Dressing Little Boys | Makeup Tattoos | Lonely Friend


Dear Ask Micah,

I am the mother of boys.  I always tried to dress my boys in the best clothes I could afford, but they always looked like boys.  My sister dresses her son up in the most feminine clothes I’ve ever seen.  He’s three years old and if he’s not wearing some frilly little smocked outfit he’s wearing some pale blue and white collared-white short ensemble with strappy sandals.  It’s the joke of the family.  I want to tell that enough’s enough and it’s time to let her “baby” be a little boy.  We feel sorry for the poor kid.  He’s going to have to show these pictures around one day.

Embarrassed Aunt

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Dear Auntie,

Leave it alone.  You will just make your sister mad at you.  Your nephew is her kid and she can dress him up like Little Lord Fauntleroy all she wants to!  The best part of having a small child is that it’s the only time that the kid gets to be just yours.  You don’t have to worry about silly things like their opinion, wants or wishes. However, that window of opportunity starts closing at around two, and by three, most kids are beginning to put their input into what they wear.

I have said this before, but I never thought I’d dress my child in all the commercial crap that fills the shelves of the kid’s aisle, but here I am.  Yesterday my two-and-a-half year old went to school in his Spiderman shirt, Spiderman shoes, and clutching a pair of Spiderman sunglasses that he struggles to keep on because his head’s too small.  It was that or listen to him whine all morning because he didn’t get to wear his favorite superhero.

So, your nephew is going to put a stop to this soon on his own, if he isn’t already trying.  I do know what you mean, though.  I just can’t stand to see a little boy dressed in a romper or something smocked and frilly.  It’s like some moms are dressing their sons as if it’s 1817, while other mom seem to be mistakenly thinking that they are bringing up little John John Kennedy.  It’s all just a matter of taste I suppose.  Some people may love that look.  They may believe that they are really honoring their son by dressing him so grandly.

I can recall once at my hair salon there was a little boy dressed up like that, and he did look adorable, then I came in with my son.  I was just coming in quickly to grab something and so my son wasn’t really dressed for viewing.  He was in jeans and a white tee shirt.  So here was this one kid all decked out in his finery, and my kid looked like Fonzie.  But truth be told, I prefer the Fonzie look, although I am sure all the other people at our shop were wondering why the owners of a business that focuses on fashion and beauty put such little effort into the way their son looks.  So, your sister may believe that she is paying tribute to her son by dressing him this way, even if you and I don’t personally care for her sense of style.

But while on this subject, I do want to tell you, and other readers, a funny story that happened this year which encompasses this very subject matter.  My family was invited to a cookout this summer.  There were lots of families there and children running around everywhere.  At some point during the party, someone’s little boy (18 months to 2 years old) went missing.  At first, no one was really worried because parents and kids were all over the place, some inside, some outside–surely her little boy was with an adult some place.

However, the mom of the missing child couldn’t seem to find him, so a few of us started helping to look for him.  I went upstairs to the play room and saw several older kids playing.  I passed a couple of sets of parents with their kids upstairs too, but they had older kids or little girls.  I found a boy on the stairs and asked him if he was lost, but his mom rounded the corner and I saw that he wasn’t the missing child.  As I returned outside to the yard again, I discovered that the mom was getting really panicky.  No one had found the boy yet.  Then I overheard another parent asking what he looked like.  “He’s blond and wearing red and white and has red shoes.”  Then it clicked with me.  I just saw that kid upstairs standing with other adults.  That kid was wearing a red and white gingham romper and bright red strappy jelly sandals.  “He” also had long curly blond hair.  I thought that was a girl!  It had been the missing boy everyone was looking for.  As it turns out, I wasn’t the only one who passed by this kid.  Several people saw him and assumed he was a she and kept moving on.  Do with that story what you like.  I’m just telling it.

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Dear Micah,

Been thinking about having a procedure where I have my makeup tattooed permanently.  My husband isn’t for it and says something could go wrong, but I doubt that’s likely.  I’m thinking of the time it could save me each day and the cost of makeup I could stop buying.  I heard you’re in the fashion business.  Tell me what you think?

