Last semester I took Stage Makeup 2 and had a grand old time. One specific morning was rather hilarious…

I was running late to class despite the fact that I didn’t need to do my hair or put on makeup that day, because we were going to be making plaster molds of our faces. I ran downstairs, grabbed a granola bar, said “good morning!” to Emily, grabbed my phone off the table, and ran out the door into the bitter 8:50am cold.

When I arrived, there was a swim cap and a bib with my name written all over them. If I wasn’t already 100% uninterested in being on a swim team, my first experience with a swim camp would’ve ruined it. Those things are freaking hard to get on. Especially when you have ten pounds of unruly curls.

But anywhozen, I got capped and bibbed. I helped a few other girls get plastered (it was like this assembly line process of alginate, plaster bandages, the drying station, and more plaster). Janet (the makeup wizard), had already had us silence our cell phones because the people helping are covered in plaster and the people with plaster on their faces can’t move for an hour while it dries.

So I thought I was good to go when it was my turn to go under.

And here’s a description of the mold-making process mostly for my posterity/future self:

1. You get alginate poured all over your face. And it is terribly cold. Two people spread that around before it dries while one person scrapes out your nostrils so you can still breathe. Say goodbye to the light and the ability to hear.

2. Two more people put a thick layer of plaster bandages on top of the alginate. That gets super heavy, so another person is assigned to stand behind you to hold your head up.

3. You are propped up against the wall and you stand there for an hour while it dries. If you’re like me, it won’t dry even in that time, and someone gets to blow dry your face!

4. After falling into a minor torture-related depression, when it is finally rock-hard, you tip your face forward and start wiggling your eyebrows and nose until your plaster mask pops off and then ALL OF A SUDDEN, you can see! You can hear things again! You can use your face! Then you are disoriented visually and emotionally for the next five minutes. I would imagine it’s like being born.

Back to the story–

So I was in the middle of step #1 when someone’s phone went off a couple times. I knew I had silenced mine and the ringtone definitely wasn’t mine, so I figured some other classmate was too incompetent to turn off her phone.

While I’m waiting for step #2, the phone goes off five more times. At this point, it’s becoming a joke. No one will claim their dang phone!

During step #2, the phone goes off MORE THAN TEN TIMES. People start getting serious about finding the offending cellular device. It receives a few more texts.

A search party is rallied, and someone quickly finds the phone. In my backpack.

So there I am, covered in plaster, completely blind and incommunicable and the girls in my class are just like, “Oh my gosh, Shelbey, it’s YOUR phone!” And I’m trying to explain with my eloquent hand gestures that I have no idea whose phone that is, because that was not my ringtone and I swear I turned mine off. But apparently that message isn’t transmitted clearly by wildly waving your hands. Janet starts laughing at me for being an idiot. The phone starts ringing again.

“Tony is calling you!!! He’s called 17 times! Is that your boyfriend? Should I answer it?”

In my mind, I’m trying to figure out who the heck Tony is and why I have his name in my phone. My mental database of acquaintances yields no Tonys. Again, my hands fail to convey this idea to my peers.

“Is it an important call?”

Thumbs down.

“Should I answer it?”

Thumbs down.

Katie silences the phone. I enter step #3 and wrack my brains for a possible Tony in my life.

While Jeanene is blowdrying my face, I realize: Tony is the name of Emily’s ex-boyfriend. I took my new roommate’s phone.

I came out of my plastered torpor and tried to explain to my classmates that no, I was not the idiot who didn’t silence her cell phone, and no, I was not the idiot who didn’t even know who Tony was. But no one believed me. So I was the class idiot. And the klepto roommate.

Good times.


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