READ MY LIPS
Please understand that I’m not “picking on” other people and their weaknesses when I’m pointing out foibles here. I’ve had too much experience with “what goes around comes around” to do that. I really don’t want pay-backs. . . wandering through my public life wondering nervously if I will always have spinach in my teeth or a hole in the armpit of my favorite shirt. Oh, no. I am simply pointing out what is obvious to me. Human beings are just that. Very human. Even when we believe that we have transcended this dusty soil and will float forever about on white puffs of wispy clouds, several thousand feet above the rest, well. . . there is always something that will bring us back down to earth in a hurry. I don’t want mine to be a bolt of lightning, so I will tread lightly. I am laughing with you, not at you. There is a difference. ;^)
However, today’s fashion tee-hee-hee moment is just too good not to share. ;^)
Just a brief digression: while referring to the above-mentioned spinach, I would like to share with you that it does not take much to amuse me. My daughters know this. My youngest, especially, pulls the same trick out of her hat and never fails to elicit a giggle. I should always remember that if, say, there are spinach enchiladas on the table or chocolate cake, a surprise will await me. She’ll bat her eye-lashes and smile demurely, then ask, “Do I have anything on my teeth?” I turn my gaze to be helpful, as mothers are always supposed to be oh-so-helpful, if not gullible, and she will display a wide-open grin with the appropriate spinach/chocolate covering her front teeth. This daughter is not twelve, I might add. She’s twenty-six. ;^)
Why is this funny, especially, repeatedly funny? I don’t know. Perhaps just the ability to catch me off guard and never failing to pull off the element of surprise in a much over-used family trick.
Well, on to the subject at hand. I have noticed that several of my slip-showing stories are taking place on Sundays. I think maybe that the power in the object of hilarity resides in the fact that many think of Sunday as a holy day. Really, if we’re breathing, every day should be holy. But, we try so hard on Sunday to exude that little extra squeeze of piety. We dress up in what we perceive as finery, we carry a holy book inside a protective, zippered brocade cover with a Bic in a pocket (to take sermon notes with) and chin-up, we’re off to the temple.
May I digress again? I’d like to underscore my point by talking about attempts at very human names upon the holy aspect of a church. How do you name a church?
I always love the First Baptist Church. Who wants to be a member of the Second Baptist Church? Or the Last Baptist Church?
What about Our Lady of Sorrows? She’s in heaven. Shouldn’t she be dancing down the streets of gold as Our Lady Who Has No Sorrows?
How about the First Christian Church? (Don’t stone me, I beg of you…) We wouldn’t darken the doors of the First Sinner Church. Or the First Heathen Church.
There are boundless church names with the names of Jesus or God or Christ in them. That is, of course, what it’s all about. I just really would like to see one called, The Church of Sweet Little Six Pound Eight Ounce Baby Jesus (Because He’s My Favorite Jesus.) (Yes, I did swipe the basic idea from Talladega Nights.) But it is a fun idea. Don’t you just love your baby Jesus in the manger part of your crèche at Christmas? I’ve always been fascinated by them.
Well, the story is progressing into a novel and I haven’t told my story, yet. ;^)
The particular Sunday of our attention was many moons ago, when, as I’ve shared before, I was partaking in the holy sanctity of marriage and I sold the pink cosmetics. (I look back now and I wonder, who was that person? Was she really me?) Yes, she was. She was The Many Moons Ago version of Miss Cynthia. She puzzles me. But she was real. Kind of in a Pinocchio was a real boy sort of way. Like a wooden puppet sitting on a shelf staring out through button eyes. Well, for goodness sake, I digress again. . . .
I sashayed up to the platform (we couldn’t possibly call it a stage. . . it’s in a church for heaven’s sake. . . .) It was time for music practice before the main service. The song leader, an esteemed member of the church and the community, approached me.
She said, “I need to talk to you for a minute after church. It’s time to re-order my lip-liner pencil.”
Yes it is, I thought. The one you’re using is, um. . . scary, I thought further. It looked black.
A quick glance at her watch and she was off. Practice would begin, and my hesitation would cost us both. Oh well. They were her black lips, not mine. (Please don’t hang me on a cross and burn me.)
After a full service of singing in front of 300+ people, we met in front of the ladies room. I pulled out my trusty order form and she pulled out her cash. I know. Money was exchanging hands in the temple. But it was of dire importance. A lady can not look like a ghostly specter while in front of 300+ people in a place of worship. We need our lipstick. Please don’t take it from us.
“Which color do you use?” I asked. Carefully.
Miss Melodious pulled a teeny nub of a former lip-liner from her purse. “It’s this one, I think.”
I said, “Um, I thought you have always worn ‘Raisin’ Lip-Liner, you know, the dark, cherry red slash dark chocolate brown one?”
“No,” she said. “It’s this one, I grabbed it from my lipstick case this morning.”
I inspected it closely.
“Um, it says, right here, on the barely readable, scratched-off side, “Black eye-liner,” I said.
“NO!” she said.
I dared to lift my eyes from the pencil to her lips.
Yes, they were lined in black. And this wasn’t even a Gothic church. It was a fairly up-scale, respectable, progressive band-and-all church.
We rushed through the ladies room door. We both faced the mirror at the same time. We both faced each other. Well, she faced me. I faced the floor.
She was a good sport. She burst out laughing. What could I do? I did, too.
Note to self: Always. Always. Always double-check your lip-liner label. And use your handy-dandy rear-view mirror in the car, for Pete’s sake! What are they for, after all? Never. Never. Never be in too much of a Sunday-morning-rush-routine to not do so.