November 30, 2020

the tanned raccoon look, a voice-over, and other updates

I'm late to post today. I've several timeless posts I could've plugged in here, but I wanted to share highlights of our busy weekend. So much has happened in the last week or two (in that time I posted pre-written, purely delightful content here, of course. Everyone nodding in agreement in my generous imagination) that I am a bit overwhelmed as I attempt to update you all, my blog friends. Gotta start somewhere. Writing this as baby twins are napping. Here goes:

Last night I stayed up way too late working on a WRITING FOR PUBLICATION class assignment that I wanted to complete. For a few hours I was so disillusioned that I thought I'd get a weekend recap post done. Silly me.

My hour plus long nap at 4:15 in the afternoon did not move me closer to my "and then I'll write a post" goal. I woke up dazed and confused at 5:30 pm having dreamt that we had a sun porch with a pool where a real live lion hung out on the regular. This epic nap perpetuated my jet-lag feeling despite not having flown to Ireland, or anywhere. Today I am going to require another nap, so hoping to reestablish normal sleep might be too lofty. 

Irish dancing competitions wreak havoc on sleep (not to mention bank accounts, holiday weekends,  nervous systems, etc.) - I know this because historically for the past 10 years I've spent the weekend after Thanksgiving at Midwest Irish Dancing Championships.

I usually avoid cooking for Thanksgiving because of the impending championships. This year, not so lucky. I went overboard with the cooking, which was dumb but I'm embracing the freedom from cooking dinner this week. Thank you piles of leftovers. More on our Thanksgiving later.

Kitchen: trashed. Hey, at least we have a hood. See my laptop at the bottom of the pic? Curly and Mini were glued to it all day. Watching the live-streamed competitions that happened on Thanksgiving. Curly's dancing bestie competed.

Coach kept saying he was sure the competition would be cancelled due to the pandemic. Part of me agreed, but as the days passed I thought 'SHEESH, THEY'RE GOING TO HOST THIS THING.' Curly hasn't competed at a big event since this time last year as Worlds (April) and Nationals (July) were both cancelled. I hoped that we'd stay healthy so that she could attend. My dancer works HARD and I wanted her to be able to participate.

Still, I was grumpy. This year it was scheduled to be in Chicago - like 35 minutes from home. Translation:  sleep in my own bed. No traveling. Then a few months ago, they announced that they were moving it to Indianapolis because the restrictions in Chicago were too, well, restrictive. Damn. 

Each dancer could bring one adult. Coach and I:  divide and conquer types so not an issue. Once basketball season was put on hold for Mini I was wishing Mini could come. Since she retired from dance, she has always joined us as Curly's biggest fan. Mini's a hoot. She keep things light. 

Not being tuned into the dancing school's FB page as my life gets a tad busy at times, I missed the volunteer signup. I could've signed up Mini. I reached out to Curly's dance teacher, Mary, and told her to let us know if she heard of any volunteer openings. Days later she texted - Mini was needed. Things were looking up. 

Tuesday night I started my food prep. The woman I had hired to do Curly's wig and makeup texted me to say she was no longer planning to be in Indianapolis. "Sorry." Holy crap. I can put on Curly's wig but for a big competitions I prefer someone else take on that role. Um, Curly's preference too. Big time. 

Makeup? No. I can't. Mini and I are helpless. I can barely work mascara on myself and I get all queasy getting that close to someone else's eyes. Nevermind the eyeliner and fake eyelashes. No one would willingly hand me a bottle of glue and instruct me to get close to my kid's eye with a thin wispy fake eyelash. This was going to be ugly. Quite literally. Years ago I bought makeup for dancing competitions. We only use it for the local, small competitions. I hire out for the big events, so our selection was weak at best. 

Mini insisted that she'd pull this off. She'd watch YouTube videos and do a practice run. Well, Tuesday night I tried to work on my annual Christmas poem late at night because I was not sleepy. The girls were in a giddy mood and they sashayed into the kitchen and attempted a synchronized dance routine to whatever folksy music Alexa was playing. I ignored them, but they were distracting me and getting on my last nerve. I finally told them to get to bed.  

