I am not that easily rattled. I have no problem relocating spiders, or beetles, or any manner of bugs, from their unwelcome wander in the house, back outside.
I love being alone in the dark, and walking solo in foreign lands when I don’t speak a word of the language, doesn’t scare.
The faster the coaster, the better.
Public speaking is refreshing, debating a delight, new things? Bring them on.
There is one thing, however, that does scare … the beauty counter at department stores.
They are there, the beautiful women. Not a hair out-of-place, skin glowing perfection, lips lined, hands and nails flawless, standing there in their black smocks. One look and I actually start to hyperventilate.
I have never understood. I know not what this, forgive me Betty, what this part of the Feminine Mystique holds.
And more importantly, why I didn’t get any. It’s like a sorority I never got the invitation to rush.
It’s not for want of trying. Mascara once applied draws not the right attention. My daughters look at me and say,
“Mom do you have mascara on? Can I fix it ?”
Or even worse, it is forgotten and an itchy eye or face rub instantly turns me into Alice Cooper.
I do not own an eye lash curler, eye liner, or concealer stick.
My pores are noticable as are freckles, moles, and crows feet. I used to exit the shower with a rosy glow, and consider myself lucky. Now I have been informed, at a whisper, my rosy glow is rosacea, and it should be hidden.
I just don’t get it. I have watched late night TV infomercials, ordered easy mineral products, Looks so natural! I have contour maps and application schemes, all for naught. The magic products when applied leave me looking like something between Penny Wise the sewer strolling clown, and Mimi from The Drew Carey Show.
After all that worry, shame, conformity and expense, one just washes it off. Money down the drain.
I just don’t get it.
Vanity does exist however, only the form is slighty bent to keeping hair off the upper lip and chin, places that until age 45 I didn’t know needed deforestation on a regular basis.
Oh yes, lets no forget the big toe. Heaven help me the first ever pedicure at age 45 also left me speechless, the few wisps on my big toe while far from hobbit like, I soon learned were also a cause for more shame than my poor LSAT score. Bless my heart.
A new TV habit has also left me rather speechless of late. While watching a show that is obviously not meant for the 48-year-old grannie demographic, I saw a commercial which I had never seen before. After seeing the commercial three times, on the fourth play I screamed for my youngest girl child, almost 16 to witness it with me.
“Ok are you seeing this?!” I screamed.
“As the long-legged gal walked past that shrub…did you see it?”
“What… that it changed shape?”
“Yes, and then the second time it changed too! It morphed into a different shape…did you see it?”
“Yes…. mom, the ad is for a personal groomer, the shrub is meant to represent…you know mom, it’s a shrub get it? …Please mom…you get it right?”
I got it. I was completely and utterly mute.
There is so much I don’t know. I just though you should keep the private parts covered with clothing. I had no idea they were offensive in their natural state and needed electric appliances all of their own. I shall not discuss an earlier episode where I attempted a self-waxing product that I neglected to read the entire directions of before hand, and in a state of distraction left it on way to long. Lets just say I found myself praying to any deity that would take pity on my old vain ass. I was weeks in mental recovery, and vowed to forever more always wear a swim suit that covered…everything.
So bless me father for I have sinned, I have never purchased anything from the beauty counter people, not once. I avoid them at all costs.
Only slightly less dreadful is going to a shopping mall. I can never find pants short enough, tops long enough, or a reason good enough, to go.
My friends frequently laugh and tell me, “you know.. those pants are long on you, but they are really capris, right?” shit.
The last time I actually went shopping, as a separate and planned activity was 2003.
Louise, my lanky English friend, who can never find pants long enough, whatthefuckever, and I, went to Victoria’s Secret.
We both bought the same bra, and exited the store with pretty pink shopping bags.
Louise’s petite bag was the size of a lunch sack, mine looked like it could hold a complete set of bath towels.
We both purchased the same bra, a single bra. Is it any wonder I don’t like shopping?
With one exception, shopping at the shoe department at Nordstrom’s.
It is a mecca of wonder, and although I have been every size from a 2 to a 18, my feet remain faithful size, which size you ask? noneofyourbusiness.
Can you see my problem?
One has to both go to the mall, and pass the beauty counter to reach the magical kingdom of designer shoedom.
It takes me weeks to work up the courage to go where the average teenager spends most of her time, the mall. Like… it’s the mall, like its just THE place to go!
Despite careful plotting and planning the beauty counter stands between me and my goal, the shoes…and there are also black smocks with silver trays handing out free samples! Crap.
I take a deep breath, see my route before me and start to walk fast. I leave the gauntlet of beauties behind without making eye contact, my eyes on the prize; just ahead, a pair of black wrapped leather wedges, a Faryl Robin’s shoe, the Madison…exhale ooh la la fabulous… I leave thoughts of beauty counter behind me…
I spy some Sam Edelman’s soft grey suede, beaded delights with two little buckles on the ankle, the Quinley..omg I need to sit down.
The Cole Haan’s Ceci Air Rose is more than I can bare. The soft petal sling backs leave me wanting a cigarette, and I don’t even smoke.
My only thought as I walk the floor wearing more than the rent on my first apartment on my feet is relief.
Thank God I remembered to shave my big toe.