Thursday, December 17, 2009

A bargain can cost a high price.

While living in Omaha, Nebraska, we were raising four small children, so we frequented neighbourhood garage sales and thrift stores to help cut costs on clothes and toys. My favourite was a highly organized department thrift store on 24th street in South Omaha, where I would usually visit once a week and seek out the youth clothing section (25 cents for kids' trousers!), the kitchen section, (20 years later, I'm still using the same 10 cent potato peeler), and scout for other bargains. Between the thrift store and garage sales, we rarely purchased new clothing or toys that were quickly outgrown.

One Saturday at a garage sale a Mary Kay cosmetics rep was selling off all of her discontinued color samples which consisted of hundreds of individual one-time use eye makeup shades in various colors, aspirin sized blister bump packages of one-time use lipsticks, dozens of mascara brush wands, and blush colors ranging from bright pink to dark brown for every complexion and skin color. It cost $2.00. What little girls ages 4 and 6 wouldn't LOVE to play with an endless supply of makeup without fear of mother's scolding for using her treasured expensive beauty products? I snatched it up for Kathryn and Olivia.

After a particularly long afternoon, I stretched out on the couch and invited the kids to amuse themselves for awhile, suggesting I just needed to lay my head down for a little bit. Four children amusing themselves didn't offer a quiet, peaceful setting for a light cat-nap, so I told the girls to get their newly acquired 'make-up kit' and give me a makeover, while I just laid quietly under their gentle brush strokes. They got to work, I got some peace and quiet, and before I knew it I was fast asleep.

Satisfied with the results, the girls left me snoozing on the couch and found something else to do, and much later I was awoken hard by the door bell. Startled, I jumped up and went to the door where I met an acquaintance delivering some papers for an up-coming neighborhood association meeting. She abruptly handed them over, paused for several moments meeting my eyes, and off she went. I was taken aback by her brusque attitude, and watched her quickly leave.

It wasn't until I'd shut the door, and walked down the hallway back into the house passing a mirror when I saw the Mary Kay vision I'd become. My entire eyelid area was deep purple, with enough mascara on my lashes to put Tammy Faye Baker to shame. Flaming red-blushed cheeks of two different shades--one for each side- were even sporting a black beauty mark for effect. Since I'd just woken up, my hair was tousled and the lip-stick quite smudged.

I know why she hurried off, but to this day, I wonder what she thought, and even more, what she told.

1 comment:

  1. I knew as soon as I read "while I just laid quietly under their gentle brush stokes" that something hilarious would result. Great story.