even tho i’d like to be, i’m not one for expensive beauty products. neither is holly. therefore, we usually find ourselves skipping specialty stores like the body shop. that all changed in november when our next-door, wall-sharing neighbor “kicked it,” was discovered, unfortunately, in a serious state of decay, and our entire house (and everything in it) smelled like death. while we tried to figure out how to get rid of the smell, we tried everything and anything to cover up it up.
well i told you that cinnamon spray was a total disaster (cinnamon and death!). natural citrus spray from whole foods was even worse, believe it or not (citrus and death!). holly cooked one of her famous roasts to cover it up–which worked while it was cooking, but hell if we even had an appetite for it. (plus, eventually, it was…beef and death! nice, right?). 25 boxes of baking soda didn’t even put a dent in it. then we somehow simultaneous thought of a winning remedy: home fragrance oils from the body shop. those always smell so good (and strong!) when they’re burning outside the shops in the mall. so we high-tailed it to the nearest location at the inner harbor and settled on pine oil, which, thankfully, was around during the christmas season. we needed to get an oil burner, too.
now, i’ve found that there are usually fairly nice girls working at the average body shop. even here in baltimore [home of the GCE (Grumpiest Cashiers Ever); dc comes in as a close second, btw]. the girl working that day was no exception.
“can i help you ladies find anything?” she chirped. her makeup was perfect. her hair was perfect. she had a thousand-watt smile.
oh my oh my oh my, what you have just gotten yourself into, i thought.
“uh, yeeeah,” i said slowly. “we’re looking for…an oil burner. we already found some oil. is this stuff…potent? because we have a…situation at home.”
and then we told her what was going on. her face fell.
“oh my,” she said. oh my is right, i thought. she wished us luck as we walked out the door. we’d need it.
we went thru that pine oil fast. (i just remembered we bought some cranberry oil, too, but that wound up smelling a little body-like so we stopped using it.) we went back before thanksgiving and bought another two bottles of pine. we burned thru those, too. thanksgiving came around. holly went to western pee-ay, i went to eastern (philly). i needed to unwind in a city where i didn’t fear for my life most of the time, so i as soon as i got out of the cab at my parents’ condo, i went out walking–in the rain, w/out an umbrella (virtually unheard of for me)–for about, oh four miles or so. (i do love my city walks, esp. in the fall.) i wound up at a fancy mall in the center of town. and lo and behold, there was a body shop. and they were having…a sale. on home fragrance oil of all things.
“you finding everything ok?” asked the nice girl working there.
i told her yes and said how happy i was that the oil was on sale. we agreed that is indeed great stuff. she offered up some other scents but i told her that we were only using pine b/c it was the only thing that covered up…yeah. so i gave her the 15-second version. she twisted her face up and then expressed some heartfelt sympathy that we were going thru it at all (and that our neighbor had such a lonely passing).
holly and i hit a local mall over the weekend. i’m not fond of malls, so she really has to bug me to get me to go. we started passing a body shop, but slowed our pace as we sniffed whatever enticing oil blend they were burning. it smelled fruity. and we agreed we needed something. it’s warming up outside (uh, yeah. it was over 90 degrees yesterday! and today!). which means our late neighbor’s house is warming up (w/out any a-c). any residual funk in there is going to warm up, too. and we fear our basement is starting to get…that smell. again. so we walked in and went right to the oils.
once again, a pretty, bubbly body shop girl came up to us and asked us if we needed any help. we told her we were ok on the oil front, but did they sell any replacement metal oil burner bowls?
“ours is a little…gunked up,” i explained.
“yeah,” holly said. “we used it a lot this winter.” then she shocked the bejeezus outta me by telling her the 15-second version of why our house stunk so bad. she didn’t tell her to get a reaction. she really just wanted to emphasize just how well those home fragrance oils work.
the girl’s eyes bugged out. wide. and that’s when i realized that freaking out body shop girls is almost as fun as coming out to someone that doesn’t expect little choppy-banged, lipstick/heel-wearing me to be a card-carrying homo. ok wait. there isn’t actually a “homo card,” but i swear if there was i’d have one. and if they actually existed, they’d be one helluva lot more stylish than what the DMV hands out. HOLLA!