One of my fondest childhood memories is coloring Easter eggs with my sister and grandpa every year.
My grandpa was a large burly man who spoke with a thick German accent. So thick, I barely understood but every third word he said. And, like it was his uniform, he sported plaid shorts, black dress socks and white canvas boat shoes his entire life.
Grandpa had three passions in life; trains, beer and family. He was there for every special occasion, frothy beer in hand. Coloring eggs was no exception. From the time I can remember, we had an Easter weekend tradition to color eggs with grandpa that lasted long into adulthood, when we ordered the taco pizza and grandpa brought enough beer for the three of us!
Easter of 1983 was one of the most memorable of all years though, at least for me.
Artistic egg options were limited at that time. Limited to just four color tablets in vinegar; making impressive color-free doodles with a clear crayon; or using the coveted glitter egg kit (complete with a swirly glue potion) that lasted for one, maybe two, eggs before the whole package became a lumpy mess and no longer adhered to the eggs.
That year I decided to get extra crafty, and by crafty I mean I got creative and sneaky in my approach.
I had this genius idea that melting birthday candles over my eggs would be easier than using crayon, and more versatile because I could peel off the wax, and double-dip for two-toned designs. Yes, Martha Stewart had nothing on me.
Two beers in, grandpa started nodding off, so I casually strolled over and snagged a lighter and pack of candles from the junk drawer. Just like that. (Back then, candles and lighters were always within reach, we just knew better than to play with them, sorta).
Anyway, I was in super stealth mode. I setup shop behind the bottle of vinegar and roll of paper towels to block any direct view. Grandpa was half asleep, and my sister was too busy with her own eggs to notice me. Armed with my mad decorating skills, a firm vision and an open flame I set my master plan in motion.
I quietly lit the candle and began to drizzle it over the egg. Ah, success! I couldn’t wait to show off my final project. My egg was going to be like the Mona Lisa on loan come Easter morning!
All of a sudden the wax started to liquefy much faster than I expected though. I carefully rotated the egg, but just couldn’t keep up with stream of clear wet wax. I leaned in further and further to steady the flow, but despite my efforts, wax was all over me, all over the table, and all over the floor.
I didn’t even finish my first egg before my sister looked up and said she smelled something burning. (She always was the big mouth). I tried to remain calm, and quickly tossed the lit candle in one of the color bowls. I sniffed around (nose dramatically up in the air) to help confirm her suspicions, and focus her attention upwards instead of down at my mess.
But before I could confirm or deny anything, my sister lunged across the table and started smashing her hands against the top of my head, yelling “YOUR HAIR IS ON FIRE! YOUR HAIR IS ON FIRE!” (Drama queen).
I try to shush her, but too late, grandpa jolted up and started hollering, demanding an explanation (or at least I suspected thats what he was shouting).
My sister was all out hysterical screeching and pointing as she gasped, “YOUR HAIR IS FALLING OUT!!!”
Horrified, I sprinted off to the bathroom mirror. There, I was greeted by my eyebrow-less reflection, and OMG, as I ran my fingers through my hair, the whole top of my hair disintegrated! And just like that, my lovely locks parted like Moses and the Red Sea.
Oh the horror. How was I going to explain this one? I was so busted. There was no way out. My sister and grandpa were both outside hollering and banging on the bathroom door, demanding answers.
It didn’t end well.
Come Easter, I had one crappy clear waxed egg (while my sister had nine beautifully colored eggs and two glitter masterpieces) and, as you can imagine, I was grounded for life (but so was grandpa since it happened on his shift).
I had to have an emergency fix at the only walk-in salon without a two-hour wait the day before Easter.
While all the other little girls were getting their hair curled and styled, I was getting what was left of my mop converted into an ever so stylish Easter mullet.
Yep, eggtastic designer up front, and eight-year old won’t ever try that again in back.