Over an hour later I went to bed (kicking myself for staying up so late). I was switching a load of laundry and I heard something in the girls' room. I walked in, they turned off the light. Our bag of dancing makeup was spread all over the floor. Curly kept her back towards me. 

"Sorry, Mommy. We're going to bed now. Good-night."


Dear God. Mini had TRIED with our makeup. Curly looked like a tanned raccoon. We were doomed. I scolded the girls. Hello, we have to be up early in the morning in a few days and Indianapolis is a different time zone so it'll feel crazy early. No sleeping till 10 am or later. What were they thinking? I mean, I couldn't really get angry because they're hilarious. Curly's face was MAKING ME DOUBLE OVER. But still.

My equally clueless daughters and I went inside Walgreens on Wednesday evening and bought what we THOUGHT we needed in colors that we HOPED would work to the tune of $80.  

Curly's competition was Saturday, 8:30 am. We left Friday late morning. Freakishly I slept 9 hours Thursday night (overdoing Thanksgiving cooking will do that) and was ready to do this thing

After checking into our hotel, we walked to the venue and met Mary. I cannot tell you how incredibly blessed we are to have Mary as Curly's teacher. She's crazy about my kid. No pretenses, no worries, no wonder-what-she-meant-by-that vibe. She always wants what's best for Curly. Aside from Curly's dancing abilities she LOVES my kid. Curly is mature, respectful, and kind. All heart. Not all 12 yr old girls have it going on. Plus, it doesn't hurt that she can dance. 

I shared with Mary how we were stressed about the makeup. Another dance friend, whose kid danced on Thanksgiving day, sent me a link to a place that was doing wig appointments. I was thrilled. My turkeys (yes, two) were in the oven and Curly was scheduled to have her wig done by a professional. I asked Mary if she thought the wig people might plop those false eyelashes on Curly while doing the wig.

Mary:  Let's ask.

She walked us to the vendor area where the wig people were set up. The man and woman (Sean and Geri) running the booth were from Ireland. They knew Mary. She's helping run the event. They weren't supposed to do makeup because of covid, but Mary asked about eyelashes as a favor. Sean said sure they'd help. He asked us a bit about Curly's makeup and I explained:  clueless.

I was standing there in workout clothes after having driven 3 hours. No makeup. Rocking stringy, mangy hair. Homemade mask. I'm sure it came as a total shock to him that I claimed to be clueless about makeup. I took out my phone and showed him the dry-run that Mini had done the day before (Thanksgiving) with our newly purchased stuff.

People. I'm going to try to do my imitation of what he said in his Irish accent and then upload it here, because it was just too funny. Essentially he stopped in his tracks and insisted that we were not to put anything on her face. He whipped around and showed Geri the photo. She more than winced. As if we were physically hurting her. 

Thanksgiving dry run.

Photo of Curly and my imitation of this guy Sean talking to his partner Geri. (not sure why it says age restriction - if you click on it, it will work I think. Not actually restricted by age)

We were instructed to show up for the wig session ready and willing for them to do her makeup too. If not for covid, I might have kissed him. 

Sean: Bring what makeup you have. 

I told them that we were a little worried that the foundation was too dark (these girls tan their legs, so the faces often are made to look quite dark). "Not to worry. Just bring it. Don't touch her face." Geri apologized to Mini after she learned that it was her handiwork that they were shredding. 


We high-fived and celebrated and giggled all the way back to the hotel. "Did you see their faces when they saw the dry-run?" 


Anonymous said...

Hilarious reactions!! Glad you found help! Hope the competition went well!

Ernie said...

AM - every competition brings its own unique obstacles and adventures - this one was no different. Silly me, I thought I could fit the whole tale into one post today but this post didn't even come close to covering all of it.

Bibliomama said...

It's nice when things work out like that - and damn, that wouldn't have been half as funny if it wasn't in an Irish accent. I am hopeless with makeup too - every now and then I try to put shit on my eyes, and I always end up washing it off.
Naps always make me feel wonky too, so I don't nap unless I am absolutely non-functional. Which is more often than I'd like, at this point.

