Her name was Heather B. Melons. She had long straight silky brown hair, stood 5 feet 7 inches tall and her middle name was Bigg, if that tells you anything. Yes, her actual name was Heather Bigg Melons. It was fascinating watching Heather saunter into the room, perfectly tanned, with flawless nails and intricately plucked eyebrows. I never recalled seeing her repeat the same fabulous outfit more than once, and was certain she had a personal trainer. She never bothered speaking to the women in the office, although she had been with the company for months. Either she truly didn’t want to make friends, or had been rejected enough through the years by females that she had finally given up.
Heather didn’t say a whole lot to the men either. Well, with words anyway. It seemed obvious that her mission each day was to taunt them like small dogs being taunted by pepperoni. Married, engaged, young, single…it didn’t matter to Heather. Watching her lean over their desks to ask a simple question was nearly like witnessing a science project- -with every man as her guinea pig. I was never intimidated, nor jealous of Ms. Melons, as I have grown to realize that jealousy is one of the most unattractive qualities a person can have, whereas genuine confidence is flat sexy.
Until… One lovely July afternoon after lunch, I was touching up my make-up and Ms. Melons walked in. It was just the two of us in the restroom, and while she stood a mere two feet away from me, she acted like I wasn’t even in the room. Not sure if I was suddenly aware of the painfully awkward silence, if I felt strangely sympathetic to her, or just curious to see what this woman was really about, I blurted out a cheerful, “Hello!” Still facing forward applying her lipstick, never turning away from her own reflection in the mirror, she coldly replied, “Hello.” It speaks! I thought to myself. “I don’t think we have actually met …my name is Buf.” I said, extending my hand for her to shake. She reached her beautifully manicured hand out, reluctantly accepting my gesture and suddenly my short little stubby fingers felt shorter and stubbier than ever.
With that, she put her lipstick back in her Louis Vuitton handbag and made her exit. I stood there looking at those, now seemingly ugly fingers of mine, and then revisited my own reflection in the mirror. How did I suddenly look so old? Five minutes ago I looked great! And five minutes ago, ordinary things were running though my mind: Remember to pick up chicken after work…Remember to send Grandma Lawson flowers for her birthday…Did I fill out my Google docs for May? The dog needs to get back on his flea meds…I went back to my desk, deflated and terribly perplexed. How in the hell did I allow a two-minute encounter with a fake, heartless witch make me question my own beauty as a person? I have always prided myself on not being vain. I’m an honest, giving, intelligent woman and my Mister Man thought I was gorgeous, right?
I reflected on this for the rest of the day, and made the decision that I would rise above this momentary loss of reason and do exactly what I knew needed to be done. I immediately called the nail salon and set up an appointment to get a new set of nails. I then phoned my girlfriend Marsha with Mary Kay and ordered everything Mary Kay sold that promised to give me that “young fresh glow”; I even sprung for a Miracle Bra from Victoria’s Secret. For one solid week, I was the epitome of everything I disliked about this planet. Me! Me! Me! New shoes! New jeans! New eyebrows! And I had to admit, it was just what the doctor ordered. But strangely, not for the reasons I had anticipated. What I realized that week was that while I might have looked a bit more stylish, nothing substantially changed in my life because at fourty-two years old, I was already a welldefined woman.
However, lesson learned…the one thing on my list of things “to do” was to…take time for myself, something that had been neglected. If one does not refill one’s own pitcher with water, one is not capable of watering the roses in our lives. I couldn’t help but notice that Ms. Melons had not been spotted in the office for several days. Hmm? Curious.
With my fabulous new fingernails glamorously pointing out the fabulous Chicken Parmesan, Strawberry Salad and magnificent Margaritas, strategically prepared for Mister Man this particular Friday evening, I casually asked him about his day at work. “You look beautiful tonight.” He interrupted. I shyly nodded… adoring his compliment. He continued, “Yeah, my day was fine at work. I got an awesome new assistant.” He casually stated… “Her name is Heather Melons. I am sure she will look forward to meeting you.” About that time Mister Man began to choke. Literally choke. I quickly shoved him down on the ground and started applying everything I could recall about CPR and tried to resuscitate him. At some point I looked down at my hands and realized that one fingernail was missing. Turns out, a fingernail in his chicken is what choked him.