Tag Archives: funny

Dear Diary, It’s A Vlog!

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It’s pretty self explanatory. I love crafting, Martha Stewart and all things sparkly. I am just really, really bad at it. I grew up in the 80’s which was the crafting decade. We latch hooked and cross stitched and barrette braided and friendship pinned and shrinky dinked our childhoods away. Some of us were better at it than others. I am one of the others but I have never accepted defeat. In the land before Joann Fabrics and Michaels and A.C.Moore, crafting was a real treat. Now it has become a way to make a living for many…or in my case, a way to keep myself entertained. Enjoy my incompetence!!!!

 

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Solider Boy…Oh My Little Solider Boy

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I have a best friend who everyone wishes was their best friend. Actually, ALL of my besties instill jealousy in others. Not intentionally, I am just one hell of a lucky gal and I have incredible best friends. When I think of the women I have been blessed to have in my life, as my friends, closer than family, I marvel…because I myself am not that great of a friend. My intentions are always good but you know where good intentions lead you…

When I was pregnant with baby #1, I was secretly terrified. I didn’t even know how scared I was. Mainly because I had no birth story of my own. I was adopted so my life began at 5 months old. My mother couldn’t give me any idea what birth was really like or even what MY birth was really like. So, as far as I knew, my stomach was simply swollen. Or possibly I was growing a huge tumor. I was the second in our group of friends to have a baby. Our first friend wasn’t all that helpful at the time because, well, she was taking care of a baby. My girlfriends didn’t really know what to make of the situation. I wasn’t a “kid” person. I wasn’t particularly maternal, like, ever. So, they rallied but we all just acted as if nothing was different. Which was comforting.

My best friend had been through a major surgery just a couple of years before so she was the one who instinctually knew I must be scared. Thinking back, we were just kids. But holy hell were we strong. Friendship really doesn’t cover what we have. This particular best friend is always ready with a laugh. She is the one who makes me funny. She makes anyone she meets feel like they are her best friend. She’s a good egg.

One day we were at my mother’s house. My mom is kind of what Oprah would call a hoarder. She has lots of random things lying around and stuffed in cupboards and tucked into corners, stacked in boxes, pushed up against the walls, on shelves in the garage, you get the idea. It’s heaven for little kids and prop comedians. We were sitting there at the kitchen table discussing plans for who knows what, when all of a sudden my best friend picks up a tiny wooden solider toy from the back of the stove and starts laughing hysterically which makes me laugh hysterically which makes me cry…down my leg. Even when I wasn’t pregnant this was the way our time together generally went. She laughs, I laugh, we pee.

Now we are both laughing so hard we are crying and she starts singing the song from the 60’s by the Shirelles “Solider boy….oh my little solider boy…” ( I should mention here that she has a killer singing voice. Like, she was in a blues band and all, cut a cd…the girl can sing which makes this all the funnier). I know I know, you had to be there. But, we decided that she WOULD be there for the birth of my first baby. I needed her. She would make this terrifying thing I was going through ok. She would make me laugh and remind me that it wasn’t the end of the world. And, she would bring Solider Boy with her. I was supposed to have a focus object for labor and Solider Boy was obviously perfect.

Now we had a plan. My best friend would smuggle Solider Boy in to the hospital in her mouth, cause he fit in her mouth and then pop him out when she got to my room so I could focus! We were still in fits of giggles when we left my mother’s house for the our own houses…ofcourse she called me 10 minutes after she got home to sing the Soldier Boy song on my answering machine which sent me running for the bathroom.

