I'm listening to the Twins game on the radio, and it's in extra innings, which is sort of annoying because I think once it's over I'll actually go to bed, but in a way it's a good thing because I get to sit on my duff and write to you all! And also I like to listen to baseball.
Whoa, this is starting out really stupid. OK. Joel is in Duluth this weekend, playing softball with lots of boys, and I'm here with the kids, hopinghopinghoping I don't go crazy.
I got in a run this morning and I weeded the garden (well, weeded maybe 1/6 of the garden -- the grass growing in there is some crazy mutant variety which grows in massive clumps bigger than my entire torso, I am not exaggerating) AND all the dishes got done, plus it looks like a major thunderstorm is a-brewin', so I'm off to a good start!
Donna my fabulous mother-in-law drove down Wednesday night (oh! I didn't even tell you about our visit with my cousin Bridget and how we went to the Twins-Sox game and how superfun it was!) and she played Mary Poppins all Thursday morning and into the afternoon -- I'm not joking, she and the kids cleaned the whole basement AND the kids' room, and the kids LOVED IT -- and I got to take a lovely bike ride over to Dayton's Bluff proper and get some errands done.
Timeout: it literally has not rained here all summer so I'm sitting here with the windows open, enjoying the rain and the wind and then realized I'm sitting here with the windows open. Oops. Got to go mop up a big corner of the living room.
OK I'm back. So I took my new $60 bike (thanks Dave and Nikki!) out for a spin and it is SO NICE to ride a nice bike -- gears that shift without popping the chain off... brakes that don't scream... fully-inflated tires. It was downright enjoyable. Anyway, I picked up a back issue of a local newspaper I'd written an article for (that Joel had tossed our home-delivered copy of before I even got to peek at it)... and I returned some books to the library... and then I screwed my courage to the sticking place and walked into Keyra's salon and asked if I could have my brows and mustache waxed.
You probably know I'm not a real high-maintenance kind of girl. I keep my pits shaved, as long as I'm planning on wearing sleeveless. I wash my hair about twice a week. I bite my nails and typically skip the blow-dryer. But I'd noticed my facial hair was getting a little out of control, and I thought a little $20 clean-up job would make me feel a little better. What I wasn't so sure about was the reputation of the salon (I've driven past it zillions of times but never stopped), nor my ability to communicate my wishes (that particular block of the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood is populated almost exclusively by Mexican restaurants and bodegas, quinceanera-dress shoppes, and other Spanish-signage spots).
Well anyway I walked in, and the place was deserted save three female workers. The gal who walked over had had her own personal eyebrows entirely removed, and penciled in in purple. This didn't do much to secure my confidence, but she was kind about my faltering, gesture-laden Spanish ("Puedes... err... waxar mis... err... como se dice 'eyebrows'? Y puedo pagar con credit card?") and she let me park my bike in the waiting area. She took me in the basement, which I have to say with the bright-yellow walls and fluorescent overhead lighting wasn't exactly what you'd call a soothing spa-like environment. But she did really lovely work, honestly. The mustache was easy -- even a girl who hasn't spent enough time in America to learn how to say "please" and "thank you" in English still knows that a 30-plus white woman wants that mustache GONE -- but the eyebrows took some negotiating.
Remember, this is all happening in Spanish:
Jasmin: How do you want your eyebrows shaped?
Me: I am sorry, I don't know, it's been 10 years. Or 11. Not too much.
Jasmin: So, not very delicate, not very fine.
Me: Right! Good! Not too delicate. NO.
Jasmin: Just nice and clean.
Me: Uh, more slowly, please? Oh yes! Clean! Good. Clean.
Jasmin: You have nice eyebrows, so I will keep them natural.
Me: Yes! I think so! Good! Natural! Very good! Thank you!
Throughout, she'd ask me if it hurt -- I mean, it does a little but it's brief and not the worst thing. I didn't say anything after she ripped the first strip off, but I gave her a little "Oooh!" after the second one -- I think she preferred a little emoting, so I tried to throw her a bone.
Then she started working on the top of my brow, and all I could think about was the admonition from the June 1992 issue of Seventeen NEVER TO PLUCK THE TOP OF YOUR BROW, but it didn't FEEL like she was taking off my whole eyebrow, and I knew we'd reached an understanding with the "natural" conversation. Anyway, my eyebrows look terrific, neat and clean and muy bonita. I even made a joke (in Spanish!) about mi esposo being muy feliz about the disappearance of the mustache. I read in someone's blog that husbands like that sort of thing. Anyway Jasmin laughed, and I enjoyed our moment.
So in a week when my mother in law conquered her fear of driving into the Big Bad City... I conquered my fear of Latin beauty salons! It's a good week altogether.
Tomorrow Alley Joel's going to work kid-breakfast duty and Cara and I are hitting the St. Paul farmer's market. I haven't been in months so I'm kind of really excited to buy some grass-fed meats or possibly some artisan breads (I hate the word artisan in that context). Then I kinda want to take the kids to that Disney Earth movie (starring the voice of James Earl Jones... yummy) -- it's at the $2 show -- and then we're checking out Ashland's high school summer camp version of Aladdin. Lucy and Eddie CANNOT WAIT.