When it came to fashion, we were more vague than vogue in our family home.
For our son Sam, fashion was what he might discover under the bed at any given time. Toxic Sock Syndrome festered under that bed. Since he could never find two socks that matched, he decided to set a new trend and wear whatever he happened to find that wasn’t stiff and powerfully scented, so one white and one red might appear on his feet one day, and one blue and one brown the next. He announced to his friends that this was a new fashion trend, but it never really caught on.
Sam’s twin brothers once tried a more permanent fashion trend and emerged from the bathroom one day smelling like ammonia, their formerly brown heads bleached blonde. I’m pretty sure that they lost a lot of hair in that do-it-yourself process. Their statement morphed into the blend when the brown roots grew out.
There were a variety of hair fashions over the years in the house. Some were born with style, and some had hair style thrust upon them, as was the case of the youngest in the family. Her older sister (the one with style) decided a trim would be just the thing for her younger sister’s debut in kindergarten. She started with the fringe but couldn’t get it quite straight. When there was about an inch of fringe left, she proceeded to carry right on over the top. The kindergarten teacher was sympathetic. Apparently she’d seen worse.
One of the more interesting fashion statements was made by four bored teens who found themselves one day contemplating the value of eyebrows. Sure, they were interesting additions to the face, but did a person really need them? Well, one thing led to another and pretty soon out came the razor.
One thing our son Otis, who volunteered for the razor, didn’t anticipate was the fact that his look was always deadpan. Try looking surprised or angry with no eyebrows. Always there to help in a time of trouble, his siblings gathered and soon fixed the problem — with a felt pen.
“How are you feeling today Otis?” they would ask, and then they would get to work. Some days he had the surprised brows that shot up into his hair like two exclamation marks. Other times the black lines came down to meet menacingly at the bridge of his nose. Horizontal lines were the determined look meant for math exams. If he couldn’t make up his mind he might end up with “the combo” — one arched and one normal brow — that made him look like he was thinking “oh really?” all day long.
Gianni Versace once famously said, “Don’t be into trends.” Our family never really worried about fashion trends. We made our own.
Faye Lippitt is the author of “16 Chickens on a Trampoline” and the children’s book, “The Great Caribbean Chicken Caper.”