Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What a Beginning . . .

Do you suppose it means I'm just overly tired, or losing my mind?  Yes.  This morning after standing under the wonderfully warm water spray of the shower I grabbed the shampoo bottle and promptly washed my face.  Then I realized my mistake and took it on up to the top of my head and washed my hair as well.  My usual routine is to wash my face with my face cleanser, not shampoo.  I almost panicked, fearing that my eyelashes would lose their curl--what little there is--because I was using a shampoo that is supposed to reduce/relax the natural curl in one's hair.  I don't know why I was worried.  It hasn't prevented the dippsie doodle waves that have been plaguing me for several months now.

I've always been so proud of my hair for cooperating so beautifully--up until recently.  It's begun this maddening tendency to do "S" waves here and there, but especially right around my face and it bugs me to no end.  I'm not, after all, living in the 1920's, for Pete's sake!  (Give me nine or ten more years and I'll be a full century off!)

As I continued with my shower and thinking of stinking "S" curves on female heads, I remembered Miss Phoebe Whiting from my 7th grade Home Ec Cooking class.  Back in 1961-62.  At first, I and my classmates had difficulty knowing what to do about Miss Whiting.  She had an austere demeanor and looked like someone from an old Victorian movie.  She was probably my current age--early 60's--and dressed with high collars, (I remember some filigree white ones)  long sleeves, mid-calf or slightly longer skirted dresses with fitted bodices and often with belts--maybe?  I think I remember her wearing a watch pinned on her bodice, but don't quote me on that.  Her hair was dyed black and worn in a bun at the nape of her neck ... and she had "S" curve waves (flat around her face) on either side of a middle part. 

She was a large woman and had obvious jowls, which were carefully painted (along with the rest of her face) in a foundation lighter than her apparent more olive complexion.  Her eyebrows were black and I think penciled in a bit of a half-moon shape over each eye.  Little pink circles of rouge dotted each cheek.  Her mouth was one of those little rose-bud kind, painted a dark red.  Her hands and feet were tiny and disproportionate with the rest of her body.  Her black shoes were of the previous era as well.  They were laced up to her ankles, and had a one or one-and-a-half inch solid heel.  (Some of today's shoes aren't too far off.)

She was very precise in her directions and I don't ever remember her raising her voice--even working with a classroom of giggly 12-13 year-olds.  She loved sweets and rich foods.  I still remember some of the recipes we made the 1/2 year I was in her class.  Oh, she also love canned, evaporated milk and we used it in every possible recipe we could.  We made chocolate pudding, from scratch.  (Actually all our recipes from scratch!)  Tomato soup, Welsh Rarebit, and Rice Krispi Treats.  So THAT'S where my love affair with Rice Krispi treats began!  (She told us that when we were mothers and our children didn't want to eat their cereal, we could sweeten it up with the marshmallow/butter coating to make it more appetizing!  We all dropped our jaws on that one!)  I don't remember other recipes, but I do remember having fun.  After getting to know her better, I came to love her.  She commanded respect, but did have a sense of humor and she was kind.  She's one of four teachers I fondly remember, and only one of two that I remember first and last names of.

I'm grateful to have known Miss Phoebe.  I'd been cooking for about four years before being in her class, but I learned some things from her.  And I'm glad for the memories.  Even with my kind memories of Miss Phoebe, I still don't want my hair to do "S" curves around my face. 

And even though I shampooed my face today, I didn't note any appreciable change in the curvature of my eyelashes--or anything else.


jeanie said...

I am still trying to imagine the marshmallow/butter coating?

Lovely imagery here.

Pencil Writer said...

Oh? Have you not had rice krispie treats before? Where you melt a ton of butter and then add an avalanche of mini marshmallows in it and follow that with a ton of rice krispies and stir it all together? Eeeek! But then, I forget. You're far more into healthy eating . . . *Sigh!* I love rice krispie treats so much I rarely eat them. I'll eat the whole dang batch if I go unopposed--which is hard to do because most everyone loves rice krispie treats. (I posted the recipe 2 or 3 years ago here, I think it was.) WV is POPIGL. Very appropriate when mentioning my penchant for RK treats!