The Answers are in My Pants.

I flew to Minneapolis for an intense-2-day testing on my esthetics skills.  This testing is like the Miss America Pageant for skin care…just without the swimsuit competition and excessive spray tanning. People fly from around the world, being critiqued, interviewed, showcased and observed.  Picture a ballroom buzzing with world-class skin professionals dressed head-to-toe in black, rows of massage tables set up single file.  Believe me when I say, it’s been the most emotionally and mentally exhausting 2-days of my life.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

My wake up call rang at 4:45am.  Despite the fact I was running on 3 hours of sleep, I was determined to put in some study time before being thrown to the wolves.  I had been praying about this testing for the past month.  “Lord, I pray that I will break my arms before January 6th so that I don’t have to go through with this…” That is actually NOT a joke.  I meant every word. 

Disappointed to wake up in good health, I decided there was only one way to make myself feel better:  LOOK TOTALLY HOT. Not sure about you, but for me, this takes a bit of effort.  Fortunately, I had packed my secret weapon: new {totally hot} black nylons.  Those are my real legs by the way —>


If you’re a woman, you know what a chore putting nylons on can be.  If you’re a man and you know this…well, you might want to keep that to yourself.  After the initial challenge of getting them over my heels without a toenail snag, I got them up to my knees, no sweat.  Actually, I was totally sweating, but that’s not the point.  I gave them a good, strong pull, only to hear a loud RI-I-I-IP!

Okay.  Pants it is.

Arriving in the hotel lobby to wait for the shuttle, I spotted another girl dressed all in black.  I gathered she was either with a funeral home or the beauty industry, so naturally, I struck up a conversation.  She was cool and collected.  I was not-cool and a total mess. She was sipping an Americano and had an French accent.  I was juggling a briefcase, 2 muffins, a pear, a bottle of water, approximately 7 shades of lip glosses, and using words like “Uff-da.” Others spa specialists began to join us, busy on their Blackberries, while I played Camp Counselor and made efforts for everyone to become BFF‘s.  I momentarily abandoned my role to grab more water – but glanced back and noticed everyone was…GONE!

“PAMELA!!!” I shouted to my French amiga, “Don’t let the shuttle leave me-eeee!” I took off running in heels, a knee-length puffy coat with fur-lined hood, briefcase swinging wildly, water spilling, pear & muffin juggling, and a trail of lip gloss behind me.  There everyone sat waiting on the shuttle, just a stone’s throw in front of me, when suddenly: BAM!!!!!

I ran into the glass door.

As it turns out, automatic door sensors don’t detect you when you come at them from an angle at warp speed.  Moving on.

Three hours into the written test, I realized there were a couple subjects I should review over lunch.  I had no paper to jot on, and couldn’t write them on my hand, as later I’d be rolling up my sleeves to give a facial massage in front of a judge.  I’d hate for my model to have the word “Lymph” stamped on her forehead.  I was left with no choice…

Marching into the bathroom, I pulled down my pants.  My thigh seemed like the next appropriate place to keep this information.  Although ingenious in the moment, lunch-break studying now involved a host of complications. With all the stress I’m just glad I remembered to put them on before I went back in!  Apparently my pantsless studying didn’t quite pay off…as my answer #372 read: “I will pay you $50 if you write in the correct answer to this essay question.” So far, nobody’s contacted me.

Three more hours of rigorous written work brought me to my first 1.5/hour hands-on-demo in front of a World Educator – clipboard and all.  Naturally, I was a bit shaky but still managed to work my Magic.  And when I say Magic – I mean it.  You’ve seen the Magic trick where the guy keeps pulling handkerchiefs out of his sleeve?  And they KEEP coming?  During the treatment, I pulled a Kleenex out of the box.    I think someone {ahem, PAMELA!} might have sabotaged me – I swear every Kleenex was super glued to the next.  Somehow in this process, my body was basically mummy-wrapped – as the Global Educator’s eyes widened.

I’m guessing “Magic Trick” wasn’t on her list of criteria.

Yet, it was none of these outrageous moments that put me over The Edge. It had been months – okay weeks – wellllll, almost a week that I had shed a tear over anything…however the past 48 hours I had more mascara running down my cheeks {no, not those cheeks…that was pen} than I’ve had in years.   I cried as I massaged a model’s feet.  The tears wouldn’t stop streaming as I did the Mandible Slide and stretching of the sternocleidomastoid. I sniffled through Upper Body Hugs, activation of pressure points 1-27, and work on the Occipital Lobe.  I bawled like a baby during the Sensory Journey {and NO, Jill – not a “Sensual Journey”}, and application of hot towels to the decollete.  And do ya THINK I could find a Kleenex anywhere?  Don’t ask.

What was my problem, you say?

My answer to that is a simple 4-letter “F” word – and not the one I learned on the bus in 1st grade…


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