As Melissa walked toward the porch, she glanced at the invitation again. She had no idea what Helen had planned.December 31Starting at 9 pmNew Year's Lipstick PartyMelissa called Heidi. Voice mail. Crap. She didn’t leave a message.Melissa called BethAnn. Voice mail again. Double crap. No message.She thought about calling Janice, but figured that either 1.) she’d just get Janice’s voice mail or 2.) Janice would laugh at her, since she didn’t know what the term meant (although she had a vague idea) – and she probably should have known that in the first place.Melissa went to her computer. She googled ‘Lip Stick Party’ and got a page of listings. She chose the first link, which was on the Urban Dictionary. She read.“Ew.”Despite her reaction, for a moment Melissa considered the possibilities, since Robert Dumont would probably be at the party and he was totally hot. But so would a whole bunch of yuckie losers, too. “I don’t think so,” she said aloud, “At least, not unless the deal’s reciprocal, which I somehow doubt. So, nope – no rainbow from this girl this New Year’s Eve.”In the end, Melissa stayed home with a bowl of popcorn and a few wine coolers. She turned on the TV in time to see the ball come down in New York City at midnight.The next day, Helen called Melissa. Helen said she was sorry Melissa missed the festivities, because the GlamGirl Cosmetics rep (whose house party Helen had hosted) had given awesome make-overs and tons of free lipstick samples to all the girls in attendance.
As Melissa walked toward the porch, she glanced at the invitation again. She had no idea what Helen had planned.December 31Starting at 9 pmNew Year's Lipstick Party Bring your own kissables.Helen was, without a doubt, “the quirky one.” Melissa was the cute one. Jane was the smart one. Paulette was the athletic one. Godfrey was the gay one. Helen. Without a doubt. The Quirky One.Melissa had called the the others to ask what kissables they were bringing to the paty. Jane had said that a lipstrick party sounded like a bad idea and she wouldn't be going. Paulette had said that she only had one color of lipstick, er, chapstick, and didn't need to go to a lipstick party. Godfrey had said that everyone about him was kissble. Then he'd laughed and said he had other plans. Left on her own to go to their friend's party, Melissa had opted to pretend she hadn't seen the kissables line. As soon as she opened the door, though, Helen rush up, giggling and clapping. “Great kissables, Mel Mel!”Melissa was stunned into standing back on her heels and trying to think what she might have meant.“Bare arms,” Helen confided, “are the secret weapon at lipstick parties!”Melissa tried to ask for clarification, but was too horrified at the images going through my mind to get any words out. Helen wasted no time grabbing one of her friend's kissables and tugging me by it into her living room. There Melissa saw a surprising number of people, mostly women, trying on different shades of lipstick and then leaving kissing imprints on porcelain plates, white coffee mugs, photographs of movie star crushes and, yes indeed, their own bare arms. After each kiss, the lips were wiped off and cleaned so that a new color might be applied and a new kiss left.“I just remembered,” Melissa said, “I'm allergic to kissing my arms.”“No worries!” Helen assured with with an optimistic cheer. “You can kiss Leon's leg cast!”
As Melissa walked toward the porch, she glanced at the invitation again. She had no idea what Helen had planned.December 31Starting at 9 pmNew Year's Lipstick PartyHer first thought...Mary Kay. Ugh, no thanks. But that certainly didn’t sound like Helen. And it certainly didn’t sound like a New Year’s Eve party kind of thing. If she knew Helen, and she did, there was some bizarre twist to a Lipstick Party. So Melissa had looked it up on Wikipedia. Good god, was this for real? And then her thoughts ran toward...hmmmm.What the heck. She was single now. She could go for a little excitement. Or a big excitement. Whichever. Preferably big. The vibration of her cell phone caused Melissa to jump and grab for the ass pocket in which she’d stowed the thing. What now? She looked at the text from her personal assistant, Jen:Corbin’s been arrested. Again. In holding cell at county. What to do?Melissa stood in front of Helen’s door, having just rung the bell. Damn Corbin! That man was still able to cause problems for her one year after their divorce. And yet, she’d continued to feel responsible for him.Resigned, Melissa replied to Jen: Tell Corbin I’m on my way. How much is bail this time?Just as she hit “send” the front door opened, blasting Melissa with the pulsing beat of Enigma’s Return To Innocence. Melissa looked up. And up. Into the startling green eyes of the most beautiful man she’d ever seen. Melissa’s cell vibrated in her hand. 50K was Jen’s answer.On second thought, tell Corbin I’m shopping for a new lipstick.