The Best Kind of Chaos

May 26, 2008
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Nine pairs of shoes: check.
Three pairs of tights: check.
Eight costumes: check, costume accessories: check.
Make-up, hair brush, deodorant, hair net, bobby pins…bobby pins!

Throw the set of bobby pins,
And that huge bottle of hairspray
Into the endless black duffel bag.
Slide on your sandals, and fly out the door.

Run in through the backstage door – you’re late.
Sprint up the stairs and arrive, panting, in the dressing room.
Everyone else is dressed and doing their hair.
You’re behind. Let’s go.

Carefully put on your first costume –
Don’t rip the skirt; it’s chiffon.
Make sure none of the sequins fall off.
Don’t snag the top with that clasp!
Ah. Finally…
No, wait – wrong tights.
Take everything off, and switch the tights.
Okay, now put the high-maintenance costume back on.

Now you need to wrestle your stubborn hair
Into a neat and painfully tight bun,
Parted over your right eyebrow.
Once all thirty-seven bobby pins are in place
And the hairnet is secure
You load on two pounds of hairspray.
Your head feels like hard plastic.

And the best part. The doll make-up.
Foundation, concealer, powder.
Blush, eyeliner, eye shadow.
Mascara, lipstick, lip gloss.

You have now successfully pulled off the Barbie look –
Between your plastic head, pink face, and sparkly outfit,
You’re sufficiently fake,
And so bright that it hurts to look in the mirror.


That’s your cue. Get out there.
Get down the stairs…but be completely silent.
Get in your spot backstage, taking your place in the line-up.
There are already lines of other Barbies
That are tugging at their costumes and making last minute adjustments.

The announcement ends.
The lights go up…the curtain opens.
Everyone plasters on their smile,
And the music starts.

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