Monday, July 09, 2007

A bit of reconnaissance

As it's a friend's birthday, we popped into a local strip mall that contains an amazing shop that makes homemade chocolates (that are as good as Belgian chockies though I believe the owners a frenchman) and an expensive day spa/hair stylist that boasts to its clients 'it's all about me' and then proceeds to define the definition of 'me' and 'pampering' on a parchment inside one of their front windows.

Not finding a parking space near the candy store, we parked in a bay belonging to said spa. Larry ran in to order the chockies and I remained in the car in case any of the irate owners came out and asked us to move. Two well-shod ladies came out--dripping in gold jewelry, matching fresh platinum blond hair tumbling over the nape of their Pierre Cardin scarves, wrinkled face skin, heavy blue eye shadow and blazing white teeth. They dropped their Gucci handbags into the leather back seat of the Mercedes, climbed aboard--the driver put on a pair of crimson spectacles--and off they rode for lunch.

A small red car with many dents zipped into the freshly vacant spot, the passenger door creaked open and a young teenage girl climbed out.

"You comin', Mum," she shouted when she got to the sidewalk opposite the spas entrance.

I was surprised.

"You go in," Mom shouted out the open window and she expunged her cigarette and flicked it onto the pavement. "I need to get decent."

The remark amused me endlessly. Mom was very jowly, very hefty and she had a mullet haircut--the sort of do some baseball players like--that made her rather mean of appearance.

"Shit Mom. Hurry up will ya'!"
"I said 'go on in' for chrissake. We're late already." She nodded at her daughter like an annoyed filly. "Go"

"Aw, shit, Mom." Her daughter disappeared.

With utmost care and discretion, I surveiled Mom. She brushed her mouse colored hair fiercely with a large brush, shook her head vigorously, then checked in the rearview mirror. Next came a potion of some sort, white, from a nubby stick, which was dabbed on the forehead, the fleshy cheeks, the chin, part of the neck. A fierce rubbing commenced during which she turned and saw my surveillance. I looked away instantly, raised a book I was holding and turned a page to give her the impression it was all in her imagination. Sidelong I checked, saw her continue to regard me for moments further, and then the rubbing of the potion continued again. A lipstick followed--color indeterminate--which was applied with a brush as one would varnish. Lips were smacked and checked in the mirror. The brush was taken in hand again and another spurt of vigorous grooming began again, this time followed with the bizarre act of raking heaps of her hair in between her small fingers and scattering them about her neck. Another check in the mirror seemed unsatisfactory because more desperate brushing continued until parts of her hair flew out due to static.

Her daughter put her head out the spa door and beckoned madly. Opening the door, Mom got out, seized her battered handbag, and slammed the door shut and walked away without locking the vehicle. All about me, indeed. Amazing what happens in a parking bay in front of a day spa/hair stylist.

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