The Lesson

The Lesson

From the window in her mom’s bathroom, Jenna watched as her mom’s car pulled out of the driveway and cruised up the street. Finally, she thought. Jenna loved her mom, but lately had been praying to have the house to herself. Jenna waited a few more minutes. She’d learned to do that two days ago when her mother unexpectedly returned, having forgot her billfold. That day Jenna had almost gotten caught. But today, the coast seemed clear.

Jenna left the window and went to her mom’s side of the bathroom. From the cabinet underneath the sink she pulled out a large, heavy, shiny, metal, makeup case. To Jenna, this case was a treasure chest full of forbidden temptations. Inside the case, her bounty took the form of expensive department store makeup: Channel, Estee Lauder, Lancome, MAC, NarsâÂ?¦ Jenna knew their value because they were off-limits. But alone in the house, Jenna could open the case, touch the tubes and bottles, pencils and compacts. And if she was careful, her mother would never know.

Jenna brushed a green streak of eye shadow across each eyelid, and topped it off with a not-so-straight line of pink lip liner that she mistook for eyeliner. She squeezed too hard on the bottle of foundation and it oozed quickly into her hands. She smeared the gob, in its entirety, across her face.

Next she applied too much blush onto her soaked cheeks; giving her the illusion that she was a munchkin in the Wizard of Oz. Now came the mascara. Jenna dropped her jaw and bugged her eyes. She had watched her mom make this face many times when using the magic black liquid that lengthened the lashes and brought out the wearer’s eyes.

Just as she moved to her second set of lashes, the phone rang. Startled, Jenna jumped, causing her to stab her eye with the tip of the mascara wand. With one stinging, tear-filled eye, Jenna made her way to the phone in her parent’s bedroom.

“Hello?” It was her mother, calling from Dillard’s, her favorite department store.

“What are you up to sweetie?”


“Ok, well, I have a surprise for you.”


“I’m at Estee Lauder, and the cosmetologist has an opening. How would you like a makeover and a makeup lesson?”



“Oh Mommy thank you!”

“You’re welcome. Now hurry and whip my makeup off your face, clean up your mess, and be outside in fifteen minutes.”

The line disconnected. Jenna was stunned. Her mom knew! She had known the whole time! Jenna hurried to the sink to scrub her face. Mom knew, and she wasn’t mad, she thought. Henna was sure she had been so sneaky. That she had covered her tracks. How did she know?

Exactly fifteen minute later, Jenna’s mom pulled into the top of the driveway. Jenna hopped in the car, and mother and daughter sped off towards Dillard’s. Jenna was quiet at first. But soon, curiosity got the better of her. “Mom?”

Her mom turned down the radio. “Hmm?”

“Um, so, you’re not mad? I mean about me using your makeup?”

Jenna’s mom turned the radio off completely and looked at her daughter. “Well, sweetheart. I’m disappointed that you didn’t ask and that you went behind my back.” Jenna dropped her head, ashamed, “But,” her mother continued, “I did the same thing when I was your age.”

“You did?”

“I did. So I guess I can’t be too upset now can I?” Her mom winked, and Jenna smiled happily, reassured. More than anything, she’d hate her mom to be mad at her. They parked in the Dillard’s parking lot, and speed-walked toward the store’s entrance.

An hour later mother and daughter emerged best friends. Bonded over a mutual love. Jenna was a new girl, a woman. Her face perfectly painted for her age and complexion. In her hands she carried a large, heavy bag. Inside was her own treasure chest with her very own treasure. It was not as much or as costly as her mom’s, but it was hers.

Jenna had learned more than proper makeup application that day. She learned that being honest felt better and was more rewarding that sneaking around. And that her mom was one of the coolest people she knew.

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