Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Spring (the season) (07/23/09)
TITLE: Madame Flaming Tomato and Captain Dog House
By Chely Roach
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I will never again be able to complain that my family doesn’t listen to me. Now I realize that I should be more careful throwing around the phrase, “I wish I had _____.” I tend to say this mostly to myself while watching television. With a grand total of twenty dollars allowance between three kids, the chances of them being able to afford _____ is pretty slim. Hence the Mother’s Day of Great Embarrassment and Pain.
At some point in early spring, I was bemoaning the fact that I needed to put on shorts and reveal my pasty white Irish skin. The kids ended up with their father’s skin tone (who we call the Captain); a gorgeous, deep olive tone that makes me a tad envious. During my grumble fest, I also might have mentioned something like, “Great! Now I have to shave my legs at least once a week again!” I remember back in my youth, I would have a full blown panic attack if I had even a hint of stubble. Now in my late thirties, you could put dirt in my shoes and use my legs as tomato plant trellises. I’d rather sleep ten more minutes instead of shaving. However, when those laser hair removal ads come on, I salivate a little. Never. Shave. Again. Bring it on.
What I already knew and the kids didn’t was that laser hair removal is bookoo bucks. Apparently, when my husband broke the news to them, they started working on plan B.
Plan B unfolded like this:
On Mother’s Day morning, the kiddos delivered my annual breakfast in bed of misshapen, quasi-cooked pancakes, slimy-scrambled eggs, and too sweet coffee. (I truly miss the days when they let their dad help them.)
As I ate, they gave me their handmade cards, followed by a small, rectangular, flat box. I stole a glance at the Captain, and for a fleeting moment I thought it might be jewelry.
But it wasn’t.
It was a gift card. For the mall mega-spa. My first thoughts were, “Pedicure and massage.”
The memo line read, “wax and tan.”
Even the Captain mistook my tears for gratitude instead of fear. “Hop in the shower babe, we’re gonna go today right after church, but remember, don’t shave your legs!”
I prayed all through the service that the mall would be sucked into a black hole. Power outage. Legionnaire’s disease outbreak. Something. No luck.
The whole gang proudly escorted me to the mall spa. As Misty showed me to the private room where the waxing was done, I felt a little queasy. She tried to make chit-chat as she spread a large glob of almost too warm wax on to my shin—from ankle to knee—and then swiped a long piece of fabric over the warm goo and smoothed it out. “Okay, remember to breathe.”
“Why would I forget?”
And then she pulled the fabric like the rip cord on a parachute. I was told later that people could hear me scream down at the food court. Misty also told me that she had never seen such a ferocious skin reaction. Running down the length of my shin was a raised, angry red welt. The manager assured me that it would settle within a week. Or so. She hoped.
I was then taken to the Mystic Tan booth. “Alright, strip down to your birthday suit and stand in the booth. Raise your arms. When you hear a beep, close your eyes and the mist will cover you from top to bottom. The second beep will mean it’s time to do your back.”
“This isn’t going to make me orange, right?”
“Oh no, it’s very subtle. It’ll last about four weeks.”
I guess because I was still in pain from the molten lava waxing, I didn’t understand that “time to do your back” meant that I should turn around. Afterward, when I told this to Misty, she made me disrobe and go back in so that I’d “match”.
Oh, and I forgot to raise my arms…again.
For the duration of the spring I will have a second degree burn on my leg, a subtle orange backside, a garishly tomato orange front, complete with pasty white stripes down the sides.
Come to think about it, that spa still owes me a waxing package; I am thinking that will make a perfect Father’s Day gift for the Captain…
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