When we first moved to our sweet little tidal town in Nova Scotia, it was before itunes and netflix. For entertainment, we would go downtown (actually leave the house!) to rent videos and DVDs from a little place called Light & Shadow Video. L&S had an amazing collection and going there to pick out a video was a bit of a social experience because the four people who worked there, including the owner, were engaging, knowledgeable and pretty hilariously entertaining.
So, one Friday evening I found myself at L&S looking at options for Dean and I to watch after little Leo was in bed. It was a Friday evening so many folks, strangers, friends and acquaintances were coming and going and I was just having a fun ole time engaging with quite a few people — all of us in good moods due to it being Friday night and with the whole weekend ahead of us.
Nick was working that night and he was en forme. We were talking and bantering back and forth about various movies. I would say something profound like: you know the movie with that guy? And he would say: oh ya, TROY. Then I would be like: exactly. Nick was amazing. He knew all the movies, plot lines, and actors.
At some early point in the better-part-of-an hour that I spent that evening at L&S, I was squatting down looking at a low shelf of vids and reaching into my pocket, proceeded to put on my lip balm. My lips had been pretty dry and my favourite lip balm: Burt’s Bees, just felt so nice to slather on. Somewhat absentmindedly, I ensured that it was on real good. I put it all along the top of my lips and lip edge and all along the bottom of my lips and lip edge not staying within the lines at all. Then I did it again, just to be sure. My lips tingled. The peppermint in Burt’s Bees actually caused lip-tingling. I loved it.
I stood up with my selection: I, Robot. (I LOVE Will Smith). I didn’t actually exit the store as of yet though. There were so many friends to talk to and banter with. As I was talking and visiting with them though, I got the feeling that something was slightly wrong. I was getting some looks and double takes. Hmm. Strange. Maybe it was because I was looking super hot that night. I was wearing my new jacket and my hair. Well, it was a good hair day. That must be it. So, I stayed a bit longer. It was busy in there. I was on fire!
At the check out, Nick had a wee smirk on his face. As he looked at me, then down at my selections, then to the computer, then back at me. I had the feeling he was suppressing a giggle. I thanked him for all of his expertise, yet again and wished him a great night.
Off I drove home. Pulling into the driveway, I smoothed my good hair in the rear-view mirror.
THERE WAS BLACK GUNK ALL OVER and AROUND MY LIPS. Much like bad makeup on a sad clown. Reaching into my pocket for my beloved Burt’s Bees, I realized my mistake. I had used my dark brown-tinted Burt’s Bees Lip Balm instead of the clear one.
Anger rose within while my face reddened and I scrubbed the dark lip balm off while my mind clicked through the dozens of townsfolk I had encountered with my very badly done sad clown lips. Still sitting in the car, I grabbed my cell phone and called Nick at L&S Video.
‘Why the hell didn’t you tell me????’ I shouted at him.
Pause, muffled chuckling.
‘I thought you were trying something new,’ he said.
EXTREME MORTIFICATION ensued.
(Credit for the header photo goes to the ever talented T.M.B. Renaissance Axe Woman )
Update: I originally posted this a year ago but am re-posting because this story takes place in my wee town’s video store. Said video store has since been closed and re-opened under a new name by one of the original, amazingly talented employees. It then moved twice and now, several years later, it is about to close for good. It seems there is no longer a market for videos and DVDs, no matter the incredible collection. I was saddened to read this story in our local paper and then to hear the owner speaking on CBC Radio about her ideas and aspirations for the future. So, this re-post is a tribute to our closing video store.