Kris

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Dear Kris,

I’m no Donatella Versace.  I just own a hair salon in Homewood, Alabama, but I think I have learned a few things over the many years and I have seen my share of tattooed makeup.  There are some women out there that look fantastic with their make-up surgically applied, but they are also women who didn’t have much done.  Maybe just a little eye liner or lip lining.  I have never seen (to my knowledge) a face that looked better for having eye shadow, lip stick and blush tattooed on.  And in my opinion, the worst thing to do is to shave your eyebrows off and tattoo fake ones on.  That always looks exactly like that’s what you did.

In my personal opinion, I would agree with your husband.  I don’t see why it’s a good idea.  Once it’s tattooed on, it’s there forever.  Styles change, colors change–do you want to be permanently marked with lines and shadings that may not be in fashion in ten years?  Also, sometimes makeup is just not appropriate.  Sometimes you look silly jogging down the road or emerging from a summer pool with eye and lip liner on.  Besides, have you ever seen an elderly woman who had her makeup tattooed?  You just can’t know how that’s going to weather.  I see young people tattooing their arms in all of these lines and colors and think to myself how faded and dreary that’s going to look in twenty years.  If you don’t believe me, then start observing middle-aged and older people’s tattoos on their arms.  Nothing’s vivid and colorful anymore.  It’s just worn and sad. You don’t want that on your face.  I’d skip the procedure and just keep doing things the old fashioned way.

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Dear Micah,

Kenny is 40 years old and my best friend.  We’ve shared some good times together in our lives but now things have been getting pretty bad for Kenny.  His wife died a few years back of cancer.  He went through a rough time with her up till that.  She had a lot of chemo and was sick for a while.  Then last month Kenny’s mother died with a stroke.  He’s really heartbroken.  He never had kids and so he’s kind of alone.  My wife and I have him over a lot to our house to be with our family, but here lately Kenny is getting drunk.  He’s not getting sloppy drunk or offensive drunk, just drunk.  I can’t have him drinking like that around my kids, but I also can’t send him off to be by himself.  I’m all the man has.

D

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Dear D,

You are a good friend, and like you said, you are all Kenny has left, so you need to talk to him pretty quickly.  It’s just a matter of time before he starts to think of that bottle as a friend and he may turn against you for it and then poor Kenny will have nobody.

This is a tricky situation because you have several things to be on the lookout for.  First of all, Kenny is alone and has no family anymore.  His only connection to family life is going to be through your family, (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Birthdays, etc.).  As long as it’s all right with your wife and kids to include him, then I think that’s great.  That will help to lend him the impression that he still has a family.  On the other hand, too much family-oriented fun may send him in the other direction back to depression because he’ll be constantly reminded that he is just a guest in another man’s family life.  So try to be sensitive to that.

It’s natural for him to miss and mourn the family he might have had on his own.  By the way, it’s not too late for him to make one if he’ll sober up and start dating, but back to my point—you have to sit him down and tell him flat out that you love him and plan to be there for him, but that he’s drinking too much to numb the pain.  Try to make him see that he has to feel the pain if he ever wants to feel the love again.  You can’t numb one without numbing the other.

I have always tried to live by the rule that in times of joy and celebration, drinking (in responsible moderation) can be fun, but when times are bad and I am stressed, heartbroken, or anxious I don’t drink at all.  You always hear the expression “I need a drink” after a hard day.  In my opinion that’s the time when you least need one.  When the drink begins to solve the stresses, then you’re in trouble.  That’s what Kenny is doing.  He’s using the drink to deal with his loneliness and pain.  He thinks the better part of his life is over.  And it may be, but that doesn’t mean that there still isn’t some undreamt excitement and joy out there just waiting for him to find it.

Whenever I have lost loved ones, and I’ve lost a lot in my time. I mourn them, sure, but I also try to think of it as a closed chapter.  I will always have the memory and knowledge from those chapters that I finished, but I’m not done with the book yet.  And I kind of want to see how it all turns out so I have to keep reading.  The most you can do is appeal to him.  He will either stop drinking so much and rejoin the world or he won’t.  If he won’t, the only thing you can do is extend your friendship when he’s ready and walk away.  You cannot tank your family just because your friend is suffering.

If you have a question you’d like to ask Micah, email him at MicahCargo@hotmail.com.  Some questions may be used in a future column in the print version or on-line version of B-Metro Magazine.

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