Wednesday, July 25, 2007

One More Goodbye to Tammy Faye

So, me and and one of my b bff's, Lisa Samson, were continuing in our metaphorical sitting in sack cloth and ashes mourning--we're writers okay? And both of us are on deadline. We can't literally sit in sack cloth and ashes. Besides, that'd be really messy. We're still in our metaphorical sackcloth and ashes--in fabulous colors--for our girl, Tammy Faye.

Lisa gets the idea that we should do the eye make-up thing, really big, in her honor, and put the picchas on our blogs. I totally want to celebrate Tammy Faye. And play with make-up. Plus, I never wore false eyelashes. Heck yeah! For Tammy Faye! And you know I wanted to do my piccha in this, deep, brooding, moody, poetic, but only, like, visually poetic way. Poetic, but with mascara and stuff. You know. Like, um. That (see above deep, brooding, moody, visually poetic, but with mascara and stuff piccha). But you totally can't see the eye make-up good! But is that gold, gilded candle totally Tammy Faye, or what???

Anyway, I didn't even have any money for the falsies, but I think St. Tammy Faye was lookin' down from heaven at me, when she wasn't busy shopping with her new the-strip-malls-are-paved-with-gold-credit-card, with no limit. She must have interceeded for me--for that is what the saints in heaven do--and God made a way for me. I got groceries. And medication. And some false eyelashes! And that's all I needed for my daily bread, bless the Lord!

So, I got started tonight. Lemme tell ya, it takes work! It's quite a production for the eyeliner alone! And I think she may have used the liquid kind, beloved. Tremble. That takes skill. I think Catwoman used the liquid kind. I'm talking Julie Newmar/Eartha Kitt Catwoman, or Catwomen. From the Batman TV show. And they didn't play! The false eyelashes alone took a level of skill and mastery that I personally could not handle. Those babies tried to break me down after about half-hour. I soldiered on, however. It wasn't as bad as when I pierced my nose when I was in my early twenties. I was young. I was tough. And that took me HOURS. But I am not young. And God knows I am not tough. And I have been feeling decidedly unpretty. So those eyelashes were about to take a sistah down. But Tammy Faye had cancer and could do this. Surely, I said to myself, surely, I can put on some false eyelashes! I was not about to punk out now. And those things cost three dollars. Imagine if I'd sprung for the seven dollar ones.

Like I said, they were completely out of control before I even got out of the bathroom. Half of the left eyelash was inching precariously toward my brow. And the right eyelash was determined to blind me. I was going to be a blind martyr for the love of Tammy Faye though, darn it! And I was going to take a piccha! Even though I felt unpretty and spent the last two days crying incessantly, wearing the same funky pajamas, depressed, wishing I had chocolate--remember I said the groceries were low, and watching copious amounts of Joan of Arcadia on DVD instead of working. Even though I'm SO on deadline!

But I digress.

Then it was time to apply mascara to said out-of-control false eyelashes, that by now seemed pretty real to me. I don't know how she did this. Every day. Her eyelashes were big as tarantulas, God knows they were. I put on at least eight coats. I put on mascara until my completely cancer free body was worn out. I totally bow to Tammy Faye. I so can't keep up. I've got way more ragamuffin in me than diva. I could totally drop the diva part if Brennan and Rich didn't totally own the ragamuffin thing. I mean, really. But hey, I'm just gonna say this because I think I've earned it after tonight, but I think I probably look better in false eyelashes than Brennan. He's got those big, blue eyes. I'll give him that. But I just think I can take him when it comes to false eyelashes. I'm sticking to that.

After that there was layer after layer of coloring with eye shadow. And then more layers. And then a few more. I think I am five pounds heavier from the eye make up. I am wearing attack eyelashes, five pounds of eye make-up, and all of this for what???

Because I really did love her.

I watched a really long, very un-Joan of Arcadia like documentary tonight, called Tammy Faye: Defying Dying. It was about her cancer journey. I saw such moxie in her. And that same love I wrote about the other day. It was still there in spades! I saw her afraid, courageous, sick, dying, and yet still going out to other dying people to make them feel better. And I wanted to be just like her when I grow up.

As I sat here trying to take picchas that would be good, and fun for this little tribute, I thought about Ms. Tammy Faye. I thought about how I've been feeling, and all those tears I shed these past few days, and if she were here with me, I'll bet, from all I saw on that documentary, and from all I saw from years of watching PTL, that she would take me in her arms, and tell me it didn't matter what that guy I sent that email to thought, and it didn't even matter what my husband thought. She would tell me I was pretty. And that I was pretty to Jesus. And maybe she would sing, You Can Make It, just like she did on PTL.

