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Gardening & Beauty

In Humor on October 23, 2011 at 11:48 am

Photo by Kent Bartlett

By Kristine Goodfellow

Let me start by admitting something.  I may be in need of a gardening intervention.  You see, last year we moved from Pennsylvania to Texas at the very end of Spring, so I didn’t get to plant any flowers before I left.

By the time we got to West Texas, settled into our house and had time to think about the landscaping outside, all the plants at the nurseries, Lowes and Wal-Mart were pretty much slim-pickin’s.  Besides, it was so hot I didn’t want to leave the sweet air-conditioning of my new home to tend to any half-dead desert plants.  I bought a couple of hanging flower baskets and called it a summer.

So, that means last year I didn’t get to garden.  And by gardening, I mean watering colorful flowers in decorative pots.  I don’t actually want to get dirty or have to kneel down and weed anything, but I want to see pretty things in my yard so…

This year, I got a $100 gift certificate for a local nursery and couldn’t wait to spend it.  I went a little crazy.  By the time the whole thing was over, said and done, I think I ended up with over $250.00 worth of flowers.  Ooops.

My front and back porches look very festive and delightful.  I’m very excited about that.  Now, if I don’t kill any of them, I’ll be happy.  I’m great with houseplants, but sometimes I have a little difficulty with the outdoor variety.  There are bugs out there!  Every year I say I’m going to conquer my fear and maintain my own garden, but some malevolent spider, slimy worm or wicked beetle scares me back into my house where I then spend the rest of the summer admiring the flowers and waving to Chewy the Yard Guy as he tends them.  This year, I will do the maintenance myself!  I will!  I am an optimist.  Optimism and the fact that Chewy lives in Pennsylvania has me determined to make this work.

Feeling very guilty about spending sooo much money on my flower obsession, I cancelled my hair appointment today.

“I’ll color my own hair and save $75.00,” I thought.

Yeah…that’ll ease that old spending guilt.

Using my fuzzy math, I figured if I did my own hair…I was halfway to coming out even on my over-expenditure at the nursery.

So, late this morning, I set my box of hair color down on my vanity in my master bathroom feeling oh so grown-up and responsible.

How hard could this be?

Reading the instructions carefully, I began to save money.  HA!

Feeling like a chemist in a lab, I set to mixing and shaking.  The box even came with rubber gloves!  I was feeling pretty damn professional.  After very carefully following the directions, I applied the mixture to my hair.

“This is not so hard,” I thought.

Suddenly, I felt a cold, wet trickle running from my temple, down my ear and continuing down my neck.

Aaah!  Don’t panic!  Not a problem.  I grabbed a towel.  The closest towel.  My strictly-for-decoration gold-fringed hand towel.

UghShould not have done that.

Well, I figured, it’s ruined, so I may as well continue to use it.  Next drip I felt was down my neck in the back.  Quick as a flash, I grabbed my newly-stained towel to sop up the mess.

Whoops!  Wrong towel.  Towel number two—ruined.

Realizing my mistake, I tossed the towel onto to the counter and knocked the whole bottle of liquid hair dye onto the vanity.  The bottle dropped to the floor, splashed against the wood cabinet and dumped out onto the gold bathmat before I managed to stop the worsening destruction.

Crap!  Who knew tile could stain?  Who knew marble countertops could stain?  Who knew black dye on gold mats could look like someone had been murdered on my bathroom floor?

At this point, I forgot about my hair—I could only contemplate what chemical neutralizes hair dye and removes it from wood and tile.

Not wanting my hubby to see the bathroom devastation I’ve created, I rolled up the towels in the bathmat and hid them in the garage (to throw out later–on Trash Day) feeling like the world’s most inept criminal.

I realized the marble countertop was still stained and I wasn’t sure what might take care of that, but I came up with a genius solution to the floor.

Throw the other bathmat over the floor stain…

Perhaps, no one will ever know—until we move out, that is.  Okay, maybe it wasn’t genius.

After I got everything under control and had adequately hidden my misdeeds, I piled up my hair on my head and set the timer for 40 minutes.

Now keep in mind, I’m still feeling guilty over the tropical jungle I have blooming on my porches. I mean it’s TEXAS–where the previous day’s temperature had reached 97-deegrees…and it’s ONLY APRIL!

What was I thinking?

I suddenly comprehended my costly little paradise would require more care than I probably know how to give.  However, I am now resolved.  I must not let them die!  Think of all that money!

While I’m waiting for the last few minutes of required hair-cooking time, I decided to water the guilt-inducing plants on my back patio since they look a little wilted from yesterday’s heat.

I CANNOT LET THEM DIE!

My backyard backs up to a golf course and walking trail—a fairly busy walking/jogging trail.

I stuck my head out on the porch and looked around.  No one was using the trail and I didn’t see any golfers.

Yes!  I have time to water my flowers and come back in to rinse the black goo off my head.

I very stealthily made it to the water spigot, keeping my eyes out for joggers and listening for golf carts.  I turned on the hose and hurried to the back porch and began watering.  Everything was going as planned until I saw a black drop fall near my feet.  Then another.

