Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Ugliest Bathroom in Boulder MINE

About two months ago, I read an article in the Boulder Daily Camera about "Invironments," an eco-friendly furniture and remodeling store in Boulder who was celebrating their 3rd anniversary, as well as acknowledging the difficult economic year, with a "Bathroom Confessions" contest. The winner, who would tell why she or he deserved a redone bathroom through a compelling and inspiring tale of turning lemons into margaritas, would get an environmentally friendly and beautifully upgraded bathroom worth $15,000.

Here's the thing. I'm a sucker for sweepstakes. Five years ago, I talked a dear friend into nominating me for TBS's "Dinner and a Movie" makeover contest and I won it. It was a silly thing, but at that point, with three children under the age of five and during a time when I rarely wore anything but my sweats and fleece, I needed some pampering. My friend met me at the Trident Booksellers and Cafe on Pearl Street and in the midst of our second cup of coffee, a stretch limo pulled up and out popped two well coiffed folks who were obviously not from Boulder, each bookended with someone holding a large microphone and video camera. They thrust the camera and microphone into my face and told me I had won a whirlwind day of pampering and new clothes.

I howled and hopped into the limo, where a chilled glass of champagne was waiting for me, camera rolling. The producer ran into the bookstore with my friend, who later told me that when they asked the guy behind the counter to sign a release, he asked what was going on. When they told him I had won a makeover, he paused and asked, "A spiritual makeover?" One of the many reasons why I love where I live.

I spent the rest of the day in a movie star trailer having my hair colored and highlighted, blown dry (and straight), beautified with makeup and then gussied up with fantastic clothes. I felt like a million bucks. I didn't even mind that the entire thing was just an extended commercial for Cover Girl and Nice and Easy, I was feeling great and taking home lots of booty to boot.

The kicker was that at the end of the makeover, I was to emerge from the trailer, and for the new me to be revealed to my husband and kids. The reason why this is a kicker is that my
husband hates makeup and my kids, well, they're kids. When I came out of the trailer, my husband was standing there with my kids dressed in the oddest outfits, hair unkempt and I sweat, grape jelly on their faces. On national TV. I don't even remember what my husband was wearing, except it wasn't much better. The kids took one look at me and started crying. I sashayed over to my husband, my eyes pleading with him to just play along. As the cameras closed in on our romantic embrace, when my husband's lust for the new, improved me was supposed to be shown for all the TV-world to see, he leaned in and said, "You know I hate lipstick." I smiled my best theater school smile and whispered back, "Get over it or I'll never have sex with you again." We smiled for the camera.

After three days of straight hair, I let my hair go back to it's natural post-twins, peri-menopausal sort of waves. I'm happy to say I've donated the clothes to a woman back to work organization since my now Bikram yoga body has rendered them too big.

Fast forward to tonight. I entered Invironments with a certain degree of trepidation, but determined to go by myself, not wanting to get my kids' hopes up of our bathroom finally getting redone and quite frankly, the memory of the very public reveal of my last sweepstakes win stays pretty fresh. I wanted to suffer the potential humiliation all on my own, although I did try to recruit the same friend from the last one to meet me there for a good laugh, but she wisely passed.

But as soon as I showed up, I relaxed. It was great to roam around the store, imagining how the gorgeously toned furniture, counters, cabinets, lighting and fixtures would look in our home. I sipped wine and tweeted about how pleased I was didn't know anyone there. The crowd was classic Boulder, hip, fit and self-conscious.

Jodi Feinhor-Dennis, Invironments' lovely owner and the evening's emcee, gathered the crowd together and explained how difficult a process it had been to decide on who would win the contest and how moved she was by the 55 contestants' stories. Her assistant, Katy, brought up a PowerPoint presentation and they showed a few samples of the competing bathrooms. And that they had made the decision to offer up some consolation prizes such as a convenient lay-away program, as well as a DIY coaching program with KBC's Mark.

The PPT presentation displayed a slide which read: 1st runner up and winner of "ugliest bathroom." The mouse clicked and then there it was, for the entire room to see - MY BATHROOM, I squealed and proudly took my white as freshly fallen snow organic cotton shower curtain and bar of rosemary and lavender soap as if I'd just won an Oscar.

President Obama can proudly claim having won the Nobel Prize for Peace for the potential of what his administration and presence represent, but he has the burden of now having to prove that it was the right choice. I have nothing to prove because I've won the distinction of the Ugliest Bathroom in Boulder County for something I've known I've had for almost ten years. An already established and now vindicated fact, nothing I need to prove. I can rest easy I have already accomplished this.

What's next after winning this kind of distinction? I'm still basking in the glow of the evening, but my first thoughts go to the following:
  • Holding an Ebay auction of the "Ugliest Bathroom in Boulder County"and let the highest bidder have at it
  • Running my own contest to transform this ugly duckling into the swan I know it can be.
  • Pitching my story to HGTV
  • Taking the "Ugliest Bathroom in Boulder County" on tour
  • Letting the "Ugliest Bathroom in Boulder County" have a crack at national and international exposure - why should I limit it's ugliness to just the county level?
In the meantime, I can go to bed with a clear mind and happy heart. Thank you, Invironments Design, for validating what I've always known and harangued my family and friends about. The sweet victory of owning the "Ugliest Bathroom in Boulder County" is mine. All mine.


JDG said...

Hilarious. Brilliant ... One thing, though: if I had actually gone ahead and transformed this room as you requested, it would have never received this prestigious award, so if you don't mind, I would like to this not to be only yours, but mine as well.


Anonymous said...

Perfect! I wish you had a website with large detailed photos! Kidding. Love you guys.-Monika

Katy said...

You are an amazing writer! Thanks so much for your fun post and your sweet sweet spirit. Looking forward to seeing you again soon, I hope.
Katy (from Invironments)

Invironments said...

That was an exceptionally capitvating and well documented recount. What a fun adventure I just took with you as I read your story. Thank you so much for entering the contest. Also, I hope to see you again. Jodi-invironments

The Mulligan Family said...

What a fun post, and so totally you Lisa. Love both of your "winning" stories!

Gail said...

I'm a new subscriber to your wonderful blog, so just got down as far back as this post. It's a hoot! I'm glad I didn't miss it, you're a witty and gifted writer.