When the blessed day came and I was in my hospital room in writhing, unbearable pain, I wanted my best friend there with me. But the nurses refused anyone to come in! I have NO idea why. Possibly because they were bitches, possibly not. Anyway, I heard the commotion in the hallway and I heard my best friend yell “THEY WON’T LET ME IN!! I LOVE YOU!! WE WILL BE RIGHT OUTSIDE……ME….AND….SOLIDER BOY OH MY LITTLE SOLIDER BOY!!!!!!!”  And she walked slowly back to the waiting room singing at the top of her lungs Solider Boy….and I laughed and then cried. 100 years, 3 pain shots and an epidural later I pushed out my beautiful baby girl. My best friend and Soldier Boy weren’t there to witness her first breath but I knew they were there in spirit. I slept and when I woke up, I lifted my head to check on that little pink peanut sleeping in the bassinet next to me and then shifted my gaze to the night stand to see Solider Boy keeping watch over both of us.

In the 18 years since that night, I have moved house a few times, had a couple more kids, been divorced and basically lived a lot of life. My best friend has been living in New York City for the last 15 years. We are still tight. Anyway, I didn’t know where Solider Boy had gotten to. I couldn’t imagine that my best friend would know where Solider Boy was. But recently I was reminded of our Soldier Boy after watching a Seinfeld episode where Jerry, George and Elaine were attending a classical piano concert and were supposed to be very sedate and Jerry put a Pez dispenser on Elaine’s leg and she starts laughing so uncontrollably that she has to leave the concert disrupting the other audience members and ofcourse upsetting the piano player who George was dating. I sent the clip to my best friend and told her this reminded me of us and Solider Boy… did she remember Soldier Boy? She sent me back this:

Do I remember Soldier Boy?? I had to wipe the chicken salad I had for lunch off of him to take this photo. Of course I remember Soldier Boy!

Do I remember Soldier Boy?? I had to wipe the chicken salad I had for lunch off of him to take this photo. Of course I remember Soldier Boy!

And………… I peed.

 

The Zumba Police

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where are your sneakers bitch?

ok, zumba. I started with the zumba a few months back. For those of you who don’t know, zumba is the aerobics of the new millenium. Insted of Jane Fonda up front leading the class in a high cut bodysuit with matching headband, the leader is in baggy cargo pants and bra top with the zumba logo emblazoned on it all. To be fair, it is fun. It is more like dancing in a club, with all the lights on and no one is drunk….well, at least

Now, I have had a rough couple of years and I have fallen out of the pristine shape I once was in. My muscle tone has left me and I have no stamina. It crossed my mind that maybe I should start drinking and hitting the clubs again when all of the sudden the zumba craze erupted!!! Oh happy day…no hang overs for me!!!

What a shock that first class was. I had no idea that there were actually cliques of women and a hierarchy to the whole gym experience. I was so naieve. I figured we were all a bunch of out of shape ladies who were coming to get in shape or at least feel like we were getting in shape and have fun while doing it. Little did I know…

I was getting my zumba on and laughing at myself. Zumba uses latin rhythms and movements with some hip hop thrown in just to make sure that we feel really silly. I was loving it and watching myself try to imitate the instructor was hysterical. Being the friendly girl I am, I nudge the lady next to me and say “Oh my gosh…my butt is still moving even though the rest of me has stopped!!! Hahaha   ha   ha…” I got a grunt out of her.  I turn to the one on the other side of me and say ” I almost peed when she took that triple ‘up a notch’ “….no reaction. Ok, well, fine. These women are very serious about this zumba thing apparently.

About half way through, my knees started to swell. This is nothing new to me. My knees are very sensitive and always have been. So, I take off my sneakers to ease up on the resistance on my legs. It’s my body, I am 38, I know how I work. No big deal, I think. After all, every other day I am in this  same studio with bare feet for yoga. And immediately my knees start to feel better which leaves me free to zumba my ass off!!! There I am smiling away, shakin what the Lord gave me, looking like your quintessential white chick when the short lady from up front marches back to me and takes my jiggly elbow to lean me down to her and says “We recommend that you wear sneakers for this class” with a very smug/snotty look on her face. I was so high on zumbadorphins that I smiled and said “yeah, well, I have a broken toe and my knees were starting to swell” to which she replies ” Yes, exactly, we don’t want you to get injured!” to which I replied “I’m all set thanks.” and she finally marched away…literally…it was the march sequence. What the hell was that? The zumba police? Why would this little woman care if I had sneakers on or not? It’s a rule??

