Things were going along well until sometime Sunday afternoon when I heard John David say that this performance would be A) at Zydeco (a big bar downtown) and B) our two little John Denveresque performers would be playing between two full bands. Some scrounging around happened, and they were able to procure and practice with a bongo player...raising the cool level at least a little...a very little :)
Y'all I wish you could have been with me as I stepped through the double doors into this bar last night. It was a big room, painted solid black, with low ceilings, a large hoard of people banging their heads in front of the stage, and something akin to Marilyn Manson in cowboy boots screeching onstage with his shirt all the way unbuttoned. I looked over at Ashley and Josh (my BIL and SIL who came with me to support their brother) and said (screamed as loud as I could to be heard over the music), "I feel like I've walked into a very bad dream!"
When we found our two performers sitting by the stage, we all just had to laugh until we cried at what they were about to do. It felt like throwing my husband and sister to a pack of wolves as I smiled and held my big-fat-Mom-camera on the front row.
Even with the awkward music shift, I think we would have been ok, because they are that good--with their little harmonies and Taylor's siren voice and Jeremiah's banjo twangin' right stout--but there was no time for a soundcheck and the instruments were turned up WAY louder than their voices (which is probably ok if you're screeching like Van Halen, but not so much if you're trying to actually make beautiful sounds together), there was a massive amount of feedback on the monitors, and and and...the first song was just really, really bad y'all. There's no way around it. The kinks got worked out a lil' bit by the third song, but all in all, it made me mad that nobody could appreciate all their effort and talent because of a stupid sound system/sound mechanic (who Josh, I might add, was going toe-to-toe with in the back of the room and I thought we might have a brawl--sweet brother).
Ok, let's leave that event and head on with me to this morning...and THE spray tan. I have not been to the tanning bed since...college. When you're on a budget like we are, that's one little luxury that I said goodbye to without missing it too bad. However, I keep hearing about the wonders of the spray tan. No skin cancer or leather skin AND you can look tan, sign me up! Right? But, I was leery of the orange factor. Mom and I did a lot of experimenting with the self-tanners when I was inhighschool, and you can believe I had a disaster or two.
So the weddings (the only events in my life that might be worthy of splurging on a spray tan) have come and gone and I've shied away from the spray, scared that I might look like an Oompa-Lumpa in pictures that would be on somebody's wall for a lifetime. But this Saturday night, I have a real-live cocktail party to attend, and guess who's going to try and wear a backless dress? I took one look at my winter-white skin against the purple of the dress and decided it was time to brave the spray tan.
The lady I made my appointment with was super nice (and chatty) and I went ahead and asked her the question that I'd been even more nervous about than the orange-skin possibility..."What am I supposed to wear while you spray me???" Her answer, "Most people just wear panties so they won't have tan lines, but you might want to wear a thong..." "WWWWWHHHHAAAAATTTTTTT?????????!!!!!!!!!!!"
I marched in there this morning, (with Mary Aplin in tow, I might add) and I got down to my lil'est skivvies in a small room with a complete stranger. I was freezing cold, and as I stood with my arms and legs spread, and she spray-painted me, I laughed and laughed and laughed and asked her, "Do you ever wonder at the humiliation people (ME!) are willing to go through just to look a little bit prettier on one night??" She said, "I think about it all the time, now could you please squat a little so that you won't have smiley-faces under your butt cheeks?" AAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH! That was the lowest point of all.
After the spraying and drying was done, she asked me to follow her into a stand up tanning bed to help set the color in. I'd never been in a stand-up bed before (I know I'm really dating myself now), and as I stepped inside, still in front of a stranger in my little skivvies, still in the hairnet that she'd put on me, she stuck some stickers over my eyes that I could barely see through and asked me to step into, what looked like, a tall narrow cage and grab the straps above my head. I said, "Is this a torture chamber?" She just smiled and shut the door and I was blasted by blinding lights and 90 mile-per-hour winds blowing from above and below me.
I will say that, at least so far, this tan's lookin' pretty dang good, but is anything worth all that? I'll just be sittin' here in my loose fitting clothes, with spray gunk all over me, unable to bathe for the next 24 hrs. There's no way a tan back was worth that.
*Please read BKaminski's comment (the second comment). Oh, so hilarious!
**For those who feel left hangin' on Dapple's status (Did I actually let my daughter witness my humiliation?!): I asked, when I made my appointment if I could bring my 2yr old. I offered to come at night, baby free, but she said her Dad would be there to keep an eye on her, so bring her on! How accommodating was that? Mary Aplin was watching cartoons and eating a snack just on the other side of the evil door :) Seriously though, if you're in Birmingham and you want to brave the spray, this is a link to where I went and Shelley made it all as un-awkward as possible and did a great job...I think. I still haven't taken a shower to know for sure :)