Art and Beauty

Skeeter Stings Teenager…Outcome Uncertain

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

 

Skeeter Has The Answer For All Of Us

There’s a handsome man in the beauty shop, but when he opens his mouth I realize he isn’t handsome. He’s annoying.

He’s walked in and settled himself in a brown plastic chair against the wall, way behind the one I’m sitting in. He acts like it’s his personal chair.

He’s snortling and saying things about Alaska, trying to get my attention but I’m not giving it. I am not in the mood to amuse a strange man.

My granddaughter, 9-year-old Lexi, is getting her first Beauty Shop haircut.

She’s sitting transfixed in a high booster chair in the regular salon chair in front of a large mirror. The stylist, a sixty-something woman with slicked back long, long, long dragging reddish/gray hair, is snipping and snapping around Lexi with a sharp pair of silver scissors.

I’m thinking the stylist needs a haircut really badly.

The man in the back chair keeps nattering on. Lexi’s beautician, and the other one in the shop, largely ignore him.

Both ladies are methodically cutting, whacking, and curling their client’s tresses.

I’m yawning.

Three young boys walk in. The oldest asks if anyone can cut his and his brother’s  hair.

“Just have a seat,” they’re told. “We’ll be with you shortly.”

The two youngest boys look like they are in early grade school. These two boys grab seats and the older one, about fifteen, sits next to me.

He looks part Asian. The other two don’t.

I’m wondering how this family got mixed and what might be their interesting story.

Lexi ignores the boys. She is too involved in her first real haircut and maybe too young to feel embarrassed by her wet straggly head of hair and her butt on a little’s kids booster seat.

Everybody’s quiet. Everybody except The Man In The Back Chair Against The Wall.

“My name’s Skeeter,” he says. “You sure have nice weather here. I’m from Alaska.”

The boys are very polite. They nod toward the man and acknowledge him.

The boy next to me says, “My name is Ronnie and my little brother’s are Ace and Cash.”

The client who is getting her hair curled is finished now. She’s about eighty and she leaves happily with a tall pile of red curls standing straight up off the top of her boney head.

Ace, who looks about six-years-old, is called by the other stylist to get in the vacant chair for his cut.

The woman asks if the boys are having a nice Christmas holiday.

They are.

Skeeter speaks up. “I wrote a book,” he says. “I got it right here.”

The boys turn towards him to look but I don’t. (more…)

Blessings Of An Unusual Kind

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

My mother, who is 87, has been talking lately about the tea kettles.

“The tea kettles are doing this, the tea kettles are doing that.”

It took me awhile to understand that she is talking about the recent American political group, The Tea Party! I had been thinking, ‘Why? Why are tea kettles out doing things?’

My mother and I are sitting on her deck, watching the cars go by on the road on the other side of her wide field. My mother smiles broadly and her white hair glistens in the sun. She’s wearing her little red, dog-hair decorated sweater over her blue, green and purple top with the coffee stains on the front, with hot pink sweat pants and high rider tennis shoes.

“You look good, Mom,” I say. “I’m glad you stopped that cancer medicine. You don’t look terminal to me.”

This is the medicine that cost $4400.00 (!) a month and caused Mom’s nose to swell to the size of a small potato.

I had come over to visit her after she had been on the medicine for a few days. I kept looking at her face. Something wasn’t right, but what was it? She didn’t look like my Mother. I had studied her, carefully.

“I think your lipstick is wrong,” I said. “It’s going up over your top lip somehow and it seems odd.” (more…)

VENUS GETS HIT BY ‘LIGHTENING’ AT LUNCH

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

We’re watching lightening fritz through the sky and hammer the hills around us. This is Southern California and a lightening storm is a novel sight.

Eight of us Art Guild Girls are sitting outside on a stone terrace, next to a undulating golf course, having lunch. The sky may be full of danger but as I am soon to find, there is more emotional danger at the  table.

We ‘girls’ range in age from 40 to 80 plus, years old. We are the President of the Guild, on down through the ranks to The Sunshine Girl, which is me.

We do all the work that keeps the art meetings happening in town, we bring the demo artists that perform for all the local artists once a month, we bring in money, award scholarships to High School kids, keep the Art Library going, put on art shows and etc. We deserve a lunch at the end of the fiscal year and I have finally convinced my Guild friends that we do indeed need one.

The ladies ask me to order the wine. I order a bottle of red shiraz named ‘Layer Cake.’ How can one not order something with a name like that? And, I order a nice chardonnay.

We’re having a fun time. Oh sure, one lady has to tell us a story about a cat that she took on a trip that kept disappearing and we have to follow that darn cat through almost every state in the union. I keep saying, ‘So did it all work out OK?’ and she keeps saying, ‘I’m not through with the story yet,’ and everyone rolls their eyes and takes another lick of ‘Layer Cake.’

We’re eating and drinking and laughing and I’m thinking, ‘Oh, this lunch was such a good idea. We are all so happy together.’  Suddenly, ‘Ardath’ who is lost in her 70’s somewhere, looks at me and says says in her high-pitched wavey voice, “Oh Venus..you have such a won-der-ful personality! You have a fab-u-lous per-son-ality!”

I’m grinning and thanking her, “Thank you Ardath, that’s so sweet, thank you..” when she adds loudly, ‘But, that’s all you’ve got!”

“Whaat?”

“Are you always this way?” she asks.

“Whaaat?”

Then, Ardath leans across the table and looks at me intently, as she shouts, “Are you Bi-po-lar?!” (more…)


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