We’re having a bit of a fuss over the use of eyeliner at our house.
By our 14-year-old son.
Last week, a kid in his class painted his fingernails black, and put a smallish amount of eyeliner on the boy’s lower lids for a monologue he was doing in drama class. The boy was so taken by the look, he asked if he could continue to wear it.
“This is not the issue I’d think I’d be having _ with my 14-year-old son,” my wife protested.
He was making his point one night last week when I popped out of the bathroom and said, “Hell, I’ll buy it for him.”
(Note to the newly married _ or for the old-timers as well _ never open your mouth, without speaking to your partner, on issues large and small. Her icy gaze was scary).
“Thanks for your input,” she said later. “Great timing.”
I don’t see what the big deal is. One of his favorite bands is the Oakland punk band Green Day (yeah, I got him hooked, so what?) Billy Joe and Tre Cool both use eyeliner.
Emulating bands is a time-honored tradition. I, myself, got my hair cut like Benjamin Orr of the band The Cars when I was 16; I moved onto trying to emulate The Clash the next year. All through my freshman year in college, I wore bandanas around my neck and wrist – and had a shaggy mullet _ courtesy of listening to Mike Peters of The Alarm.
A little bit of eyeliner on the boy? Where’s the harm?
“I just don’t know, I just don’t want it leading to him dressing up in a long black trench coat, or Goth,” my wife said.
I still don’t see the harm. He actually looks good with a bit of eyeliner on his lower lid.
He and his mother had a long talk into the night, him trying to convince her that it was harmless; she trying to convince him that she was not quite ready for her little boy to start wearing makeup.
“Thom said he’d buy it for me,” he argued.
Ouch. He used the Thom card. My wife’s icy stare was back.
“You really need to talk with me, before you just open your mouth.”
Point taken. Again and again and again.
“You have to help me convince mom on the eyeliner thing,” he said this morning.
“Tell you what,” I said. “I agree with your mother, that if you’re going to do this, you should walk into the store and buy your own. It’s only fair that if you want to wear it, make a statement or whatever, that you pay for it.”
Hey, it got me out of my wife’s crosshairs (chickenshit that I am).
Anyway, she’s warming – slowly _ to the idea. As long as he goes with a brown instead of black _ and so long as he keeps it respectable (yeah, for boy’s eyeliner use).
Our little boy is growing up. Twisted, but hey _ don’t we all?