Rose Kelleher reading A Journey to the Beautician

Rose Kelleher is a member of Cabra Library Creative Writer's Group. Here she reads from her short story "A Journey to the Beautician".

A Journey to the Beautician

by Rose Kelleher

It was late September in the 1980s.   We just finished choir practice when our choir mistress enquired if we could go to England for the choral festival.  We had already won first in the Father Mathew Feis and Whitefriar Street Feis so she felt we were on a winning streak.  The other excited choir members agreed straight away but I was rather reluctant as I had two young children in nappies and they posed a big problem.  After much discussion with my husband he agreed.  He had a few days holiday and yes, it would be part of my birthday present. I mulled over it for days and I convinced myself that they wouldn't win if I were to back out.  I made a mental note of the 'do's' and the 'don’ts' for my own special tots and finally I'd write down all the meal times, changing times, bedtimes and watched him practicing nappy changes etc.  He passed with flying colours so I was beginning to get excited though a little anxious.  A small case, choir uniform, a few changes of clothes and I was ready. No, not exactly. I had to have my hair done and ‘to hell with the expense' sure I'd go for the whole day and have a facial and proper beauty treatment.  After all we might be splashed across the papers in England and some of my friends would recognise me. 

Now I hadn't been to a beautician since before my wedding day, and I must say I was extremely pleased with the outcome that day.  I must confess I did ask for the leading man in the salon, Geoff. He looked so experienced and I liked his accent. He cleared, peeled, plucked and pulled at me for ages explaining the advantages of the serums and the lotions until I was almost asleep. Finally he started threading my eyebrows and putting eyeliner on my eyes and suggested I should have my lashes dyed and grey pencil to add to the colour of my lovely eyes.  He had shaded powder on my cheekbones which made my eyes look bigger and kept telling me 'I deserved it' and that my husband would be so happy for me.  I ran all the way home and I had forgotten the house keys. I had to ring the bell. Out jumped my husband with two children hanging on his arms and said, 'She's not in. Call back later.'   Can you imagine my shock.  Would you believe he didn't know me? And when he came to his senses, he said, 'What in the name of God Almighty did you do with yourself? Take off that muck off your face. You're like a lady of the evening.'  Knowing that I was completely upset he tried to console me by saying I was much more natural and nicer without the makeup.  Could I believe him?  We came to an amicable agreement.  I would do my own makeup and never depend on anybody.  Well pride gets a fall.  We did go to England.  We did sing and we got second place.  Now, I'm at the stage now that I need botox and a wig but I'll soldier on.  We often look back and reminisce about the eighties and tell our grandchildren but they still won't believe me.


Recorded at Cabra Library Creative Writing Group, facilitated by Ora Ní hAonigh.

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super story and so real..Keep writing Rose.

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