Every summer my family and I love to go to the beach. We pack up our chairs, make brilliant lunches, grab the toys and load the car early, wait scratch that, as soon as we can get up and out of the door. We often go every weekend if we can manage to schedule it just right. One thing that I cannot go to the beach without is my lip-gloss. I have recently discovered that I love expensive lip-gloss. I am a frugal person, so it is kind of strange that I would splurge to buy this frivolity, but what can I say? My lemon lip-gloss is pure lemony joy despite its eight dollar price tag. One evening after a great day at Corona Del Mar Beach, my love for my lip-gloss was tested. It was a show down: my son, my fingers, or the lip-gloss.
We were tired, hungry, sandy and wet. Five of us were packed in our little Scion XB and miserable. We always debate on whether or not to just go straight home or avoid traffic by eating dinner on the way. So, after driving five miles, twenty minutes later– we spot a Don Jose’s. I love enchiladas like a teacher loves vacation. My proverbial hand shot up to give the greatest answer in history: Let’s eat there! Dinner was on everyone’s mind, so my husband moved to the lane heading for the exit and enchiladas were in my sight.
We shuffled out of the car. Girls bothering boy, whining, complaining, pushing–the usual. We were seated quickly and began the feeding process. I ordered my favorite, enchiladas of course. Cheesy, oniony, yummy goodness with rice and beans of course. My picky children munched on their taquitos with no sauce, no quacamole, boring food. We laughed and recounted fun wave episodes, silly sand problems, and weird beach goers. We discussed next time and sipped iced tea. It truly was a great meal.
When finished, my girls and husband decided to use the bathroom before the long, dark ride home. My son had very chapped lips from the hot sun and salt intake and was desperate. “Mom, do you have chapstick?” I replied with a no, just my lip gloss and he was actually so in need of lip rescue that he accepted my lemon goodness. ‘Weird, but okay’ I thought as I handed it to him. I watched as he opened the lid and put it on the table. I made sure I kept my eyes on that lid at all times. He made a mess, he had that petroleum mess all over his mouth, definitely unskilled with lip gloss application. He put the lid back on and wiped his mouth with his sleeve. Then he started playing with the tube as if it were a miniature skateboard. “Hey,” I said disgruntled, “that’s an eight dollar tube of lip gloss! Be careful.” He continued to play and then before I could do anything about it, my lip gloss disappeared into the seat of the round family booth we were sitting in. I, in shock, thought to myself, he better get that lip gloss or he is going to die. So I verbalized that thought immediately.
“Mom, I’ll get it. Calm down. It is right here in between the cushions,” he assured me. My temperature began to rise and I looked around me at the happy families quietly enjoying their meals around me. I sneared, “That is a ten dollar tube of lip gloss and it is brand new. Find it now.” He disappeared under the table only to find out that the cushion was covering a hole that went straight to the floor. Great. Just great. He looked at me and realized I was losing my temperature and ensured me that he would find it. I told him in my best passive aggressive calmness to forget it but he continued to assess the situation. He lifted the cushion, promising to pay for the lost treasure, and reached his hand down into the blackness. I continued to look around to see if anyone was watching.
This is where I began to feel ashamed and embarrassed of myself. Here my poor, tired son in trying to do the impossible all because I made him feel bad about my stupid seven dollar lemon gloss made from petroleum jelly. I felt like a jerk. I calmed down and told him, “let’s try and see if we can work together.” He lifted the cushion and I stuck my hand down into the hole. All of a sudden, tears came to my eyes as the most painful jolt shot through my hand. I pulled my arm out as fast as I possibly could and my son’s eyes grew large as he watched me hold my fingers in front of my face with all of my strength. “What’s wrong mom?” he begged as he saw the tears run down my cheeks, air moving quickly in and out of my nose.
My husband and girls finally returned from their bathroom expedition. They slid in and started annoying each other. My son was quietly fidgeting. My husband saw me and looked at me strangely, his mouth curled up and eyebrow raised. By this time I was pulling ice from my tea and wrapping my hand with napkins. “What’s going on?” he asked. I didn’t know what to say. Jason explained the whole episode leaving out the explanation of my fingers because he was still clueless. I tried to speak and all that could come out was the words “maybe a mouse trap?” My husband didn’t know whether to laugh or help. He forced me to show the damage and assessed that this was no mouse trap and sent me to wash my hands.
I went to the bathroom holding my hand like it was going to fall off. Of course there was a man in there fixing the sinks. He left quickly and I began to wash my hands. Of course, the man left the pipes open and all of the water poured into the bucket underneath. As if I didn’t have enough to worry about. I left quickly and returned to the table to find my husband and son taking the booth apart. Mind you, no one has noticed anything, not even the waiters. My husband looked at me and said, “Let me see your fingers again.” I pulled the paper towel off of them, I had a red and purple stripe across my three middle fingers and they were already swelling. He flinched, “Well, it was a rat trap. You are lucky your fingers aren’t broken.” We quickly paid the bill and left.
I was too embarrassed to say anything. We didn’t complain about the bad service, the rat trap, or the broken sinks. I never in my wildest dreams thought that enchiladas and lip gloss would get me into so much trouble. Now, every time we go to the beach, we laugh and point every time we pass that place. Both ways. This story will forever be snuggled in the back of my mind every single time I gloss my lips, eat enchiladas, and go to the beach. I guess the moral of the story is: Never get between a woman and her lip gloss or you might just get hurt.