’re wondering something, aren’t you? who’s older? it might surprise you.
let’s see if you guess right in the comments below.