I used to put on my mom's make-up when I was like ten, drawing a superhero eyemask or a shiny star on my forehead like the Lady Amalthea. Once I tried to make myself look like Jessica Rabbit, with the big purple eyelids and round, red lips, and the mom told me I looked silly and was brave to wear such a ridiculous mask and made me wash it off immediately, so I spread toothpaste all over my face and ran around, crying out melodramatically, "What have you done to me? I'm a unicorn. I'm a unicorn!" until someone paid attention or I sufficiently annoyed the fuck out of everyone. Or something like that.
But usually when I gave myself toothpaste facials--which was a trick I learned from my friend Karla who maturely reasoned out the beauty and health benefits of toothpaste facials all on her own after watching her big sister Margot do it (Karla was unaware that Margot did not actually use toothpaste)--usually when I gave myself toothpaste facials I got in wicked trouble for wasting shit, and then I had to wash the woodwork and pull weeds.
The first junior high sleepover I went to all these girls brought their Caboodles full of make up and gave each other makeovers, and I made myself a breathtaking black eye and dropped a line about fighting in a phalanx a la Civilization to tinkling ridicule because I was unaware that there were people in the world who did not think Civ was the most awesomest computer game ever, let alone people who did not think computer games were awesome to begin with. Fucking weirdos, right?
They made fun of me for awhile, called me a loser, reminded me that boys didn't like girls who liked computer games and never wore make up (they were basically right), and they tried to fix me. Then we watched Pretty Woman, a movie that made me nervous and uncomfortable because it was just about kissing and I didn't understand why she wanted to be with the asshole guy I didn't know why she didn't just get a real job and take care of herself, and they laughed since I obviously didn't understand love and the importance of beauty, so I hid in the bathroom and cried because I knew they were right, and I would never be as beautiful and sophisticated as the rest girls that had life figured out in sixth grade.
They never invited me over again. Told everyone at school that I was weird like a boy and that something was wrong with me because I didn't even like Pretty Woman. And so began the battle of Rassles v. The Pretty Girls, a battle that rages on to this day but only in my brain.
So I have another wedding to go to in a few weeks, and I the other day I decided that this time, for this wedding? I'm going to wear actual make up, not just mascara. Fo' reals. But I needed to practice my brushstroke. I'm initially goonish at anything that requires delicacy, but I've got pretty good muscle memory. I figured I could get this shit down after a few tries, easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Feeling revolutionary, I opened up my make up case. I decided that if this worked it would change my life. Perhaps, just maybe, I should wear actual make up like, all the time. I could look like a grown up instead of a child playing make-believe. I could wear make up to work, you know? Or to bars? Of course, my friends would point it out constantly; I must be prepared to hear, "Are you wearing make up?" at least once a day for six months or so. Still. The possibilities were endless, and kind of exciting. Not super endless because, well, I only have gray, brown, and three shades of green eyeshadow (St. Patrick's Day, 2004). But still. I have to substantiate my place as a feminine consumer before I hit thirty in January. After thirty you have to call yourself a woman and women wear fucking make up, so do it, even if you think it's stupid.
Half an hour later I'd completely forgotten trying to be pretty and painted on a very convincing Frankenstein Monster Face. With scars. I am so awesome at making myself look like the Frankenstein Monster. I should go Frankenstein Monster pro.
So now you know why I haven't finished the casino story.
* You know, I like Pretty Woman a lot, when I'm not going all propaganda-brain. (She is valued by everyone in power for her naive, radiant beauty and her ability to subserviently follow orders! She knows about cars which adds surprising depth to her gentle, yet radiant character! Controlling man purchases her love and affection with fancy things! Fancy things make women complacent and enthusiastic love slaves!) But I do think it's fun and ridiculous.