Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Unimaginable Idiocy

When I was 15 years old, my boyfriend lavished me with gifts for Christmas.  I got perfume by Guess, CDs by Erasure and Wilson Phillips, and my first pair of Dr. Martens.


Doc Martens

Lastly was a fragrance set from Victoria’s Secret, nestled in adorable container that resembled a mini hat box.  I loved that little box – almost as much as much as I loved my own.  I was prudish and virginal, but my boyfriend bought me something from Victoria’s Secret!  It wasn’t sexy or scandalous, but it was from Victoria’s Secret, damnit so it felt sexy and scandalous and I wasn’t going to let anything happen to that little box.

(I apparently felt the same way about my own box because I held out on my poor boyfriend until I was in college.)

Anyway, I still have that little, circular box; I use it to store fingernail polish (the one from Victoria’s Secret).  I have 18 or so bottles of fingernail polish stuffed into the little box, some of the bottles as old as the box itself. 

Although nail polish storage seems a mundane assignment for my beloved box, don’t let it fool you.  My box has followed me through high school, college, 11 moves, marriage, parenthood and has survived the anarchy of my closet.  It is my hidden treasure, disguised as a mere vessel for vials of nitrocellulose.  It is the last trinket I possess from my first love.

Saturday night I was rummaging through my closet looking for my Wilson Phillips cd 32-gig thumb drive containing my cool and current music collection, when my box fell from the top shelf in my closet and landed with a sharp tink!  Thinking that didn’t sound good, I calmly picked up the box and brought it to the kitchen sink. 

I am very cool under pressure.  I always keep my head about me, yes I do.  I’m the person you want around when the shit hits the fan.  Just sayin’. 

The pungent smell of formaldehyde wafted from inside.  I unzipped the lid, tooth by zippered tooth, steeling myself for the unseen horrors.  Lifting the top, I found a bottle of blood-red nail polish had shattered and oozed its sticky contents inside my box.  I took in a sharp breath (got a little contact high in the process) and took immediate action.  I channeled Maverick from Top Gun: You don’t have time to think up there.  If you think, you’re dead. 

Save the polish! I thought and grabbed bottle after bottle of blood-red spattered mess.  I’ll just give these a quick rinse, ooh a shard of glass!  Get that! Quickly, Shannon, before any more of this skin-staining PAINT gets all over you!

Yeah, this is where the Unimaginable Idiocy makes its garish entrance. 


It was about this time that I started vigorously rubbing my hands together under the tap and I discovered the paint was filled with tiny shards of glass.


Fingernail polish remover!  Certainly that will work.  Let me just douse my hands with it and rub…HOLY SHIT THE LITTLE CUTS OHMYGODSOMEBODY! SAVE ME FROM MYSELF PLEASE!!

Mineral spirits?  Nope.

When all else fails, I turn to Google.  Google knows everything.  Google told me to just soak my hands in warm water for 20 minutes and the polish would just wipe right off.

Google lied. 

I walked around with “blood” on my hands for two days before it finally came off.  My skin now feels like sandpaper from the abuse of harsh chemicals and I’m left staring at the remaining victims of this tragedy.

Innocent Victims


JMo said...

I was on the edge of my seat with this one!

erijavec said...

Moving words, Shan. I love it. And somehow feel connected to this story. ; )

nicole katz said...

awesome story, kinda sounds like my like I'm sure this wont ever happen again,but next time, Acetone.. AKA..nail polish remover works well, but ouch !!! would it hurt like hell in an open cut ! nicole katz