Women know that however bad life gets, all they have to do is go anywhere that sells clothes or beauty products and they can go home feeling far better. I wasn’t depressed, just on a mission to replace my discontinued lipstick. And without being disparaging, I entered a store that starts with U and ends with A. Now normally when I enter a cosmetic store, I can hardly get anyone to wait on me. I swear they hide out in back rooms or go for extra long coffee or cocktail breaks. Or maybe they use the old “my grandmother is dying” excuse and fly off to New York for lunch. All I know is that these places have become as popular as pharmaceutical and liquor emporiums and they should have plenty of people who can willfully wait on you.
On a recent visit, I was untypically and rather gladly greeted by four beauty fanatics who had nothing else to do but decide that my face should be a Henri Matisse painting with lots of color and dimension. I suppose they thought I was the very picture of an ancient traveler of the wild west who went gallivanting the countryside by way of a covered wagon without taking proper care of my face. So much for natural beauty. It’s not my fault I resemble a pasty and not so pretty blanched vampire. I was never going for the Twilight look on purpose. Maybe I was born with it, maybe it’s chlorine. City officials should never be putting that chemical in our tap water. I am not going to issue a public apology for the way I look before my morning greasepaint.
Next thing I knew, I was pulled into a beauticians chair as a canvas for eyebrow penciling, lip lining, and cheek contouring. The complete decorating turned me into an instant hooker. You could have called me a covered girl. Easy and sleazy beautiful. All I needed were fishnets, a low cut blouse with a push-up bra, and a twenty year old mid-section. Anyone could see that with mussed up hair and a little help from Victoria’s Secret, I would be ready for prime time on any city street corner.
With all the fashionable sketch artists handling me, I needed to remain calm around wands and brushes that could easily poke my eyes out. I’m sure other customers weren’t pleased with the acoustical moaning that accompanied my makeover, as if the cosmeticians were reconstructing my face with surgical instruments. And when is a bit of blush too much? When you look like a tomato. The red loving craftswoman said, “Let’s take your lashes to luxurious lengths,” I wanted to ask if they will get me to a four hundred foot yacht in the Mediterranean. Another hovering consultant told me, “My, what beautiful eyes you have“… adding “But my oh my, I can fix those sunken cheekbones.” She was a wolf alright. It was enormously flattering. The third sales assistant chimed in, “How about a new lip look.” And the fourth gal had to get the last words in. “I’d like you to rethink your nail polish, or lack thereof.” Being the truly talented individuals that the fine staff of professionals were, I didn’t want them attacking my breasts and making mountains out of my mole hills.
Maybe I misunderstood the geniuses of painted nails in technicolor dream coats, where their every day is devoted to arranging hand takeovers as well. And feeling parched, I asked for a glass of water. But no one was paying attention to my needs. I told them that Indonesian countries are far more advanced. They don’t have to seek out water, water just comes to them. The women looked at me funny and continued to coat my lips with every tube tone available. My worries were normally reserved for late night insomnia. But in this case, I was stricken with thoughts of getting some dubious side effects from these tubes, like lip to brain damage. There was no end to the wealth of bacteria I could obtain. I’m surprised those lipsticks hadn’t been taken away by Center of Disease Controllers. God knows there are other things that need to touch my lips like kisses and margaritas. I don’t want to have to rub noses with a person or a drink. To top things off, the cosmeticians never found me the right shade. Every time they applied a new one, I pointed to an ad where a gal was wearing the color I was looking for and said several times over, “I’d like THAT color.” I also had to disregard the unplushness of their facial tissues which could have easily passed for industrial grade sandpaper. I wondered if it was too soon to cancel my ULTAmate rewards program.
In revitalizing beauty for my aging face, I have to take into wallet size consideration the price of products so I don’t go bankrupt. I may buy a $30 bottle of hair conditioner, but I roll my hair with empty vitamin bottles to avoid purchasing a curling iron. Do you know how many bottles of vitamins I’ve gone through to do this? Those wellness capsules should keep me healthy into the twenty-sixth century. But I can’t give up cosmetics. With all my age spotting marks of maturity, I don’t want to play connect the dots if I have too much time on my hands and no makeup.
I analyzed the extent of these cataclysmic changes and my coverage was eventually cut short, which meant being finally released from the four people who held me hostage. And if it hadn’t been for my decision to claim homesickness, I’d still be there. I left the restorative shop to meet a girlfriend for lunch. When she saw me she said, “For the love of God girl! Unless you want to work with Bozo, you might wanna go easy on the face paint.”