My cousin, Anna, had left a message on my voicemail earlier in the week to let me know that she was going to make tie-dye T-shirts with the kids on the 4th, and to bring a white T-shirt if I wanted one too. This sounded like fun. On Thursday after work, I called Sandra and found out she was free; so I drove out to Tecumseh to pick her up. She would spend the night, we could celebrate the holiday, then I would take her back in time for work on Saturday. We watched one of my brother’s movies, Serenity. Friday morning, I took her with me to morning Mass. Sandra’s not Catholic. 🙂 See how mean I am? I could have not gone – but, no. We had breakfast in Plymouth, did some shopping, then headed over to my parents’.
Things were pretty normal until the tie-dye event. We spent some time rubberbanding swirls and stuff into the shirts. Then came the time to dye them. (A funny quote from one of the kids, “Is it time to dye yet?”. Reply, “No, I think we will live for at least a little longer….”)
I should have been warned when Anna asked if I would be the one to dye the shirts. Especially when she said she wasn’t going near that stuff and, when I volunteered, asked me if I was sure. This should have been a clear warning to me, but I sadly lack that self-preservation gene.
Things started to go wrong when I realized that the dye bottles tended to squirt haphazardly. And again, when I noticed some dye getting on my new shoes. I took off the shoes and continued. Unfortunately, some dye got onto my shirt. The gloves which I had been wearing didn’t fully protect me and, in the end, my fingers were completely green and my wrist was red.
I went to wash up and quickly realized this wasn’t coming out at all! Not even a little bit. Not even a glimmer of hope that if I scrubbed enough, this stuff would come off me. Then, I remember Anna saying that this was *professional strength* dye. Uh-oh. Seeing my dilemma, she offered, “Oh, well, you can just use gasoline and this will get it off your skin.”
Because it was funny, I showed my problem to the rest of the people there. Actually, I went and hugged everyone with my extremely colored self and rubbed my hands on their shirt. Of course, they all recoiled — thinking I was about to ruin their clothing, but it got them to realize the seriousness of my dyed state quickly! Oh, great. I leave for Australia in a week. Hey, at least if someone asks where I’m from, I can…um…hold out my hand and they will see the red, (skin), and green of…Italy?
Then, a more terrifying thought:
So, I went to my dad and told him of Anna’s recommendation. He suggested that I try the lighter fluid that he had in the garage. Okay.
Hey! Wait a minute! It’s getting a little late, at this point. Are you telling me that just minutes before we break out the sparklers and stuff, my family wants me to marinate in gasoline and lighter fluid ?!?!?!?!?
I’m not very loved, am I?
So, I walk over from my aunt’s house to my parents’ house and apply liberal amounts of the lighter fluid and stew for a bit. My brother and Sandra follow me, either to see how successful I am, or to laugh at my predicament, or…you know…both. Well, guess what?
The lighter fluid doesn’t work.
I’m laughing hysterically at this point. It’s funny, but it’s not funny. Seriously, guys, what’s going to happen tomorrow at Mass?? Neither Sandra nor Clint are Catholic, so they don’t understand my anxiety.
Finally, my brother pulls me over to the kitchen sink and says, “Here, honey, put your hands over the sink. Good girl. Now. Stay here while I get some acid!”
Are you feeling the love yet?
Sandra suggests bleach. She and Clint head off to the laundry room to see if we have any. Clint can’t find any right away, but does find a whole bunch of chlorine for the hot tub and talks of using it. I’m at the sink thinking that at the end of the evening, I may not be multi-colored any longer, but I may also not have any skin left, depending on what kind of solvent they decide to dump on me.
They finally find the bleach and bring that back. My brother opens the jug and pours it over my hands.
“Aaaah! It burns!”
“Shh, it looks like it’s working! Rub your hands together.”
Again, do you feel the love? The concern for my physical comfort and safety?
Happily, a lot of the color comes off. Not everything, but from a distance, I look normal. In continued picking-on-me, my brother, who had claimed that I was not his sister, but instead came from a corn field somewhere, made fun of my intellect — I would suppose for the fact of getting into these type of situations. Continuing the joke from earlier in the day about my corn field origins, he points out the sliding glass door to my mom’s garden.
“Do you see any corn out there?”
“No brothers or sisters for you this year!”
Obviously, I am extremely well-loved by my brother. Obviously. 🙂
As an update, I did get to Mass this morning at Our Lady of Good Counsel (after fireworks, I drove Sandra back to Tecumseh, got to bed about 2 am, and woke up at 5:30 am to make it back to Plymouth for Mass). I was still wearing the same clothes that I had worn yesterday at Mass (since there was only a 3.5 hour nap at Sandra’s house), and it was Fr. Lee (Fr. Acervo? He’s the new priest. I’m not sure how he’s called.) and Fr. Thomas, same as yesterday, possibly wondering why I am wearing the same clothes and looking a little more…um…rumpled…than yesterday.
I go up for communion and present my still-not-quite-right hands to Fr. Lee (?). He pauses for a second, perhaps wondering if Jesus really wants to sit in that throne or not, then gives me communion. Whew!
I suppose I’ll have to marinate in bleach a little while longer today. 🙂