Today was my last Sunday as a single mother in Sacrament meeting. I know I have been a total martyr about the fact that my husband has worked on Sundays for years but finally there is a glorious light at the end of the kid-wrestling-bread missing-fighting-about-wearing-a-belt-and-tie-tunnel. Even with twice as many adults in the process I don't expect to actually be on time for eight o'clock church, but I do expect to have someone to take turns with to take children to the foyer and threaten physical harm. Today was a particularly difficult sacrament meeting for us. Somehow we scored a small padded row in the actual chapel. If you happened to be in this same meeting I was in then sorry if you got pelted with a flying fruit snack or had to hear Abraham announce at full volume that he has to go poo poo potty and then subsequently inform he entire congregation that it was a false alarm and "just farts". My kids turn into crazed monkeys when they are forced to sit in the same seat quietly for over hour and I turn into an angry prison warden. I'm not sure they even know that there are speakers that they are supposed to be listening to. The only time they acknowledge that someone is speaking at the pulpit is when the speaker cries which inevitably prompts my children to wonder very loudly what in the world is wrong with that person. If nothing else I need to teach them to whisper. This year's shift change is nothing short of a blessed family miracle.
I must admit that there was another reason that I wasn't in the best of moods for church today and it has little to do with my primate children and more to do with a very unfortunate run-in I had this week with a bottle of sunless tanner.
I have always been a very vocal opponent of tans in general but especially the fake variety that inevitably make people look like their liver may be on the brink of failure or one of their parents worked at Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. As with any bad decision the logic that was used seems hazy to me now but I remember it having something to do with trying to make my freckles blend in to the rest of my complexion and a theory that surely cosmetic chemistry/technology must have advanced enough in the past decade since I originally tried self tanner with yellow streaky results. I mean, now-a-days they can grow human organs in pitri dishes using stem cells. DNA science has become so mainstream that there is a freeway billboard that says "call 1-800-WHO-DA-DAD". You would think that health science in this world had advanced to the point that they could sell a decent sunless tanner that didn't make a person look like a traffic cone. You'd think that perfecting the fake tan would be top on science's list. It is after all a capitalism driven affair and people will pay big money to look sun-kissed with out the wrinkles, freckles, cancer and Snooki jokes. Turns out that today's self tanners are exactly the same as they were 20 years ago, they just smell a little better. The best part is how you don't see the result until it has developed on your skin hours later. Before I put it on I followed all of the instructions and I diligently exfoliated and sloughed and scrubbed every inch of my body and face. Then I applied evenly and awaited my new exotic look. After a couple of hours I was hiding from even my own children and weighing my options for a lawsuit. I looked dirty. Not just dirty, but orange dirty. like I had been working in a rust mine all day. I thought the pigment would make my freckles blend in more but instead it grabbed hold of the freckles and made them dark dark brown and found a few dry patches and made them look like unfortunate birthmarks. picture Gorbachev as an Oompa Loompa with rampant liver spots. The worst part was that since I had so thoroughly exfoliated before I began, it was all live skin cells that were pigmented and the new color couldn't be scrubbed off. I tried applying makeup to blend it but it took so much makeup to do the job it created a whole new undesired look: Tammy Faye Baker (with an orange cast). I'm usually pretty good at laughing at myself and just facing friends and family with a funny explanation, but I couldn't even have a sense of humor about this.
The decision to show up at church like that was true evidence of my faith. All I could do was hide out and apply mass quantities of Prescription Retinol to get the skin to regenerate. Now I am peeling and flaking and look a little bit like I have leprosy but I am more of a normal color. I'd rather be a leper than pumpkin face any day. From now on I am going to stick with the white look. Some people call it pasty, I prefer to call it porcelain or even pale but either way, I have turned in my notice to Willy Wonka and will embrace my un-exotic fair freckled face.