Drop.

Drop.

Drop.

“Oh, crap!”

I looked at my reflection in the window.  I had black streaks across my cheeks and a black smear across my forehead.  There’s even a black smudge over my lip from where I’d obviously rubbed my nose which made me look like I had half a Hitler mustache!

Behind me a neighbor’s dog barked making me jump.  I looked down the path and noticed someone is walking their dog and coming towards my house.

It’s okay.  I still have time to rush inside.  I dropped the hose, and turned the handle of the French doors.

Bam!  I plow face first into it.

“What the…?”  There is now a black smudge on the white paint where my forehead hit the frame.

Panicked, I tried the handle again.

“OMG! No!”

*Bark! Bark!*

The dog walker is now closer!  I tried the handle again.  No doubt about it.  It’s locked.  Someone must’ve locked the doorknob lock last night!

I rushed to the side of the house, out the gate and tried the side entrance to the garage.  Locked!  I ran to the front, horrified that someone might see me in my Tinkerbell pajama bottoms and t-shirt sans bra!

Front door?  Locked!

It’s official.  I am locked out!  And humiliated.  And it’s starting to get hot!  I wiped away the dripping black gunk with my hands and noticed my fingers were black.

Well….there goes the manicure I got a couple of days previous–totally ruined!

As I rounded the corner to hide in my backyard again, I happened to notice my cleaning lady was two doors down at my husband’s boss’s house.  The way I saw it…I had no choice at that point.  Maria has a key!

I thought of sticking my head under the garden hose before walking casually down the street so as not to cause any undue attention.  No, I better not, I thought, it might just make the mess worse and turn my entire face blackNo, better just rush over, explain the situation and rush back.

I scurried down the street—two doors down, but it felt like a mile.  Luckily, no one was out (which is highly unusual for this active neighborhood.)

This could work.

Maria’s car was in the driveway.  I know she’s there!

I rang the doorbell.

No answer.

I knocked— leaving a black knuckle mark on the white painted door of the boss’s pristine, beautiful home.

Crap!  I used my shirt to wipe it off.  Well, there goes that t-shirt anyway.  Sorry, Tinkerbell.

I waited, shifting my weight back and forth and peeking behind me to see if anyone is outside.  It is officially HOT and I have to use the bathroom now.

Still no answer.  What the heck?

Giving up, I decided to see if by some miracle my across-the-street-neighbor is home (even though I know she works Tuesdays and Thursdays).

It’s worth a shot.

Just as I crossed the street, I saw Maria step out of the house to get something from her car.

“Maria!” I yelled running back.

She did a Hollywood-worthy double-take.  “Mrs. Goodfellow?”

“Uh…yeah.  I’m locked out.  Do you have my key with you?”

“Yes,” she says looking at me with wide, confused eyes.  I’m sure she can’t fathom why I’m walking around outside looking like a squid secreted ink on my head, sporting half a mustache and wearing my pajamas near noontime.  (She already thinks I’m a little flighty being that I’m always forgetting what day she’s supposed to come or forgetting to leave a check when she does.  Or accidentally giving her my Pennsylvania phone number or forgetting to sign my check or….)

“I was watering and I….” I stammer.

“Is that water?” she asks.  I’m sure she’s wondering if something has been lost in translation from English to Spanish.

“No, no…I was dying my hair and watering my plants and…”

“At the same time?”

“No, no…um…yes, but…do you have my key?  Can I have my key?”  A car was coming up the street.  I was getting desperate.

“Yes,” she says.  “You want me to open it for you?”

I think she realized the complexities of a lock were probably beyond my capacity at that point.

Eventually, I got into my house.

However, by then my entire skull and part of my face was dyed a nice shade of Midnight Black.

So, I did what any 21-century person would do.  I got online to find out how to remove hair dye from skin.  I love the internet.  Just when you think you are the only person who would have black streaks dyed into your face, you find out there are many, many others out there who have done the same thing.

So, I pulled out my Nail Polish Remover and got to scrubbing.

It sort of worked…except…it turns out I’m allergic to it.  My skin went from black to gray with tinges of bright red!

I decided the red was better than the gray or light black, so I rubbed until it was all (or most of it was) removed.

To top it all off, I looked down and my brand new bling-y flip-flops are decorated with a black splotch across the top—oh!  And there goes the spa pedicure, too.

So,..in saving $75.00 doing my own hair, I managed to ruin a new manicure, a new pair of flip-flops,  a bathmat, two decorative hand towels and a fresh pedicure.  I’ll still wear my Tinkerbell pj’s so that’s a draw.

And none of that even comes close to the amount of mortification I endured and several moments of extreme stress, which probably gave me gray hair…that is…gray hair underneath all that Midnight Black dye.  On top of all that…the Hibiscus I bought…isn’t looking real good today.  I might have to make one more trip to the nursery…but then I swear I’m done.

***

As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.  Psalm 103:15, 16

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