These little girls are me and my younger sister, about 1957. We've grown up, taken different paths. She's a grandmother, living on a small farm; I'm a retired teacher, living in town. Sometimes we see each other at holidays (or funerals), and sometimes we don't see each other for months at a time.
But this past week we had a day to remember. Sister spa day.
It started with an appointment at the local beauty academy. I was happy to discover that our town has a beauty school that offers budget priced services including haircuts, manicures, pedicures, and more. The young women at the beauty school are personable and attentive, and well supervised. My sister, who in high school was once a prom queen, had never had a pedicure, so that's what we did here. The two of us had our tootsies soaked and scrubbed and lotioned and painted sportscar red. Who knew that this girl was so ticklish?
Next we were off to the salon. Sis's hair had been the same since the 60's, long and parted down the middle. She has always colored it herself. But lately the effect was making her look older than she actually is. My beautician, a friendly and skillful woman, was ready. We had already talked about doing a mini makeover, and she was excited. Sis's gray roots were colored, and subtle highlights added. Her long straight hair was shortened to shoulder length layers, and wispy bangs appeared in place of the center part. But probably the most memorable moment came when she had her eyebrows waxed. I had suggested we do something about her thick eyebrows and in principle she agreed, but when the moment came she was anxious. I took her bifocals, held her hand, and reminded her she had given birth - twice. It was over in a minute, and the effect was startling. She looked years younger, and much more wide awake.
Our last stop in sister spa day was the beauty counter at a local department store. The woman there showed her how to apply foundation, eye make-up, lip color. We walked out with little bags of cosmetics, some free samples, and an armload of goodwill. Sister spa day was a success.