Then, after class, I saw her telling on me to the instructor! I was outraged!!! This short, older, out of shape woman is trying to tell ME about footwear protocol in a studio for a psudo-dance class? I thought logically about the whys of their sneaker rule. There was no logic to it. None. I have danced barefoot all my life. Sometimes on carpet, sometimes on tile, on the street, on concrete and on sand. There is NO reason why I should have to wear sneakers if I am uncomfortable in sneakers. That woman ruined my zumba.

I didn’t let her stop me though. I returned later in the week. And I took my sneaks off half way thru so as to relieve my knees. And I gave her my award winning smile as I did so. She just gave me the finger.

After this confrontation about the sneakers, I began to watch the interactions of the 40 or so women in the class. Where they stood, who talked to who, who had the licensed gear on, who was smiling and who was trying to look cool. Nobody looks cool. We all look like assholes. The music is way to young for us and the moves make things on our bodies shake that shouldn’t shake. It’s a great workout but I don’t see how zumba is going to further anyone’s career or personal relationships. I haven’t heard of a performing zumba company. I don’t get competition in a gym atmosphere. It’s just silly.

Anyway, I stopped going for about 2 weeks and I did miss it. I missed the music and the movement and the teacher singing along with the song. Plus, I gained back some pounds and I lost some stamina. I went today and she had changed the entire routine!! I didn’t know any of the steps or the music. But whatever, I still looked hysterical. I still laughed at myself. I still had a good time. And the lady next to me was totally new and she was having a hard time also, not because she was new but because she had NO ASS!!! She was built beautifully, but she didn’t have hips. I mean, obviously she had to have hips otherwise she would have fallen down. You can’t walk without hips. She just couldn’t shake them. Her flat ass was not made for zumba, which is what she said to me half way thru. I realized then that I had just climbed a rung on the ladder of zumba popularity. My large hips and ability to shake them made me one up from the lady with no idea where her tiny ass was or how to move it!!

And as I took my new found status out to the parking lot, I realized that the car next to mine had parked too close. As I was squeezing into my car, trying not to bang the other car, I thought to myself what is an asset in zumba is a liability in the parking lot. One of the bigger lessons zumba has to teach!!!

I See Famous People

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Kenny G...he's alot shorter in person....

I am not a star chaser. I don’t watch tabloid TV or read the magazines at the check out.I do not get celebrity crushes. I mean, I will if I have to. If I am pressured by friends to pick a celeb I LOVE I can. But it isn’t going to be your average Brad or Leo. But that doesn’t mean I don’t LOVE to play 6 Degrees….ya know, where you know someone who knows someone who knows someone famous. I LOVE doing that. I also LOVE to spot “celebrities” on the street.

ESPECIALLY when I visit New York City. That is my favorite all time game. I find people who could pass for celebrities and I get all excited and tell who ever is with me “LOOK!!! There’s Richard Dreyfuss!!!” or “Aretha Franklin on your left!!!” or “Captain Hook coming through!!!!”. When I first started doing this I was with a group of my students who I had convinced that we were sitting next to Leonardo DiCaprio in costume for his next big role as a homeless guy. As we exited the subway I turned around and yelled to my kids “It’s the guy from American Idol!!!” “WHERE” they yelled excitedly….”OVER THERE NEXT TO TINA TURNER!!!!” “WHO’S TINA TURNER????” they yelled back which about killed me!! I HAD to think of some new references if I was going to be traveling with these young kids…

That trip with my students I spotted Johnny Depp, L.L. Cool J (who I do seem to spot alot when I am in NY), Eminem, Harry Belafonte and Geena Davis. Now, did I really see these stars or did I just see people who kind of resembled these stars I will never know. I never approach famous people. I don’t want their autograph, I don’t really care at all to break the illusion that these famous people are more than human. They live on the movie screen or tv and so I will keep them at arms length. I don’t want to know that they smell funny, have blisters or runny noses. I like my celebrities pristine and at a distance. That is why I don’t read or watch their life story on A&E. None of my business. But if they are going to put themselves on the same street as me I am going to make sure who ever is with me knows.

