Sunday, February 05, 2006

Mary Kay: You'll Find Her Everywhere

(Note: The following I wrote in response to a writing prompt to “describe a recent dream and interpret it.”)

“Steve, what a gorgeous jacket!”
I recognize perfect fit and exquisite tailoring when I see it.

I was taking the elevator to the hotel lobby when Steve got on wearing a pink jacket. On him it looked fabulous not feminine. He was tanned, newly svelte and smiled without explanation.

We were in France at our annual missions confab, the Pan European Lectureship. Steve is a psychologist and participates in our meetings.

Steve exited the elevator and another missionary explained.
“Steve has started doing Mary Kay and is doing quite well with it”.

That explained the pastel pink jacket and the spring in his step. But why did he show up at our missionary conference in his Mary Kay get-up?

Later that evening, the enthusiasm of a Mary Kay pep rally emanated from the hotel ballroom throughout the entire building.

Lucky for Steve, it just happened that his two conferences that summer were scheduled for the same week, in the same city and the same hotel. Now that's taking multi-tasking to a new level.


Saturday morning before dawn, I shuffled along a snowy sidewalk to the natatorium for a swim. I had the entire pool to myself for 20 minutes. Eventually another swimmer dived in and I envied her skill and speed. We swam parallel for a half hour without even making eye contact.

“Oh whoopee,” I thought. “We’ll end up being in the shower and dressing room at the same time – without an iota of privacy – and anybody whose front crawl is that good is probably a snob and won’t talk.”

But I was showered and into my warm thermals with my hair dried by the time Ms. SuperSwimmer made it into the dressing area. I decided to initiate conversation.

“Kak hor-o-SHO vi PLAV-ai-yete!” (How well you swim!).
She jumped right in.

“Spa-SEE-bo!” (Thank you!) “I gave birth two years ago and I’m trying to get back in shape.”

Our conversation was off and running. We were dressing near the warmth of paint-encrusted radiators that run under tall windows. By now the predawn sunlight was filtering through the opaque glass.

“I sell Mary Kay,” she offered.

“I’m from Dallas and I know a lot about Mary Kay!” I exclaimed. “And once I even saw Mary Kay and her family at a cafeteria.”

We had lots to talk about.

“Here, try some of this cream. I use it on my baby’s bottom as well.” She squeezed a dab of pink lotion onto my hand.

She gave me a business card and we discovered that we live on the same street, both in Communist-era high-rise buildings.

That evening, I had Mary Kay on my mind as well as our upcoming missionary conference in Strasburg, France and the likely attendees, including Steve. Somehow all that got woven together in a new situation. I don’t anticipate asking Steve to bring me any Mary Kay products. I’ve got my own consultant locally and maybe even a new friend who will give me points on doing the front crawl.

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