Nicole MacPherson said...

I'm with Coach, I'm super surprised that they didn't cancel it. Was it weird? How did they manage all the Covid stuff? I have lots of dance mom friends and it's always crazy, how busy they are with makeup and hair and costumes. Glad it all worked out!

Kari said...

When I take naps later in the day, I always have weird dreams too. Like I won the lottery and who are these kids? Where is Vanna White and where did my pet leopard go??

I have to say I am pretty surprised they had the competition but that's why they did it in Indiana. That's also why Indiana has skyrocketing COVID numbers. How did it go??

How was your Thanksgiving, by the way?

Ernie said...

Ali - It was so funny when they reacted in their accents. Mini saw me messing with my you tube setting last night trying to get that video not to say 'age limit' or whatever and she (of course) made fun of me for videoing my fake accent. But I felt it was necessary as it WAS the funny in the whole exchange. It didn't end there, but the rest of the story will follow. My mom was crazy strict when I was growing up. We weren't allowed to do makeup and by the time we could there was no lesson or visit to a makeup counter. It always felt taboo and so I never learned. Not to mention- squeamish working with pointy stuff near the eye. I love a good 10 or 20 min nap, but once I slip into REM I get all goofed up.

Ernie said...

Nicole - Most of it worked out, stay tuned for the drama parts. I am not a good dance mom. I don't buy into all the 'extras'. Can't they just wear a black skirt and shirt and dance? Hair in a pony tail? My kid has the craziest curly hair, yet a wig is mandated. Ugh. If my kids really want to get me fired up they call me a dance mom.

It was so different this year. Lots of changes. I felt as safe as I feel going to the grocery store which is pretty dang safe. They spread the competition out over 4 days vs 3 days (including T-giving for the first time ever) and limited how many people could be in the room. Normally we would show up a day early and watch friends and cheer them on. That was not allowed. They usually do awards with a thousand people plus in one giant (loud, crowded) room. This year the dancing was held quickly - no hours between rounds, and when they were done we waited for results and then they announced the awards right away. Everything was live streamed so friends and fam could cheer from home. The room itself had chairs set up in twos instead of tons in a row. Each set of chairs had a 9 x 9 square marked off and we hung out in these little 'homes'. Masks mandatory. Dancers wore masks on stage, then took it off and put it in a bag at the side of the stage. Danced and put mask back on. Usually there are 3 girls on a stage at once (nuts), but they divided stage in two and dancers stayed on their own side of the stage. We weren't allowed to stop in the halls and chat with friends. Security patrolled and traffic had to keep moving - one way on each side of the hall. Oh, had to hand in a health form to be allowed in with a recent temperature recording. They also had no ceili (partner, group) dances.

Ernie said...

Kari - Hilarious dream scenarios, my friend. Oh, and I enjoyed your conversation with your 2013 self yesterday. Meant to mention. And yes, I think about what my last year self would say about all of this.

Well, Chicago is skyrocketing too. I am all for restrictions but I do think Pritzker is a nut job. I think the way they held the competition was very safe. They were super cautious. (see my description in my reply to Nicole). I'm glad she got to participate, but I'm also glad it is over. I will post the rest of the saga in the next few days. There is a lot to report. Brace yourself.

Thanksgiving - exhausting. More on that later. Look at me, full of secrets today.

Suz said...

Oh my goodness. I'm laughing at your impression....and I can imagine their faces seeing Her novice-makeup face.
It never ends with you.

So, you also have bizarre dreams? We're twins!

So, will we find out about the competition? I'm a post late, so maybe you've already shared.

Ernie said...

Suz - this was the best - how often can getting poked fun of feel so hilarious? It helps that we KNEW we sucked. The clicking noises with the tongue and the eyebrow raising - that is lost here, but trust me - so funny.

Yes, quite often my dreams are wacky.

Laughing that I thought I would be posting all of this: makeup, wig, competition in one post. Summing stuff up - NOT MY STRONG SUIT. Do you all like to feel like you were there living the dream with me?