My students eventually caught on to my silly game. And they started pointing out celebrities. That was funny!! They were pointing out characters from movies like “There’s Forrest Gump!!” or “There’s Leighton Meester!!!” I had no idea who that was… some girl who likes gossiping or something…but the kids seemed excited.

But the following summer, I was in the city with my BFF. We were lost in Brooklyn after me playing my “I see famous people” game all day and her not playing along. We were having a good time being lost at almost midnight looking for a club where a friend was having a record release party, when all of the sudden, these two incredibly handsome guys on bikes were in our path. We decided to ask these beautiful men if they know where this club is. And as we approach, I realize that one of the men is Murrary Bartlett who played Cyrus Foley on my soap Guiding Light!!!! I grab my BFF and whisper “he’s on my soap!!!” Ofcourse she doesn’t believe me. And these guys were so incredibly attractive that she couldn’t even look directly at them. Me, I was flirting shamelessly with Cyrus, I mean Murrary. They gave us better directions and we went on our way. But I did turn around and look him deep in the eye (as the music swelled and the camera came in for a tight shot) and said “I LOVED you on the show….” To which he replied “Aw, thanks!!!” and I turned back around and ran right into a street lamp. I walked it off though, it was all ok.

I didn’t take a picture with him or get his autograph because I am not one of THOSE people. My BFF did NOT believe me because all the way from the Bronx to Brooklyn I had seen every single star I could think of to name (and a few I couldn’t…I would just point and say “FAMOUS PERSON!!!!”) She refused to believe me. And after we got home and I googled him and showed her…she still didn’t believe me because she never looked at them because she was terrified if she did she would be overcome with carnal desire and embarrass herself. HOW FRUSTRATING!!! I finally have a meaningful conversation with an actual famous person (shut up…soap operas totally count) and no one was going to believe me!!!

I told my students and they were less than impressed. Sometimes it is so hard to be me.

I just went to the city with my other BFF and my 16 year old and her BFF. We all played the game together. I saw Mia Farrow and Janet Jackson and Soupy Sails and Bruce Willis. It was AWESOME!!!!! Kenny G played Happy Birthday for my 16 year old and Enrique Iglesias was our waiter (he was kind of an ass though, but nice eye candy) I kept referring to him as Ricky Martin.

There is no reason why NY can’t be filled with famous people. There is no reason why I can’t point them out. You should too. It makes waiting in line for hours to get lunch or tickets or a subway much more tolerable. They are there, just waiting for you to spot them. Just don’t get all weird about it. Point and whisper, do NOT approach and ruin the illusion. And if one of the celebrities gives you directions when you are lost, watch out for lamp posts.

All the single mommies (all the single mommies)

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which ones come from a single mother home?

Put your hands up!! (I was singing the song…not trying to rob you)

When I finally faced the reality that I was now a single mother, I threw tantrums and kicked and screamed. You see, being a single mother was not in my plan. I got married with the firm belief that it would last forever. My grandparents were married for 50 years, my parents were married for 25 (and would have stayed married but their divorce is a novel in waiting). So, I just assumed that it was a forever deal.

Sadly, it wasn’t and therefore I am a single mother of three beautiful girls. Now, there are many positives to being a single parent. I don’t have to back up someone else’s bad parenting decision to present a united front for the kids. On the other hand, I have no one to back me up when I have to make parenting decisions. I don’t have to negotiate with another adult for things the kids want. Ofcourse, I also do not have the luxury of giving them everything they want because I don’t have another income. Ok, so being a single parent is hard.