Did you ever hear the story of why Tammy started wearing all that make up? It's really simple. She just wanted to feel pretty. Same as me. Same as many of you, even some of you guys. She said the first time she put make-up on she immediately took it off thinking it was the devil's work. That's what she'd been led to believe all her life. Then she thought about it, and said to herself, "But if it makes me feel pretty, why not? What's wrong with it?"

I don't know. I think she had a point. Now, everything pretty ain't right! If your grandmama didn't tell you that, I don't mind telling you, but everything pretty ain't wrong. Just think of buttercups, and butterflies, and the gardenia in Lady Day's hair. I think Tammy Faye knew that sometimes a girl needs to feel pretty, and she was here to tell us, God ain't mad at us for that.

Here's another thing she said, "There has to be mascara in Heaven. If there isn't, God won't know me!" Ha! Even if He does, nobody else will! There had better be! And I hope it's really, really good mascara.

So, one last time, I just want to give her a little love to send her off. I'm burning a candle for you, pretty girl. I'll bet you are looking pretty/awesome right now. And this last piccha is for you, because despite all my tears these last few days, while I was fighting with eyelashes, I had a respite from my sorrow. And when I was taking picchas for this silly tribute, which I mean with my whole heart, I had more fun that I've had for days, and you got a real smile and some happiness out of me. You were pretty good at that Tammy Faye. You made this sad, middle-aged, black woman, whose physical beauty is fading every day, and who was wearing a ridiculous amount of make-up, feel very, very pretty.

Thanks again. Hope to hug you in Heaven one day. Pray for me, Tammy Faye. I wore my angel wing earrings for you, but I wore the black ones, because, um, I'm still me, and I don't have hot pink ones. And will you do one thing for me? Tell Jesus I missed Him a whole lot this week, and there were moments when, just a little, I wished I were home with you and Him.



Elysa said...

Oh girl! This was SO good. I'm glad you smiled and laughed and felt purty and had fun....that you had a much needed, grace-filled respite from the tears.

And you know, I think that Ragamuffin BEAUTY is pretty appropriate for you with or without the 5 pounds of makeup!

BIG KISSES!!!!!!!!

Your Fellow Made-up Mama!

Alison Strobel Morrow said...

Jesus already has Tammy Faye--the rest of us still need YOU. I'm glad you're still here with us. :)

Queeny said...

I think fake eyelashes are fabulous -- on other people, but I'm not brave enough to try them.... Big props to Tammy Faye.

spwriter said...

I'm certain Tammy Faye is enjoying this tribute. I suspect she's dripping a few tears of joy (and a few pounds of mascara) this very moment just for you.

Beautiful, Mair. (Your words and photos...and your heart.)

Joey Quinton said...

I also think the Lord met her with a big ol'hamburger, mounds of french fries, lots of ketchup, and some chocolate for dessert...I know that's right!

wilsonian said...

I wanted to say something a little smart-ass, but I just keep thinking about the bold beauty you have.

And you totally need to teach me how to do those eyelashes some day ;)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the story, and the pictures.
The story is beautiful, I will remember Tammy Faye with it.
Your pictures are beautiful, and so are you.
Be blessed.

Joni said...

What a fitting tribute to the woman who knew the art of makeup like no other...

The picchas are the best!

Christine said...

I'm amazed at your dexterity - I've tried countless times to use fake eyelashes and end up with glue all over the place. The photos and the writing are absolutely fabulous!

What a great tribute!

Niki said...

What a great tribute! The fake eyelash thing is crazy funny! I do the liquid liner everyday though. It's not too hard if you practice. ;)

I love your blog and look forward to meeting you someday. Heather and Paula love you and I'm sure I will too!

Keep being bold and REAL!

just me said...

Not related to this really but just to your writing. I posted/linked to your blog today.

Jean said...

you look beautiful and of course, ARE

upwords said...

Those lashes are schmo-kin! Tammy Faye would totally love them. God rest her soul

Nedra said...

Hi, your words were moving and sensitive. Often when such a well-known person dies, people act like that famous person wasn't a...person. We're all made in God's image; thank you for reminding us of that.

Anonymous said...

And why have you never wore false eyelashes? I think they can make you makeup more beautiful..