Spray Away

February 16, 2021 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Karen O’Connor –

It had been a long flight from California to New York. I was tired but excited about the opportunity to speak at a large convention. Finally I arrived with time to spare before walking onstage to wow the crowd with the dynamic message I’d prepared and then rehearsed at least a dozen times. I checked into my hotel room, unpacked, rested my voice, and ordered hot tea with lemon and honey from room service. There wasn’t anything I hadn’t thought of––or so it seemed. I took time to press my business suit and apply my makeup carefully.

At the last moment I walked into the bathroom to refresh my lipstick and touch up my hair. A little spray would do the trick. I didn’t want even one hair to escape. I hadn’t paid the stylist thirty dollars for nothing.

I opened my purse, took out a small plastic bottle and turned this way and that in front of the mirror, taking charge of every stray hair. Spritz! Spritz! Even a stiff breeze couldn’t ruffle my tresses after that.

But something went terribly wrong. Instead of holding my hair in place, the entire ‘do’ collapsed into wet strands. I looked at the container in my hand, ready to pitch it out the sixteenth story window. So much for my professional coiffure––not yet twenty-four hours old. Indignant, I looked in the mirror, ready to return to the corner drug store and demand my money back. How could the clerk sell me this counterfeit when I expressly asked for a purse-sized bottle of hair spray?

Then I glanced at the label. Starry Night cologne. Oh for heaven’s sake. Where were my glasses when I needed them?

It was too late to start over. I had to walk out there and hold my own—regardless of how I appeared. Well, I smelled nice that day––but I didn’t look too swift!

I was pleased to see how well my audience paid attention. Every eye was on me––but probably not for the reason I hoped. I soon found out.

A woman came up to me after my presentation. It was clear she had a few words of encouragement for me after listening to my lament over the state of my hair. “You may not be the most attractive thing on the block,” she said, “but you’re a good speaker!”

About Karen OConnor

Karen O'Connor is an award-winning author of 70+ published books, a featured speaker at conferences and ministry events, and a writing instructor and editor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. Visit Karen on the web at karenoconnor.com.
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5 Responses to “Spray Away”
  1. Steph Prichard says:

    Now that took poise, Karen, to walk out there as if nothing were wrong! I did even worse–I sprayed starch on my hair. Fortunately, I was headed for church, not a conference audience (and, no, I didn’t go; I washed my hair instead).

  2. Elaine says:

    Grace in the works!

  3. Dianne says:

    Oh man. Bad hair day? Nice compliment.

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