This wasn’t something I chose, it was just the consequence of the marriage I had. So, we make the best of it. My problem with being a single mother to 3 girls was there was NO representation (that I could think of ) in film, TV, or literature. So, I couldn’t envision what this single mommyhood was going to look like. I had no way to romanized it or spin it in a positive light. All I could bring to mind were statistics and bad outcomes of kids I had known growing up….and my own experience also. And it just was NOT what I wanted for my kids.

I finally remembered One Day At A Time starring Bonnie Franklin and Valerie Bertinelli and Mackenzie Phillips. From what I could recall about that show is that they were all sorts of screwed up. One of the kids had a drug problem, one had an eating disorder and Schneider was always hitting on the mom. Yuck. As far from the Cosby Show as one could get. So, it looked as though I was going to have to start my own sitcom, write my own novel, present my own screenplay.

Growing up, the majority of my friend’s parents were divorced. The ones who had intact families were the exception to the rule. So, I had role models. But it was the 80’s, the ME decade, and so, they were not the best role models. Or at least not the way I wanted to live my life as a single mom. I had to redefine single motherhood to fit the way I wanted to raise my kids. So, I have set about to make a life that I never expected to have to make.

I knew I didn’t want to make my kids my equal. I didn’t want to saddle them with the responsibility of making me happy or give them the role of caretaker of me and my emotions. I didn’t want them to see me as the victim. And above all I didn’t want them to grow up thinking that THEY were victims. I had experienced first hand “the victim as parent” and the children of that family were not stable,  not well rounded individuals. Ok, so I had an idea of what I didn’t want. Now what did I want and how do I achieve that?

I wanted to have secure, emotionally healthy kids who grow up to be contributing, stable members of society. Isn’t that what every parent wants? I had to get over the grief that I had that there was  no one to join me as a witness to my children’s lives. That took some time as grief has no time frame. Then I had to refocus on my kids and what they needed from me. And what they didn’t need. That took some investigating. Becoming the mother I wanted to be was time consuming. And not something that happened overnight or without alot of thought. When I was married I had the luxury of letting life unfold without a whole lot of thought, knowing I had another adult there to share the responsibility of all decisions good and bad. Now, my priorities had changed and I needed to be more focused because I want to avoid my family becoming a statistic.

I can’t tell you I have any answers, I don’t. So far, despite major tragedies, my kids are very centered and have amazing coping skills and don’t seem to be as damaged as I believed they would be. Yes, yes, kids are resilient…as kids. They do carry their hurt with them into adulthood and eventually they have to deal with the fall out of all the things that happened to them as kids. My goal is to give them the skills they need to be able to deal, as adults, when they finally have the words and knowledge to understand what they went through as kids. My job, as their parent is ever changing. I cannot tell you that if you and I  just follow these directions then our kids will be perfect and have wonderful lives. I wish I could.

But for all of us single moms out there, we can do it. We can raise happy, healthy kids. Maybe we didn’t choose to be single mothers, maybe we did. But it is doable. Our kids have absolute trust and faith in us and we deserve their trust and faith. No matter how we came to be a single mother, I believe it is no accident that we are. We can create our own ideal, our own idea of family, our own standards and boundaries. It is hard, harder than having a participating spouse, but it is so worth it.

So, when you are sitting up late with a crying baby, or finishing up a school project, or teaching your teen how to drive, remember although you are alone in doing these tasks, you are not alone in your experience. There is something very special in getting to be the only parent. There is a closeness we single mothers get to share with our kids that is different from the closeness between moms and kids in two parent households. Not better, not worse, just different. No one can negate our experience or tell us that we are less than because we do not have a partner to share our kids with. We know, no matter the circumstances of our single mommyhood, that we can do this job as well as any other.

Our lives take a bit more planning, a bit more luck and a bit more work than a two parent home. We need to rely on others, we need to ask for help, we need to be stringent on who we allow in our children’s lives. We need to see everyone as a potential role model for our kids because they will make role models out of  the most unlikely people.  We have to accept that our family is not going to be traditional and our kids will most likely not lead traditional lives. But how wonderful that our kids will become adults that understand how to go with the flow, who accept others, whose “normal” is stretchy. Our kids will know that traditional roles don’t have to be followed because they have seen us, their single mothers, do it all. What an incredible lesson we can teach our kids!!

