Recently I showed up at a friend’s house for dinner, and by the look on her husband’s face when he opened the door, I knew something was very wrong. Actually, allow me to rephrase that. Something was very wrong with me. He stammered a quick hello, smiled (laughed, if we’re being honest here) and let me in. I handed him the box I was carrying and rather self-consciously removed my hat, coat and scarf, peeking out from under my bangs at his still slightly dubious smirk. In my head I took imaginary stock of what he could be gawking at so malevolently.
Did I have paint in my hair? Something huge and disgusting stuck in my teeth? Only half of my makeup done? All were distinct possibilities.
Finally I squared my shoulders, took a deep breath and asked him what the heck was the matter. He smiled (laughed…see above) and turned to his wife who was coming down the hall at that moment. She smiled at me, warmly, and turned me towards the hall mirror. I went white. Seriously – I had turned white in the few scant hours since I’d last looked in the mirror. Somehow the icing sugar from the pastries I had made that afternoon had ended up all over me. And I uh, forgot to look in the mirror before rushing out the door, the guilty-party-pastries boxed up for dessert.
Of course I laughed it off and managed to clean myself up in their hall bathroom before joining the rest of the dinner party. It (I) became a running joke that evening – everyone coming up with their own names for the light and airy pastries that had caused all the ruckus.