I’m writing this on the subway on my way home. Two women, about the same age, complete strangers, sit in front with their backs to me. I notice both have the same shade of blonde on their heads, out of the same tube, probably the same store and shelf where all the other hair dyes live, where a spectrum from black to almost silver beckon to female customers. Boxes and boxes with faces of models half their age. I wonder what shade they picked. Bubbly Blonde or Gold Nugget. One is trying to camouflage the Earl(y) grey. The other had highlighted the mouse(y) in her head. At any rate, it doesn’t work. I would have chosen a warm brown with flecks of red cardinal to make their complexions come alive.
I say if you’re going to change your color, go for broke. You can always paint over it if you hate it. Or live like another woman for a while. It’s your opportunity to go Bohemian, paint a canvas, go belly dancing or hug a stranger, your husband. He’d think he walked into the wrong house. You might come home looking ten years younger and then the adventure begins.
Calvin says, “So when’s your next appointment at the hair dresser’s? I could use a little excitement around here.”
I hate 4 o’clock in the afternoon. No matter where I am, I still hate it. I hate it in New York, I hate it in Buenos Aires, and I hate it San Francisco.
4 p.m. is that time of day when the sun glares at you. If you happen to be driving it pierces you straight through to the back of your eyeballs like a laser.
If you’re at the beach the 4 o’clock sun bleaches the water, the sand, and your feet so you’re all one color – luminescent white. You look down at your legs and they come to abrupt halt at the ankles. You look up at the waves and they’ve disappeared. And when you look up at the sky expecting to see blue, you don’t, you see a blinding light, the kind that knocked the Apostle Paul to the ground on the Damascus road. While I’ve never had God speak to me like he did Paul, I’m sure it was 4 o’clock in the afternoon when he did it. The only epiphany I get at 4 p.m. is a migraine.
Four o’clock is the hottest part of the day for me. Not noon, but 4 o’clock. It’s when my upper lip perspires and my eyes leak. Pretty soon I see rivulets in my make-up. If I don’t dab right away, my make-up runs away leaving me completely exposed to my own skin. Of course I can grab my compact of powder and soak up the sweat with the small sponge, but then I don’t know what to do with it afterward. I’m certainly not going to toss it into my purse where it will stain the lining.
Four o’clock in the afternoon is the nastiest time of the day for another reason. My sugar level drops and I’m craving a peppermint hot fudge sundae. And of course I know I should fight the temptation and guzzle down a bottle of water instead. The tug of war intensifies between my low resolve and the temptation I know I should keep away from. That’s when I have a flash of insight, the same color as the 4 o’clock sun glare. I swap temptations.
I end up at the frozen yogurt shop. I tell myself it’s a healthier choice. Besides, it’s only 4 o’clock in the afternoon. I’ll have the rest of the day to walk it off.
Calvin says, “Who are you kidding? It’s a double passion peach and mango with a touch of coconut swirl. How do I know that? Because I get the drips.”
Mother’s Day is just around the corner.
That horrid one day of the year when families take mom out for brunch and fuss over her with eggs Benedict and Mimosas. Then she’s returned to the daily grind and all is forgotten.
I’m sure the restaurant industry contrived the holiday to beef up their bottom line in May.
What if mom doesn’t like eggs with a last name and orange juice spiked with bubbles? Maybe she prefers her steak grilled with a heaping plateful of shoestring potatoes and a large pitcher of sangria?
And please don’t give her a cheesy card with a sappy greeting that a computer spit out last century that you found in the greeting card aisle at the supermarket next to the artificial smelling air fresheners for the house. Definitely don’t buy one of those either.
Instead, head out to the mall and buy her an all expense paid shopping spree to her favorite shoe store. Or put her on a plane to a beach somewhere. Or give her a lifetime of body massages at the Holistic Health Clinic where Mai, the masseuse will be happy to walk all over her back.
Then install the dog in the pet hotel so she doesn’t have to walk him for a month.
Hire a private chef for the rest of the year and give her a break in the kitchen.
Oh wait. The kitchen. It needs a desperate overhaul before Wolfgang can cook there.
Maybe mom has a dream she’d like to focus on for a change. Provide her with the tools she needs. Lipstick, make-up, haircut and color, liposuction, a new wardrobe.
Singing lessons? Maybe she’s always wanted to develop her voice beyond yelling at the kids.
Calvin says, “My mom never got to develop herself. I know she had a secret nobody else knew. She always wanted to be an owner.”