Wednesday, March 07, 2012

A Mehendi Mess

A million picnics, and many of them in the fall.

So much for my well laid plans of writing a blog post daily Monday through Friday. This week it will just be a mid-week update. For one thing, nothing ever HAPPENS to me during the work week. At least nothing that I want to talk about.

For instance, I came home from work on Monday and shed my clothing and got into lounge wear and then noticed I could not find my cell phone. What followed was a keystone cops event with me rampaging around the Gulag retracing my steps and accosting my crazy neighbors asking them to call my cell phone number so I could see if I could hear it ringing in the vicinity. I tore my car apart and dug through the shrubberies. I even ran my hand around in the vending machines thinking I may have dropped it in there when retrieving my candy bar.

One helpful neighbor handed me her old dead cell phone and told me I could have it: Just call and activate it, she said. Umm. HOW? With my CELL PHONE? The one I can't find?

I had almost resolved myself to having to buy a new one and was preparing to mourn the loss of every phone number of everyone I've ever known or hoped to know as well as all that auto-text I'd added to the dictionary when I was smitten with an idea...

What if, when I had removed my work slacks and thrown them over the ironing board because I need to take in the waistband and thought that would be a good place to put them for the time being, what if the cell phone just slid out of my pocket and down into the conveniently waiting laundry basket beneath the ironing board? It is a slippery little bugger.

And LO! There it was! I'm sure I lost about 3 dozen more brain cells from the 'stress event' of it all.

And these are hardly the kinds of things I want to talk about in my blog! You know, I want to come across smart, savvy, functional and like someone who has her cell phone permanently attached to her being.

Well since I'm outing myself as a giant doofus, I may as well confess to my Mehendi Misfortunes.

I would love to say this is my foot, but it's not. This is the DREAM of my foot.

You see I had the idea that henna painting is nothing more than doodling and squiggling with the equivalent of a frosting cone on my feet and hands. How hard could it be? I happen to be a very good doodler and line-squiggler.

So I bought a bag of henna at this neat little Pakistani grocery store near my work. The smells and unusual graphics on the labeled merchandise just send me far far away! The man at the cash register tried so hard to get me to buy the little pre-mixed cones of henna but I was having none of it! The raw poundage for me! 3 times as much for the same price! He assured me a single cone could do many hands and feet but he just didn't understand! He was looking at a woman about to embark on a sideline career of henna tattooing!

Well, lets just cut this short, shall we? I returned to the wonderful Pakistani market the next day and bought a couple of the pre-made cones of henna. Would anyone like to buy a semi-used bag of dried henna?

First of all, there appears to be some ART involved. And SKILL. Who knew? Just mixing the stuff up requires sifting, adding lemon juice and sugar in precise measured amounts to get the proper consistency and sugar reaction so it makes strings. THEN my brilliant idea of just cutting the tip off the corner of a Ziploc baggie like I would if I was decorating a Christmas Cookie does not seem to be a viable option for the henna which, for some reason, comes out in chunks and lumps. Apparently I was supposed to SIFT the stuff first. So much for those beautiful foreign looking labels on the packaging. English instructions would have been so nice!

AND! WHAT WAS I THINKING? I can't even REACH my feet. Was I planning on just prying my foot up a few inches from my nose and leaving it hanging in the air so I could apply the henna for 30 minutes? Imagine me roaming around the apartment, looking for a table or a stool or a counter that was the right height for me to hoist my leg onto. Hoist after Hoist, there was nothing that would work. Imagine me trying to fashion some kind of rudimentary sling out of belts and scarves that I could suspend my calves from. Imagine me trying to simply touch my toes from a full and upright position.

I had to abandon the idea. But not before I managed to smear myself liberally with henna in all the cracks and crevices of my fingers. I do have the prettiest henna stain on my nails today though.

So it appears that my bucket list still contains the wish of someday having my hands and feet done in beautiful henna tattooes. And of someday appearing to be utterly together and without mishap or madness. Sigh.


Joan said...

So glad you're back! I kept you in my list of Favorites and checked on you once in a while. You're a wonderful writer!
When I turned 50, I got a pumpkin tattoo. I'll be 55 in April - I have no idea how I'm going to celebrate that!

Anonymous said...

How long does henna last,then? I'm just thinking that Sharpies come in very cool colors now, and would be more manageable, if you could figure out the hoisting thing...

Miss Pink Ponsonby said...

Oh yes, Sharpie Markers why not? They come in brown and possibly even Sienna or Raw Umber or whatever that old Crayola color is that close to henna. Good Idea!