Our single mother lives are sitcoms. How many times have you been in the middle of some parenting dilemma (like the 6 month old just found out how to remove her own poopy diaper and the 8 year old is running to get you while you are spilling boiling water all over the kitchen floor because you tripped over the damn dog and the 4 year old has stolen the “childproof” scissors and is hacking away at the hair that she just recently grew on her previously bald head) and been simultaneously glad and sad that no one was there to witness the chaos? What can you do but laugh, clean up the mess and pray that the hairdresser can make your little girl look like a little girl despite her self inflicted crew cut in the front…

We wrote that. It is all ours. And it is funny. Just because there wasn’t another adult there to share it with does not mean it was tragic or less than. It is ours. As is the drama of the 15 year old and her grades and her boyfriend issues, as is the 11 year old and her perfectionism and her obsessions, as is the 7 year old and her desire to be as grown up as her big sisters but yet remain the baby for a while longer. It is all ours, the sweetness and the sour. Enjoy it with no regrets. Our kids rely on us for everything but we also teach them, by example, that they can rely on themselves also. Our example shows them that they never need another to make a life, they are complete without another. That if they choose to be with another, it is not a necessity, it is a compliment to the life they already have. What a great gift!!

I am a big fan of marriage and two parent households. I support all of my friends in their marriages and family pursuits. I enjoyed being a married person. Today, I enjoy equally my single motherhood. I never thought I would be able to say that. I know what the generalized  risks are for my kids and yes, I worry. So does every mother.That has not a thing to do with being a single mother, that is just being a mother. My family doesn’t have to be a statistic. In fact, my family will be as unique and special as yours.

Oh yeah….Alice…The Partridge Family…Who’s The Boss! We are out there!! Now, I guess I have to get a bus, teach the kids to sing, find a nice italian man to keep house for me while I waitress at a greasy spoon….

copyright@sparklingbytheway 2010

You Should Be Bisexual…

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wonder how much that dog costume cost...anything for a laugh.

it would increase your chances. There you are, walking down the street, minding your own business  when all of the sudden a car full of teens round the corner and screams this at you? What if you heard “Jesus Loves You….ALL of you….except you in the blue…you’re going to Hell!!!”  What if you happened to be the one in blue? I can only imagine the esteems we crushed as we drove around the local college campus screaming these meaningless, silly things at random people walking. Yup, this is how we entertained ourselves before drugs ever entered the picture.

Really, for us who were IN the car, it was all harmless fun. In the spring, we would bring along water guns and balloons and soak unsuspecting victims. All fun and games until you launch a water balloon and it bursts INSIDE an Iroc Z and the driver was all hyped up on Roids and booze. He looked liked a jerky guy from a John Hughes film. He was NOT amused. At all. Many wet people were not amused. Many wet, unamused people believed they could outrun our car. I only remember one who actually did catch us and it was because of a stop sign. We were goofballs, but we always obeyed the rules of the road. Lucky for us, the car had manual roll up windows. If we had to wait for an electric roll up window we might have died that night. All for a little squirt of water, can you imagine?

Every so often, one of us would bring along the video camera so as to capture the hilarious-ness. Around and around the 4 blocks we would go, singing along to the radio at the top of our lungs while hanging out the windows. Squirting people….with water. IT’S ONLY WATER!!! We were bound to get busted sooner or later. Because really, the general public has no sense of humor. Or maybe because we were kind of annoying….no….cause society needs to lighten up!!

