My Friday off was just that–OFF!!
I had a concrete plan of action: Wake up, take my daisies (my mom and Lulu) to breakfast, go get a nail fill-in/pedicure for me and a mani-pedi for the girls, shop for birthday cards and gifts for Sasha and be done with it. I had everything planned until…The Green Goblin strikes again.
it was early Friday morning. Goblin started right away. No hiccups, no burps, no car-farts, no nothing. Just a good day. We load into the Goblin like Mexicans loading into a Pacer. Breakfast at the town diner was off the chain–as usual. Russell, the cook, is a phenomenal southern cook and a precious southern gentleman. We ate our usual three eggs scrambled soft with cheese, shared a double hashbrown, added bacon on the side and coffee for the daisies with a mango lemonade for me. Sun is shining outside. Everything is awesome!
We leave a healthy tip on the table. Myrtle, our waitress treats my mom and grandma like queens. Now, it helps that my mom, Patricia Anne James, owns and operates Hidden Blessings, the ONLY consignment and alteration boutique in the heart of Taliaferro County. Thanks to the limitless shotgun wedding dress expansions to encompass bundles of joy, prom dresses alterations to lengthen dresses that expose “business,” and I’ve lost a loved one, but want these items to bring joy to someone else donations, my mom is more popular than the county liquor store–and THAT is popular. So, wherever we go, my mom and her entourage–Lulu as sidekick and me as driver–receive preferential treatment.
After the ‘itis-giving” breakfast, we, again, load into Goblin–she is purring like a cat drinking milk, while lying on a comfy, fluffy pillow, in front of a warm fireplace. I am so proud of you, Goblin. You are doing it today. I think to myself. I would hate to think of being out here, with the loves of my life, stranded. We arrive at my nail shop, Queen Spa. I have been a patron of this establishment since they opened in 2012. They know me by name. Now, that Lulu and Momma are monthly regulars, they know them, too. We are immediately greeted by Amy, the owner. Amy is a mother of three. Her husband, Jon, works at the salon, but he takes care of the kids, so he is rarely here–except to do nails. Jon is strictly by appointment, only.
“Hi, Momma!” Amy blurts out. She is universally referring to everyone. However, she greets Lulu with a hug–she’s the only one who gets a hug in this group. “Mani-pedi’s, today?”
Lulu especially loves the attention. With her suffering from Diabetes, we have to be especially careful with her pedicures. We had a scare about 15 years ago–we had to watch that big toe for over 3 months. Ever since then, I was the designated “pedicurist.” I am all too happy to relinquish that title.
I walk over to Jon’s desk. “Hey, Honey.”
“Hey, Lady.” Jon responds. Jon is so cool. He has silky, jet-black hair that is spiked up in a right-angle part from his forehead to the center of the top of his head. He has dreamy black eyes–is that even possible to have black eyes? It has to be possible because Jon has black eyes. He has a tanned glow and speaks perfect English. So perfect, I might add, that he often laughs at me when a hint of country drawl comes out. “So glad you are on time. How is your day going.”
“Perfect now.” I respond. “Everything is marvelous.” While continuing my conversation with Jon, I watch as Amy and Lisa, Amy’s niece, lead Momma and Lulu to spa massage seats four and five. Amy has Lulu by the arm, cupping Lulu’s left elbow with her left hand and wrapping her right arm around Lulu’s back. I come here for so many reasons, but one of them is that, here, they love on my loved ones like I love on my loved ones. Once Lulu is successfully seated, with toes in bucket of aqua blue water, I concentrate back on Jon and my fill-in.
Perfection! Jon fills in my nails–black base-coat, and blue metallic top-coat. I am ready. Mid-fill, Jon escorts me over to chair number three and I slither my way into the comfy, khaki, leather seat with the high back and wood-grain arm rests. Everyone in Queen Spa knows I like my water hot enough to see steam. My water is wonderfully heated blue. I opt for pedicure number two–the deluxe package–Massage! Massage! Massage! I melt away with my back pressed, lifeless against the back of the spa seat. Everything seems perfect as I close my eyes and float up the first level towards an out-of-body experience. Just as Utopia is within view…
“Why did you give me a water pill when you know we were going out?” Lulu and Momma are struggling in an attempt to grab Lulu’s walker, maneuver Lulu out of the seat, dry off her feet and place her into a standing position without incident. Meanwhile, Lulu is still fussing at Momma, while Momma scrambles. It is at this moment that I debate and contemplate to acknowledge the scene or continue through the gateway to mental paradise.
“Momma, I’m sorry.” Momma replies, apologetically, “You have so much fluid on you. I had to get it off before you regress into..”
“But you know we were going back home.” Lulu sharply interrupts. By this time, Tina, MY pedicurist, Amy and her niece, Lisa, are all kneeling and fondling by Lulu’s hands and feet. Jon is unsuccessfully attempting to concentrate on step five of eight of my fill-in–so much so, that Jon just skims the cuticle of my middle finger with his electric power drill-file.
“UUUUGGGHH!!!” I belt out in a frustrated sigh with my eyes still closed. “Next time, I will leave you home!” I open my eyes, reach and grab the towel resting on the foot rest of the spa chair, pull my feet out of the now, lukewarm, blue water (making as much noise as humanly possible) and swirl myself around, drying my feet as I place them one-by-one on the floor. If I was ever going to have an out-of-body experience, I am definitely having one, now.
Together, in a group effort to prevent “cleanup on aisle four,” Amy, Tina, Lisa, Momma and myself, scurry Lulu to the universal restroom. We are lifting, pushing and arm and waist guiding her, so frantically, that we practically have lifted her off the floor and are walking for her. We make it to the restroom. All nonfamily members exit the chamber. While Momma is pulling down underwear and lifting skirt, I, and my hygiene-correct thought pattern, am lining the stool–which looks, well, universally used. I place the last group of tissue squares on the round of the mock-porcelain, but very plastic seat. I am just out of the way when I hear a “Whoop!” As Lulu plops down on the seat and pours nature’s water into the toilet bowl. Now, that the crisis is over, Lulu lays in to Momma.
We spend three minutes of pee-time, loudly, on the pitfalls of water pills and travel versus the pitfalls of anti-water pill days. Each opponent is interrupted by the mediator, me, yelling “Can we all please keep our voices to a minimum!” Each pleading is followed by a loud-whispering “Can’t nobody hear us in here!” Lulu completes her business. I hand Lulu the tissue, she wipes herself, Momma lifts and I pull–up the underwear that is–I move all lingering toilet bowl tissue lining into the water and flush. All three ladies in the restroom wash our hands, and being sure to use the now moistened, clearly not Bounty paper towel, I open the door and we walk out, as a group who returning to a stage preparing for an Encore.
After receiving new water (for the water already in the spa-pedicure was ice cold) we dunk our feet back in and complete our relaxing spa–day. Once complete, I pay and head outside to Goblin who is directly in front of the Queen Spa in the handicap parking spot–the one handicap parking space.
“Girl, you will not believe the fiasco that unfolded in there.” I say to Goblin while unlocking my door and sitting down. I chuckle, stick my key in the ignition–nothing. The smirk of crisis diverted quickly leaves my face. I embrace my steering wheel, bow my head, resting my forehead on my wrist.
“Lord, please let her start. All I need is one more day…”