I grew up in a home where Mentholatum was considered so much more than just an attractive green jar.
Chest rub? Chapped-nostril soother? Pretend lip gloss?
You can imagine my disappointment when I grew to discover that lip glosses are not always “mentholated”.
Maryna, a sophisticated Ukrainian with eyes the color of midnight and a dark wit to match them, leans over the table, hands me a pink lip gloss made by Buxom. Like my beloved Mentholatum, it, too, makes the lips tingle.
I look at the tube. “Really?” Buxom is not cheap. I fight the urge to slam my drink, do a victory lap, maybe give my sister a call just to gloat a bit over the free booty.
Maryna waves a dismissive hand. “I don’t like. My friend Olya geev to me. She don’t like either.”
I grin at her. “Well thank you, Maryna!”
We raise our glasses to each other. Then: “I have question for you.”
I slide my new favorite thing into the section of my purse reserved specifically for favorite things. “Hmmm?”
“What is ‘moon’?”
I close my purse, peer at her over my glass of wine. “Moon?” I point out the window. “Like, moon?”
She frowns, a pretty gesture in one so beautiful. “No, I don’t theenk.”
“Where did you hear it?”
“Coworker. She is funny woman. Maybe has, mmm, sandy corners.”
“Mm,” I say. “She’s a little rough around the edges?”
“Yes,” she says, smiling. “Yes. Rough edges.”
“So what did she say?”
There is a moment of silence while she ponders. Her dark eyes light up as she recalls the sentence. In a vague approximation of an American accent done by someone born in Kiev, she says, “Hey, Maryna. Here eet comes our boss. Let us moon heem.”
She beams innocently at me.
I grab the wine bottle, smiling, and pour myself a full glass.