I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A ROCK STAR.
I grew up listening to Dad's stories of when his rock band traveled across the country in a VW bus. My mom has pictures of Bob Dylan hanging in our living room. My sister Chelsea has the voice--and the ambitions--of Joni Mitchell.
But I didn't get any show-business genes. I can't sing. I've never had the patience to learn guitar. I dress like I've walked out of a J. Crew catalog. And I have as much rock-star attitude as Peter Jennings. So when Glow Salon, Day Spa and Cafe invited me to get a "rock-star makeover," I jumped at the chance.
I knew it was going to be an interesting afternoon when I arrived in Annapolis and got a stare-down from my stylists, Kelly Fisher and Cristina Sevin, who own Glow along with their husbands. Both looked like they'd stepped off a Manhattan runway. Kelly eyed my long, frizzy braided hair. Cristina frowned at my eyebrows. "Would you mind if we did a little waxing?" she asked.
After my brows were shaped up, Kelly, who has a tattoo of a bird in her armpit and one of a woman up her side, began straightening my hair with a hot iron. She then pinned four long brown hair extensions into my blond hair.
Then came the hair teasing. And more teasing.So much teasing, I worried my hair would fall out. When it was done, I looked like a cross between Cyndi Lauper and Taylor Dane. I was embarrassed to sit in the salon's cafe. A soccer mom waiting to get her hair cut looked at me like I had three heads.
At the makeup station, I closed my eyes while Christina Croston used an air-brushing machine to spray on foundation and blush. "It's why Jennifer Lopez and Halle Berry have skin that glows," she said. The air-brushing was very relaxing.
Next stop: the salon's tattoo studio. I sat for an hour while artist-in-training Matt Taylor drew an '80s glam-rock dagger on my left arm. It was going on the fourth hour of the makeover, and I was restless. I hinted that maybe the dagger wasn't worth coloring in. He kept going.
Next they dressed me in a red tube top adorned with silver balls and skintight capri pants that laced up the sides. I felt like a streetwalker. For the camera, I tried to pretend that my spirit matched my punk clothes. "Give me sultry," said Chris Usher, the photographer. I pictured the Victoria's Secret models and made a pathetic attempt to pucker my lips. I burst out laughing. "Can't I just smile?" I asked.
That's when it dawned on me. The rock-star thing was too much work. I didn't want to care this much about what I looked like.
I walked out of the salon to where my boy-friend, John, was waiting. People walking to their cars stared.
"You look so cool," he said.
I did feel cool. It was fun to stand out. No one knew what I had looked like before the makeover. As far as they knew, I was a punk rocker hanging out in an Annapolis parking lot. I had reinvented myself. Maybe that's why I had wanted to be a rock star. *