On The Tyranny Of The Cosmetics Counter, Or, Saturday Morning at 10:00am
As I have said before, my ilk live in deeply ingrained fear of behaving "inappropriately." Now, this doesn't mean acting in a "ladylike" manner per se. The full definition of "appropriate" would require terabytes of data storage, since it's replete with "If/Thens." More fully described, "If this is true, then that is appropriate. If this other thing is true, then that other thing is also appropriate."
The problem is that we don't always know, even we who wrote the sometimes silly code, just which behavior applies where. And occasionally we make mistakes with lasting consequences.
I have recently learned that it is appropriate to raise one's voice in department stores.
The other day I was dawdling in Saks San Francisco, killing some time. This is also known to the cognoscenti as buying eye makeup. Poppy Buxom's posts had gotten me interested in lilac eyeshadow. Like mom used to wear. I asked the nice lady behind the Chanel counter if I might give it a whirl.
The next thing I knew a tall, slender, Eastern European man was shaking his head at me in disapproval. "You cannot wear purple," he said. "No one is USED to you in purple." Aiyeeee! He was telling me I risked the inappropriate! How did he know my deepest fears?
He began to apply pale, pale blue to my eyelid. He applied it for a LONG time. He applied it with force. Then brown, for contouring. Which again, went on for a LONG time. With force. Sort of like he was attempting to shove the color into my skin, removing a layer of cells in the process. I have had people do my makeup many times, over the years. It's my secret compulsion. I'm rational about clothes and wholly irrational about face painting and its potential for beautification. And I am telling you. This was not normal.
I sat there. I said nothing. The implanting of pigment into my eyelids went on so long I realized I'd be late for my dinner appointment. High WASPs hate to be late, but not, apparently, as much as they hate to offend tall Eastern European men at Chanel counters. I sat there some more. He put blush on my cheeks and very shiny gloss on my lips.
I stood up. I thanked him. I actually thanked him. I wiped my lips off, and my cheeks, in an act of supreme defiance.
Then I bought the damn eyeshadows. I cannot deconstruct this behavior. Evidently it runs too deep.
Have a wonderful weekend. If you see a woman wandering about the San Francisco Bay Area with A&D ointment on her eyelids, that's me. I'm pretending it's a trend. "The neutral eye, in a matte gloss, restrained, but hinting at celebratory depths. Oxymorons are SO on trend. An end-of-recession, post-millenial look...." Feel free to participate. I have recovered my impunity, just a little too late. And I still want lilac. Tarnation.
*For those of you similarly afflicted, the blue was Lagoon. The brown, Trace. Highlighter, Beige. All in the Ombre Essential line. Highly rated by Allure Magazine. Sigh.
**I hope the A&D isn't left over from someone's long ago diaper rash. Then I'd be in even bigger trouble.
Labels: Beauty and makeup