 We pulled up to a stop light on a  beautiful summer evening, windows down, radio crankin the oldies station and a cop pulled up next to us. Ofcourse we turned to look at him, with our video camera in hand, and our award-winning smiles. To our surprise, he smiles back and says “Hello girls, we JUST got a call in to the station about a car full of kids, driving around campus, squirting people and filming it….you wouldn’t know anything about that would you?”  Seriously? Some one called the cops on us? We slowly lowered the camera and looked the cop right in the eye and said “No sir.” He said ” That’s funny, they described the car you are in right now, and it seems you have a video camera, and are those water guns on the dashboard?” My friend, being the most clever one, said ” Obviously this is a set up, officer. We’ve been framed.” My other friend said “What a co-inky dink!!” The officer replied with “I see. Well, then you girls be very careful out there tonight. You would not want to get wet, or filmed by a bunch of renegade water squirting video taping crazies. Or be mistaken for them and get a ticket for disorderly conduct!” And with those words of warning, he drove away. And we breathed a sigh of relief and squirted the guy in the car next to us.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to all those who we harmed with our obnoxious behavior and our water balloon shenanigans. I would also like to acknowledge all those who laughed along with us. I would like to present the Funniest Group Of People Waiting For A Bus Award to the people waiting for a bus who lowered their heads and simultaneously flipped us off on our 4th drive by…because that was hysterical.

There were many who did engage with our silliness, more who did than didn’t. This was a “pre 9/11” world and people were far more tolerant of idiocy back then. Today, no doubt, that cop would have us arrested and thrown away the key just for being obnoxious kids. When was the last time you saw ANYONE doing a chinese fire drill at a stoplight? And if you did, you know it scared you. You know you  at least contemplated calling the police. I don’t believe we will ever get back the innocence lost. And that is ok, that is the way it is. But whether I am IN the car or ON the street, I will remember to laugh at the stupidity and randomness of the other people in this world. Feel free to do the same. When a car full drives by me and yells “Hello fans!!! Hello!!! I LUV you!!! Each and every one of you….YOU MADE ME WHAT I AM TODAY!!!!” I will blow them a kiss and wave. If I get mooned by a bunch of guys while driving down the highway, I will laugh and beep.

Make the arm motion at the Big Rig Guy so he blows his horn. Press your face up against the window with a sign that says “The Farts Are Killing Me”. Pull up to that red light with your finger half way up your nose,then slowly turn and look at the guy next to you. Spread the love, share the laugh, enjoy the moment. If we can’t talk or text, then engage with all the other people on the road…BE a random act. Lubes, Lugs and Sparkplugs!!!

Lucy and Ethel Got Nuthin On Us

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Thank God this was before the Spray Tan Fiasco...

A few years ago, spray tans were the new “in” thing. So, being all sorts of hip and cool that my best friend and I are known to be (she even has a pair of Crocks) we drive our white asses straight to the spray tan salon. And we are a couple of White Chicks with a capital W. Although, my best friend does have some italian blood in her, it doesn’t really show. Maybe in her freckles. And me, I am translucent. You can practically see my organs I am so white. Perfect candidates for spray tans.

We have both tried to tan over the years. She freckles and I turn pink, like a medium, shiny pink. Like salmon. It’s not pretty. We both have red hair and although we look nothing alike, we are mistaken for sisters all the time. Pale skin, red hair…we must be related. Anyway, we get to the spray tan salon and all of the tan people inside have to shield their eyes from the white glow emanating from us. We are fake tan virgins. The likes of us are rarely seen.

After the tan people get over the shock, we tell them we are there for spray tan. The friendly counter girl shows us to the basement and sits us in front of a small tv. She pops in a dvd and tells us it will explain the entire process. Being the more studious between us, my best friend listens and pays attention to all the directions the girl on the dvd is giving us. Me? I sit there and think all sorts of silly thoughts like “really? how hard can this be…we need directions? I don’t need directions, I wonder if her boobs are real. I wonder how much she got paid to do this dvd. I wonder if this is her day job and at night she is a host on QVC….oh look, my best friend is paying attention very intently, maybe I should listen too…naw, I’ll just ask her what to do…”

And so when the dvd ends, my best friend gets up, confident that she knows the steps to take to ensure an even, realistic looking fake tan. Me? I get up and ask her “So, what are we supposed to do” at which point she gets exasperated with me. I mean, it has been since 7th grade that I have been asking her the very same question before every test. She rolls her eyes and does what she has always done and explains to me what I need to do. Thank God for my best friend. I’m never sure how exactly I enhance her life, but without her, well, I would still be failing 9th grade math.

