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Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on June 22nd, 2011, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 12, Issue 16 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 12, Issue 16

Graduate and make up

Some rites of passage come in a nifty compact

By ROB KRIDER

My daughter is one of those girly girls. She loves things that are pink, and she rocks out to Lady Gaga. She has always been this way. If it had been up to her, she would have scheduled a makeover for when she popped out of the womb.

Obviously, it wasn’t up to her, and since that day, her mother and I have had to set a few ground rules for our daughter in regard to her wearing outfits that would make Britney Spears blush. We also came up with a few rules about the use (or abuse) of makeup. If left to her own devices, our daughter would wear so much makeup that she would look like a circus clown dipped into a vat of paint and then rolled through six pounds of flour.

My wife and I are by no means trying to make our daughter grow up on an Amish farm. We actually consider ourselves quite liberal parents. But our ideals about individual freedoms have their limits; ergo we didn’t want our daughter to go to the fourth grade wearing a spaghetti strap tank top with a short skirt that said “Juicy” on the butt. This is an actual outfit she tried to pick out at the store once. We said no, because as her parents, we get to do that whenever we want to entertain ourselves, and because she was 9 years old at the time. Of course, because of our ruling, our daughter thought we were fashion fascists. We realized at that moment we are probably in for some tough teenage years.

Besides wanting outfits from the juniors’ clothing department, the section of the store our daughter has had her eye on from the moment she could walk, our little girl has continually been pushing us to let her wear makeup. This ordeal and endless argument began back in kindergarten. Around second grade, my wife, out of frustration, just started saying, “Stop asking me. You can wear makeup when you’re in the seventh grade!” My daughter must have heard that phrase a million times in her life: “You can do that when you’re in the seventh grade.” I think my wife just pulled that deadline out of thin air, or maybe it was something her mom had told her a couple of decades prior. I never paid much mind to the declaration, but a few weeks ago my daughter completed grade school, and seventh grade was suddenly right around the corner.

For sixth grade graduation, the whole family—including grandmas and grandpas—got dressed up, and we all went to the “Moving On” ceremony to see our little girl earn an award for academic achievement. It was a nice ceremony, and watching my daughter walk across the stage made me realize she was growing up, which is just another depressing sign that I am getting older and thus even more uncool. At my age, I should probably start wearing one of those things around my neck to make me look more professional. What are they called? Oh yeah, shirts.

After the ceremony, we planned to take our daughter out to dinner in celebration of her achievement. The grandmas and grandpas gave our daughter some small gifts and cards. In comparison to her peers, a graduation dinner wasn’t much of a graduation gift. As we walked through the parking lot of the school, there were some limousines waiting to chauffer kids who had just graduated from the sixth grade. Now, not to knock any sixth graders down or take away from their “accomplishment,” but graduating from grade school has less to do with hard work and dedication and much more to do with the fact that your parents drove you to school every day for seven years straight and you breathed in through your nose and out through your mouth enough times that the calendar kept going around and around and then poof : “Congratulations—you completed the sixth grade!” It’s not exactly a difficult thing. I’ve worked harder trying to lean down to clip my toenails than I did in my seven years of grade school.

Regardless of my feelings about sixth grade graduation ceremonies and extravagant gifts, I was still proud of my daughter. We began to drive away from her school for the last time on our way to the dinner restaurant of her choice: 31 Flavors Ice Cream, a sign our little girl was still sort of little. As we drove to 31 Flavors, I looked in the rearview mirror, and I saw my daughter in the backseat with an open compact, applying eye shadow. I couldn’t believe it. I asked my wife, “Uh, you want to take a look in the backseat?”

She looked back and found our young daughter working feverishly to apply layers of makeup. My wife asked, “What are you doing?”

Our daughter rolled her eyes, looked over her compact, sighed—as if we were the stupidest people she had ever been questioned by—and said, “I’m in the seventh grade now. I get to wear makeup.” I saw my wife, whom I love, take a moment to think about it, and then she just started laughing. “Well, I guess you’re right, technically, at this moment you’re in the seventh grade. You have been for about eight minutes now. But I have to ask, where’d you get the makeup?”

“Grandma gave it to me.”

“Of course it was Grandma. I’ll have to remember to thank her later.”

Rob’s daughter is using makeup to look older, while Rob’s wife is using makeup to look younger. Rob buys both of them makeup to make up for being a selfish racecar driver on the weekends.




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