Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. Albert Einstein
It was a sweltering summer day in the dungeon apartment. The haggled-for farmer’s-market irises were weeping onto the kitchen counter. I flicked water on them and opened the window, encouraging them to cheer up. Then I faced the pineapple.
Armed with a point-and-shoot and a butcher’s knife, I attacked the pineapple with stabs and flashes. Juice flew. Flesh dropped. Bad lighting be damned, I was going to do this. I was going to blog this. I was going to create an entire concept around a lone pineapple and a dream.
I chopped and blended, took horrible pictures and breathed through my mouth, put-off by the smell of a fruit I don’t like to eat, let alone rub on my skin. But it was a mission, a fantasy, a homemade beauty recipe that I’d found in the pages of Body & Soul two days before. The Ultimate Recipe that would part the heavens and put food on faces everywhere.
It was the little fetus of an idea for this blog that took two more years of gestation … questioning, fretting, and procrastinating. Because this recipe failed. Miserably.
This recipe – it was going to fix my calloused feet and become the inspiration for trying oddball beauty recipes – for the world! – and spreading the homemade love far and wide. Instead here’s how it went:
I chopped up a pineapple. I put it in a food processor, whirred the pineapple around, and listened as the food processor spat out a Pop! and then cat-called into silence. Undeterred, I dumped the flesh on the counter and mashed it with a fork. The food processor sat by, taunting me with its blades and blown fuses. I waved a knife at it. It knew I was bluffing. Food processors always know.
After 20 minutes of mashing pineapple flesh to gooey perfection, it was time to soak the dogs. But where? What did I have that I could jam my ginormous feet in, so the pineapple could work its acidic, exfoliating action?
The pan I saute my pasta in.
But I did it. Sloshing the pineapple into the pan, I carefully carried it into the bathroom and parked myself on the toilet lid. I looked at the pineapple mush. The mush looked at me.
In my feet went.
It was disgusting. It was smelly. Goopy pineapple blobs plopped onto my bathroom rug as I turned my feet this way and that, trying to keep my toes from looking permanently disfigured by the small fit of the pan. I took pictures. I took 132 pictures.
Here I was, 33 years old, sitting on the toilet lid, sweating like a heavyweight prize fighter, trying desperately to take flattering pictures of my feet. My cat stood in the doorway, alternately laughing at me and licking his butt. It seemed appropriate.
After an hour of problematic prep and 30 minutes of foot-soaking photography, I lifted one foot from the pan. It dripped. It dripped all the way over on its wide swing to the tub, and I sat splayed, the entire bathroom reeking of pineapple – because the entire bathroom was now covered with pineapple.
I no longer cared. I just wanted the freaking fruit off my feet.
I washed them, then, in the tub whose drain decided to stop working at that moment, holding my feet over an ever-rising tide of disgusting, dirty pineapple soup. I cried a little. Then I cried a lot.
The callouses and cracks on my feet were exactly the same as they were before I battled the fruit. Only now they smelled like pineapple.
I hate the smell of pineapple.
That was the moment I gave up. I deleted the pictures from the camera, cleaned the entire apartment of all traces of pineapple, and went back to watching Will & Grace reruns.
What a silly, stupid idea.
A blog about homemade beauty recipes.
As if anybody would ever want to read that anyway.