Rachel Reichert - "A Memoir: Gorgeous Memories"

painting of artistic glasses and the first mission college literary journal

A Memoir: Gorgeous Memories

by Rachel Reichert

I remember this memory from when I was twelve and my sister was ten. We were too young to wear makeup, yet we colored our faces like painting a picture. It did not matter that we looked like yellow geishas, for our foundation too yellow to match our peach skin.

We dipped the amateur, childlike brushes into anything imaginable that could dress up our face. One eyebrow was dark, the other light; our cheeks were orange and our lips looked like someone had smashed a Crayola Crayon across them carelessly. I had a red smear on my tooth and Renee had a black dot of mascara on her nose.

I remember thinking though that the day could not get any better. I do not remember much about this memory because a lot of my childhood was blocked out. In this picture, for once we are smiling genuinely. We are smiling with colored teeth and drawn on faces, feeling not beautiful but gorgeous. In the mirror we see a much older version of ourselves; a side that is strong and the awkward stages are gone. We are women in girl’s bodies. This is how we saw ourselves as we cupped our faces in our hands and smiled like the world was not watching.  

After we were done modeling, we heard a faint snoring coming from within the windows of our home. Creeping in to the door, so as not to awake anyone, we saw dad sprawled out across the love seat. His hands held a composition notebook with diagonal writing lazily sprawled across it. It was clear that he had dozed off while his thoughts were scribbled on the paper.  

Renee and I looked at each other laughing silently, a crazy idea dancing in our heads. I rushed excitedly to seize all the makeup supplies we had painted our faces with. Feeling silly, Renee grabbed the stickiest chap sticks and lip balms that she possessed. Frantically hurrying so that our sleeping father would not awaken, we twisted the bottles off of different products.

The first thing I used was a bright pink, sparkly eye shadow. I smeared it across my dad’s eyelids very carefully. Surprisingly, he did not move. Renee decided to mismatch and painted the other eyelid with a black eyeshadow. Then it was time to add some shine to those pale cheeks. Grabbing the most illuminated pink I could find, I dabbed each cheek with an abundant amount of powder blush. Instead of using blush normally, I went from my dad’s bottom eyelashes, to his nostril, to his ear and down to the bottom of his face. Boy, he was a sight for sore eyes!  

“Don’t forget the lipstick,” Renee whispered to me.

I anxiously grabbed the darkest crimson colored lipstick I could find, pressing it on his lips. Lastly, we grabbed the sticky lip balm and decided to go to town on my dad’s entire face and not an inch of skin was visible.

Finally he awoke and felt his face, “I’m all sticky,” he laughed.  Renee and I asked if we could play with his hair and he reluctantly agreed.  “I guess I can’t look like any more of a  girl than I do now,” dad exclaimed.  

By now the excitement had worn off but even so we tied colored ribbons of every color of the rainbow into his hair. He was the ugliest girl I had ever seen but even so, that was a joyful time. A time when things were simple and the melancholic sigh of tomorrow’s troubles did not linger in the air. Renee, dad and I sat on the couch taking “selfies” with our clown faced father. It was a day I will never forget to remember. The funny thing is, Renee and I failed to realize that our decorated faces were just as repulsive looking as his.  

About the Author

Rachel Reichert is taking American Literature to 1865 and Critical Thinking in Writing and is working towards a Bachelor's in English. Rachel says, "I am a Christian, 26 years old, and have been married for nearly three and a half years.

I love living in Campbell, California, and am very close to my friends and family. I have two sisters and one brother, also one brother who is now in heaven, and left the world too soon. I love to write songs, play board games, babysit my friend's kids and cook."

She continued, "I first started at Mission College with not knowing what I wanted to do, and I graduated with an AA-T in Sociology. Although I enjoyed the classes that I took for this degree, they do not compare to how I feel about writing, reading, and English. I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to return and to focus on this aspect, to hopefully gain a career in writing. My dream is to become an editor or a narrator for audiobooks."