I should have known I was starting way above my level when “mask” was spelled all fancy with a “que” instead of just a regular old “k.”
The mud masque was intriguing in that it promised to remove impurities from my face with a satisfying, rubbery, peel-away finish. I’d never used a mud mask before, at least not on purpose.
It sounded like a great idea when I was standing in Kroger, browsing the rack of discontinued items. In hindsight, this should have been my first clue; however, I am a bargain shopper and won’t apologize for it.
“I’m going to do my roots and have a mud-masque this afternoon,” I confidently said to myself.
“It’s high time I had some self-care,” I agreed.
“Don’t forget the wine!” I chimed in.
“Ma’am? Are you OK?” asked the cashier.
“Yes, I am!” we said, a little too enthusiastically. I paid the clerk and scurried out with my ricotta cheese, wine, hair color and purifying mud masque.
After carefully following mixing directions, I immediately broke the (free!) applicator attempting to haul a load of face cement from the flimsy bag to my ever-impure face.
I dug in with my fingers and smeared mud in an upward motion, as indicated on the instructions. Of course, the face in the instructions didn’t have nostrils because it was a drawing and smart enough to realize smearing globs of tub grout on your face was a bad idea in real life.
More on that later.
After smearing clay masque into most of my nose-hair, I finished the application as instructed.
Instead of blithely relaxing for 20 minutes while my facial impurities were under attack, I slapped on my hair color. This completed a lovely look that caused my cats to hiss and run from me when I attempted to blithely relax with a glass of wine for the remaining 10 minutes.
I was bored with this situation in about three seconds. Mostly because I couldn’t part my lips to drink wine without causing the hairs of my menopausal mustache to be painfully yanked on by the purifying mud-masque.
I fully admit the directions did not mention speeding up the process, but it also did not prohibit the use of outside influence to “dry the masque to a rubbery finish.”
I helped it along with a quick little blast from the blow dryer.
It seemed like a great idea until the masque began to shrink rapidly, ripping out each and every nose hair it was attached to simultaneously.
This caused my eyes to water uncontrollably, resulting in an impulse swipe that caught the corner of my eyelashes in quickly drying shrinky-dink mud masque.
My eye was pasted open in a what can only be described as a Clockwork Orange torture scene, but the real fun began when my eyebrows and chin hair got in on the pain action.
Every single hair on my face was being tugged just hard enough to hurt, with the promise of hideous and acute pain if I dared to peel this quick-setting concrete off my damn fool face in any kind of “satisfying” manner.
I prayed I could remove this sorcery with something other than holy water. I stepped into the tub to slough away not only skin impurities, but also large portions of my sparkling personality and will to live in general.
As if on cue, UPS showed up.
Thankfully (for me, not the UPS guy) the vent window in the shower is head-high and faces the front porch.
I opened the window to reveal a purple-haired, mud-masqued monster head with one bulging eye (me) emerging from the steam to acknowledge the UPS guy.
It was at that moment I realized I hadn’t attempted to move my mouth since heating the mud-epoxy on my face. As I tried to form words, I recognized the fact I had a lot more hair on my upper lip than I had ever imagined. Instead of telling him to “just leave it,” I croaked, “Oh God, it hurts!”
Needless to say, he left (dropped) the package. I think he broke his ankle falling off the porch but he apparently dragged himself off the property and back to his van.
After extricating myself from the mud-masque sarcophagus, I self-cared my way through the bottle of wine.
I remain impure of face, but certainly a lot less hairy of lip. Hooray for self-care.
— Wendy Parker
Wendy Parker has covered the trucking industry since 2012 after she says she “lost my mind and decided to climb inside my husband’s big truck to travel with him as an over-the road, long-haul trucker.” Her unique writing style that ranges from biting satire to investigative journalism coupled with her unbridled passion for fighting round out a wildly talented stable of writers at Land Line Magazine.