I lost it on Wednesday. My mind, that is. I was standing in my bathroom at 8:45AM wearing my ratty blue robe. This robe needs to hit the garbage can. You can't pawn something like this off on Good Will with a clear conscience. The dog loves the robe, that is how sorry it is. Every time I drop it on the floor, he stands on top of it, shnuffles it around with his nose, does the requisite three turns, and makes a nest. All of this nesting behavior is lending to the robe's continual and rapid deterioration.
Back to the loss of my mind. I was getting ready to trowel on the foundation, trying to cover those once-freckles-now-called-age-spots. I was attempting to squeeze the last drop out of one foundation tube to mix it with a dab from another, since I never buy the right color in the first place, and then try to self-correct using the odds and ends I have on hand in crusty bottles and tubes, some dating back to when they were used for cave art. I stared down at the stash of nasty bits and pieces that I call my make-up hoard, and I lost my mind.
I went downstairs and got the kitchen "waste basket" (which is the euphemism my mom always used for garbage-cans-found-indoors). I took the whole lot, including the recently purchased tube of B&B cream that promises "the return of elasticity and dewy moisture" to my age-parched hide, and dumped it all right on top of the butcher wrapper from the previous night's salmon and a greasy butter wrapper. By the way, I didn't really understand what B&B stood for when I bought the tube. It just sounded like salvation, but I later looked it up online on Web MD:
"This versatile skin care/makeup hybrid promises to do the job of five or six other jars and tubes: moisturizer, primer, sunscreen, skin treatment, concealer, and foundation."
The key word here is "promises". My 17 year-old "promises" to fold the laundry. My 30 year-old "promises" to return a set of car keys she borrowed two years ago. My 20 year-old "promises" to take care of me in my old age. Yadda, yadda, yadda...into the "waste basket" it went.
Then my crazed-self realized that she was looking into the mirror at one hot mess. This was not a good time to decide to go au naturel. I have these aspirations of going into my retirement with people saying, "Wow, she looks years younger now that the stress is gone!" This was not that face.
It was nearing 10 AM. I needed a serious beauty intervention. I needed the Clinique counter. I got into the mall just as a disaster drill began. A real disaster drill, which was probably very appropriate seeing that I had created my own mini-disaster. The gates to all of the stores closed as I walked in, and shoppers were either trapped in (Yeah!!!) or out (me) of various establishments. Honestly, and I am not exaggerating, I pressed my face against the metal bars and asked the manager of The Boston Store how long he thought it would be "...because I really, really, really need to talk to the woman at the Clinque counter."
I saw pity in his eyes.
Once the gates finally lifted, I grabbed my new best friend, Megan L. (West Towne Mall, Madison, Wisconsin, The Boston Store), and she began soothing the ravages of my face. As she brushed on foundations, and concealers, and blushes, and shadows she murmured words like "pretty" and "just right" and "so becoming", and I breathed in...and out...and my shoulders began to drop...and my billfold opened...and I handed over a whole lot of cash.
But, I walked out feeling great.
I looked into several mirrors, and I didn't look like a painted clown. The "Chubby Sticks" that Prairie Eydie has been crowing about for the past year made the blue stand out in my eyes. I still had my wrinkles, but my skin had a healthy glow. My fading eyebrows were back into focus. My sparse lashes were somewhat defined.
I looked into the mirror and thought, "Well, she looks very relaxed and happy." I resisted the impulse to run back and hug Megan L, although I do think I will send her a card. A "Thank You For Giving Me My Sanity Back" card--I am sure Hallmark has those. Better yet, I will channel Prairie Eydie and make her one.
Once home, I needed to find a home for my new pretties. Those of you who know Clinique know that they do know how to package. Here is what I came up with, with the help of a few canning jars and an old plastic organizer. I contemplated a natural raffia bow, but I thought that might be a bit much.
There was a time that I might have saved all those dainty Clinque boxes, but I let them join my rejects in my "waste basket."
And when you sell off the family farm to make your vanity purchase, the dear Clinique Technicians always throw in a little free gift, which just makes you fall in love with a few more of their products and guarantees you shall return. Just like offering meth to a person walking out of rehab.
I will be back!