Wednesday, June 16, 2010

10 Reasons Why Lip Gloss Can Make You a Better Person, Part 1

  (Note: My own experience with moistened lips has been somewhat limited, so for this post I am channeling the spirit of a certain female acquaintance of mine, who shall remain nameless, as part of this sad tale is shocking and slightly disturbing. This post is not meant as a condemnation of anyone else who might anoint their mouths with liquid. Rather, it is just one woman’s imagined reflections as she keeps things from drying out…)

1. There really is a Santa Claus.

  I confirmed this in the second grade, when I approached my hand-made stocking with the dancing Mizzou reindeer and an embroidered image of the original Charlie’s Angels. Reaching into this sacred sock of joy, my hand closed on a tubular object of some kind. I drew my trembling hand back and discovered a shiny vessel, roughly the shape of that “roll-on deodorant” thing that Mommy used during her mysterious rituals in the bathroom.

  But this thing claimed that it tasted just like pink bubble gum. That sounded extremely promising, but I was confused. Mommy never licked on her deodorant, or at least she never had while I watched her prepare for the day, wishing I could be grown-up too and get to take little pills out of a round dispenser that had 31 days numbered on it cause “we already had enough damn kids running around here”.

  I turned to Mommy with an expression that was still mostly joyous, although now there was slight trepidation. “What is it, Mommy? What do  I do with it? Is it candy?”

  Mommy smiled. “No, my little puddle jumper, it’s not candy. It’s lip gloss!”

  This caused more confusion. “Lip gloss? Like Amy wears?” (Amy lived down the street and was in the seventh grade. She was ancient, like grandmas and the slow people at church.)

  Mommy nodded her head. “Just like Amy. You’re a big girl now!”

  I pondered this, eying my sparkling gift. “But Bobby Ray says Amy is a slut. Am I a slut now, too, Mommy? Did you get me some slut clothes like Amy wears? Did you get me a tube top? Do I get to drink Kool-aid in glass bottles behind the skating rink and have lots of boyfriends?”

  Mommy just stared at me for a second. I didn’t know if she was thinking of answers or if I had made her mad with too many questions. But she didn’t have that pinched look she gets when I talk too much. I didn’t know what was going on.

  Finally, Mommy smiled and held out her arms. “Come sit on Mommy’s lap.” I ran to do so, still clutching my present and snuggling up to Mommy. She smelled like baked cookies and Pine-Sol. She tried to smooth my curly hair, but it stayed puffy and she might have cut her finger on it. “Puddles, you’re not a slut. You’re the nicest and sweetest little girl in the whole world. You could never be a slut.”

  I beamed happily. I didn’t know if I wanted to be a slut or not, but I liked the part about nice and sweet.

  Mommy then pried the lip gloss out of my tiny fingers, then twisted the top off and set it to the side. “Now. I’m going to show you how to put this on. Push your lips out.”

  I instantly did so, because I’d been practicing since I was three.

  At the end of the lip gloss thing there was a big ball that rolled, and it was all wet. Mommy put the ball on my puckered lips and slid it back and forth.

  Suddenly, as a sugary glaze built up on my lips, I got a dreamy feeling like I was sleeping. Mommy’s voice faded away as I drifted on a big, fluffy cloud and birds were singing all around me. The pretty cloud landed in a park and a bell rang. I thought maybe the bell meant I should get off the cloud, so I did. All the furry animals in the park ran up and loved on me. It was fun, but I made them go away when they got bunny hair on my lip gloss.

  The bell rang again, and I was on a very big stage. Bunches and bunches of people were sitting in front of me. They were screaming my name and crying because I was so pretty. I sang a song for them, using my lip gloss as a microphone, and people died because they were so happy and only Heaven was better.

  The bell rang again, and Vinnie Barbarino was asking me to be his wife. I started to say yes, thank you, but then the Six Million Dollar Man walked in and they started hitting each other because they both wanted me. I decided I liked it when people beat each other up and you are the prize.

  The bell rang again. I didn’t like the bell any more. My dream was very nice except for that damn bell. But it kept ringing.

  And then I woke up. My little sister, Mellie Jo, was sitting on her tricycle right in front of me, banging away at the bell on the handle bars. When she saw me wake up, she finally stopped being loud. “Get off Mommy’s lap. It’s my turn.”

  Mellie Jo was mean, and I didn’t like her a lot of the time. She made noise ALL the time. And she was wild. All the popular girls at Day Care said so. Mommy had to leave work lots of times and make her quit hitting someone or put her clothes back on. Mommy said she was a handful. I think she was a bucketful. A big bucket. A big, old mean bucket that said dirty words and broke things, like swing-sets and boys.

  Mommy patted me again, then gently set me to the side before turning sternly to my sister. “Mellie Jo, I don’t want to spank you on the Lord’s Day, but if you don’t stop that racket I won’t have any choice. Now, go get your stocking and let’s see how good you‘ve been this year.”

  Mellie leaped off her trike, snatched up her stocking, then hurled herself through the air into Mom’s startled lap. She ripped into the stocking, tossing aside apples and nuts, then seized the treasure at the bottom. “Thank you, Santa!” she squealed, waving the gift above her head. “It’s just what I wanted!”

  It was a round dispenser. With 31 days marked on it.

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