Tonight while Bill took Allyson to soccer practice, I hurriedly put together a fabulous meal of shrimp and angel hair pasta with homemade Alfredo sauce. While I was chopping onions for a green bean side dish, my eyes watered so profusely that I had to dry them on a dish towel. I noticed the dark mascara smudge on the towel, but I didn't have time to deal with that as I scurried around getting the sauce, shrimp, and pasta ready.
Over dinner a half hour later--which everyone but Allyson loved--Allyson asked, "What are those black things on you, Mama?"
"What black things?"
"Under your eyes."
"Oh, yeah. I was cutting onions and they made me cry, and I guess I smeared my mascara."
"Oh, do you mean like in the rat story? [Ratatouille: I Smell A Rat]"
"Yes. Sometimes people really do cry when they chop onions."
Since no one else said anything, I thought, How bad could it be? But I was enjoying my buttery, cheesy sauce too much to get up and check.
While Bill finished up the last of the dishes, I got ready to drive to Braum's to buy some milk--meaning, I put on some flip flops. About halfway to the car, I turned sharply on my heel and hurried back inside.
"Were you seriously going to let me go to the store with mascara smeared under my eyes?" I demanded.
"Nobody would notice. It's not so bad with your glasses on. Besides, they never make eye contact there," Bill replied.
I ripped off a sheet of paper towel and went into the downstairs bathroom. Oh boy! There was a centimeter-wide crescent of black under each eye. After I'd laboriously washed it off with the paper towel and a bit of hand soap, I stomped back to the kitchen.
"That was terrible!! I can't believe you would let me leave the house like that. They would too have noticed!"
Bill's glance swept over me with a mixture of amusement and derision. "No one would have noticed your eyes," he assured me.
I looked down at my clothes in consternation. I was wearing the flip flops, my black "Pray" T-shirt, and some blue jean shorts that Bill's sister passed down to me recently. The shorts are only moderately faded, not nearly as faded as the identical ones that I wore out before Lisa so kindly gave me hers.
I stared at him blankly.
"Your fly's open," he explained.
Ethan's raucous laughter followed me out the open door and all the way to the car.
For the record, the clerk at Braum's looked me right in the eye when she smiled and thanked me for my purchase. I wonder how she would have reacted if I'd gone in with my raccoon eyes? Whew! Bill's going to get a kick in the pants.