So, we go into our separate rooms with the booth inside that looks like the teleportation machine from Star Trek. I vaguely remember hearing my best friend say something about lotioning up the dry areas like knees and elbows…ok….check. I see a shower cap, so I put that on….ok…check. Really how hard can this be? I say “beam me up Scotty” and giggle. I hear my best friend yell “Push the button!!” Oh yeah!!! It wasn’t a voice activated fake tan machine. I wasn’t going to disintegrate into a thousand million particles then reassemble magically with a fake tan….although that would be so cool….

And my best friend yells again “PUSH THE BUTTON!!” Ok…button pushed!! And I am blasted from every angle with brown mist. It was awful. And it went on forever! Like a whole 20 seconds!! I remember the girl on the dvd doing some really awkward chicken dance type movement. So, I do that. Then, I hop out of the futuristic teleportation fake tan machine and stand there and wait for this brown dye to dry. I guess I missed the part about rub the brown dye in vigorously or you will be very sorry.

A few minutes later, I am dry. I pull on my clothes and stick my head out the door. My best friend goes hustling by and says “Hurry up! You have to wash your hands or you palms will stain….you seriously didn’t listen to anything the girl on the dvd said did you?” Big sigh…eye roll. As we are washing our hands, she looks at me and say ” OH MY GAWD!!! You didn’t rub it IN???!!!” I say “No. No one told me to rub it in!! The girl on the dvd said to NOT touch myself!!” Yup, smug as Dr. Spock. “Oh MY GAWD!!! She said make sure you rub it in!! Otherwise you will spot and streak!!!” At which point we both look into the mirror and with utter horror realize that I am already starting to spot. All over my face.

Now, this wasn’t just a spur of the moment “let’s get fake tans” type of thing. She had a wedding to go to the next day and I had our annual spring performance. We did this fake tan with our very important events in mind. And now here I was with dark brown streaks and spots all over my very, very white body. The dye had pooled up at my feet, which are ofcourse the dryest part of my body so they were black. Literally black. I wish I had pictures of how I looked. Like I had some sort of horribly disfiguring skin affliction. It was bad. My best friend, on the other hand, looked like perfection. Just like the girl on the dvd. Bitch.

I go home and I showered 5 times. Then I sat with my feet in a bucket for the rest of the evening. Nothing worked. It just got darker. Which I would have known would happen if I had just payed attention to the damn dvd. Or better yet my best friend’s instructions. I was miserable. The one event that I look forward to all year and I look like I have leperacy. And I’m not talking about just some cocktail party where it is my choice of who I get to mingle with. I had to be up on stage in front of hundreds of people,in a skin flaunting costume, proving that I am a great dancer worthy of teaching their kids. With my skin falling off. After hours of scrubbing in the shower, all my white spots had turned pink. So, now I was a lovely combination of pink with brown spots. Nice for a bathroom wall paper pattern, but really stupid looking on my entire body.

In the morning, my best friend called. I was a little pissy to say the least. She tells me that she has a rash from head to toe. Red bumps everywhere. And I do mean everywhere. She is miserable with itching. She is having a total allergic reaction!! I swear, despite my disfigurement and her skin reaction we never laughed so hard! We deserve our own show. Cause this isn’t the only really stupid thing we have done together…who else besides your best friend will go fake tanning with you and have a full body allergic reaction just so you don’t feel so bad about being to stupid to follow the fake tan directions. I love you best friend!!!! Cause it’s friendship…friendship…just the perfect blendship…when all the others have been forgot….our will still be HOT…A-lottle-dottle-dottle-dig-dig-dig….

(c)sparklingbytheway