Mom started dating six months after Glenn left. She would shower right after dinner on Friday night while Scout and I lay on her bed having pillow fights and singing along with her Patsy Cline records. Mom would come out of the shower in her faded blue bathrobe with her head wrapped in a towel like a turban. She’d sing along with Patsy in her throaty voice while she picked a dress out of her closet. Scout and I always got the final word on what she was wearing. She looked prettiest in her blue dress because it brought out her shining grey eyes, and we always told her so.
She’d sit down on the bed with us to pull on her nylons and moan, “Nylons are God’s curse to women, girls.” She’d pick Scout up then and the three of us would dance into the bathroom to do hair and makeup.
Mom blew dry her hair, using her fingers to sweep her dirty blonde hair back into gentle waves. It always fell perfectly to the tops of her shoulders. It was such a change to see her with her hair done, since most of the time it was pulled back in a loose ponytail with just small wisps hanging around her face. With her hair down, she looked like a model in one of the fashion magazines.
Scout always sat on the counter near the sink when Mom put on her makeup. I sat on the toilet lid and watched as she applied mascara with a tiny brush. Scout asked to have some makeup put on her every time.
“I want some lipstick, Ma.” she’d say.
I rolled my eyes. “Scout. Really…”
Mom laughed and put the teeniest bit on Scout’s puckered lips. Scout look up at us, bat her eyes, and say, “I’m beyooooootiful!” Mom and I just laughed.
When Mom finished with her makeup, she’d look at me and say, “Is that enough gunk?” and then spray her wrists with her favorite perfume, White Lace.
She walked out to her closet and grabbed her purse and shoes as Scout and I ran and flopped back on her bed.
“Well..” she said, “Do I pass inspection?”
“Yes,” we always said.
She looked so beautiful I felt we shouldn’t even touch her. She was perfect, and neither of us could stop looking at her. She dug into the depths of her purse and fished out a Kool and lit up. “Ready!” she announced.
She’d sit on the edge of the bed with us and sing Patsy songs until there a knock on the back door or a honk from the driveway. Then, once again, it was time to greet the geek.