Blurb

The shoes didn't fit. It was an omen.













Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wicked Brows, Mommy Dearest, and Wire Hangers

eye browsThis post is to further my celebration of mothers. Mostly bad ones since Secondhand Shoes portrays two different kinds of mothers. Both bad. Both unforgettable…I hope.

Let’s start with eyebrows. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, a brow properly arched or cocked coupled with the perfect evil stare can kill you without a word spoken. Ask, Lila.

Mom cocked a wicked brow at Mrs. Butz’s back, giving her a laser-gun look. If it would’ve been real, the woman would’ve landed on the floor dead.

In fact, my own mother had perfected it. She could put the fear of God and Satan in me with that thing in one full extension toward her hair line. There were times she maneuvered it just right, and I ‘d confess to things I never even did. That old heavily,painted brow was a horrific thing to deal with. It could make you believe you were in the worst kind of trouble no matter how good you were that day.

Mom never had to call on dad for any discipline intervention. Her eyebrows were the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. Those suckers were an inspiration for one of Babs’s many quirks.

Oh, did I tell you my own mother pulled all her of eyebrows out one day because she hated them. Neurotic. I know.

Lila like myself was simply horrified by those auto-pilot-operated-brows.

Mom squeezed herself through the gap between him and the door. “You really worry me.” She pushed herself into the room, racing toward me. “Were you talking to another imaginary person?” Her eyes shot to the scissors. “What are you doing? Are you cutting up your wrists?” She squinted her gray eyes at me, cocking her heavily painted left brow. “You’ll do anything to stop this wedding. Won’t you?”

Joan crawford brows

So what does Mommy Dearest have to do with this novel? Um, it was another inspiration in creating Babs. The movie was a perfect display of a psycho-neurotic-personality-disordered mom that would keep any child or adult awake all night for fear they might be pulled out of bed over too many wire hangers in their closet. (I know. I know. Long sentence here.)

Imagine waking up out of a deep sleep in the middle of the night to some psycho-foaming-at-the-mouth-mother. YIKES!

Hope you all have a great Mother’s Day on Sunday.

28 comments:

  1. Oh the auto-pilot eyebrows is great Shelly, just like everything you write. BTW,I know about that eyebrow look too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Evie. Maybe there was a club of mothers who instigated the evil-auto-pilot-brow.

      Delete
  2. Curious where we draw inspiration for our characters, isn't it?

    You really did well creating these two very, very unlikeable mothers in the book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sir Wills. And yup. The strngest things can inspire us.

      Delete
  3. Oh yeah on the Mommie Dearest. OMgosh Your mom sounds a lot like mine with the eyebrow frown. LOL mine carried a wooden spoon in her purse. Look and a hand in the purse, oh yeah we knew we had it now. Of course that was back in the day when parents could legally whoop some butt and could announce it over grocery store intercoms. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My mom scared the crap out of my sibs and me. Especially when she didn't paint on her brows.

      Delete
  4. Mommie Dearest still gives me the creeps.

    Sometimes, eyebrows can say it all.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Brrrr! In real life Joan Crawford was pretty much like she was on the screen. I don't think she had to do much acting.

    Good post, Shelly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you, lorelie. feeding baby with the othe hand.

      Delete
  6. Both of those moms scare me. Poor Lila.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm feeling a little disappointed that my mom didn't work the eyebrows. Don't get me wrong, she had the evil glare. Mommy Dearest is a classic. Yikes! Good characterization. Poor Lila.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh? You should really be glad that she didn't work her brows. It's the ultimate weapon of mass destruction.

      Delete
  8. I am not going to watch that clip. I think I'd have trouble sleeping afterwards. :P

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's okay. It's pretty violent. Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford goes crazy on the little girl.

      Delete
  9. Oohh. That clip just scared me--and I haven't even watched it!
    Happy weekend!
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Think about what a little kid would think.

      Delete
  10. Eyebrows..you are right, they can be pretty scary. My sister had a nervous habit and ended up plucking hers all off. Now SHE looked freaky and worse so, once she tried to paint on new ones! Happy Mothers day Shelly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Siv, yes, they can be. First thing in the morning, I saw my mother browless. She could cock them then, too.

      Delete
  11. I had a teacher who shaved off her eyebrows and in place of them put two penciled and steeply arched lines in their place. I'd never seen anything like it before...and it was scary looking. She was intimidating. I got a bad grade in that class partially due to the fact that I was too intimidated to ask questions if I didn't understand something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my... her brows really spoke then.

      Delete
  12. Joan Crawford was a great actress. Not all of her children hated her. But, the eyebrows were really something, not doubt about it. Back in the day the Queen for a Day show used to do make give the winner a make over and prize that included a set of templates for drawing eyebrows. The ultra thin line was very popular. Raising just one brow can be very intimidating.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Your posts always draw me in, first with the titles and then with the subject matter. I love how you always make me stop and think. Thank you for being a great blogging friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Russo, thank you for being my blogging friend.

      Delete
  14. This is such a clever tie-in with your book! My mom still excentuates her eyebrows, and has the ability to scare me with a look. I wish I had that power even for a day! Funny that Mommy Dearest never scared me, and I can relate to her frustration with wire hangers. It's a shame if she really used them as a weapon though. Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mother scared Jesus and the devil out of me. Still does. So did Joan Crawford. It was her eyebrows. Wicked.

      Delete

I'm dying to know what you think.