Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Feeding Frenzy

Last Thursday, I went to the opening party of our new Sephora - I thought it'd be a good time to replenish my supply of undereye spackle and pick up some new treats. I could not have been more wrong. I rarely go to Paseo Nuevo to shop, so this could have been fun, if Christy and I had tossed back a few martinis in preparation for what awaited us.

As we walked in, the right side of my face began to pulse in rhythym to the throbbing 'mnn-tss-mnnn-tss-mnnn-tss-mnnn-tss-mnnn-tss' bass line, more worthy of a late night Saturday club scene than a gathering of mostly middle-aged women looking to brighten, tighten, conceal and enhance their looks. Sadly, the man in charge of 'rockin' the house,' looked about as excited to be DJ'ing there as Prometheus on the mountain - after he found out about the eagle. Of course, I went over to check out his sound system (for Scott - we have to see what his competition does, right?) and tried to engage him in a little professional banter. El hombre was not having any of it, and didn't even have a card with him, so I didn't stay long - I can only take so much inner-ear damage for the team, after all.

There were easily ten or fifteen women to each nervous-looking sales rep, all swooping in to sample this or that beauty product, craning their necks to peep into the cruelly magnifying mirrors (even more cruel under the harsh lights). Everyone had the same look on their face - the one that I find growing more ubiquitous by the day here, sadly.

The Look is a mixture of the strain of living here (low pay/high cost of living/still wanting to look cool because 40 is the New 30, Should I get Botox or inject my butt fat into my face, etc.) and sheer, unadulterated irritation over the fact that four batches of new and pretty 18-year-old college girls arrive here every semester. They generally swoop in with Daddy's credit card and a new car, clad as little as they can get away with, get a fake ID, and have a rather damaging effect on the self-esteem of anyone over the age of twenty-two. Fortunately, many of these girls seem to display I.Q.'s that roughly match their age, idolize Paris Hilton or those kids on The O.C., and are about as intellectually challenging as a bowl of oatmeal.

Thus are the scales (somewhat) balanced for the dating pool - but only somewhat, as there seem to be a large quantity of Chipsters of all ages that are always willing to show a new gal the town. Observing all this makes me really happy to be married, especially to a man who shares so many interests with me. Back to The Look, though - it was definitely in play, along with an interesting array of insecurities and thinly veiled efforts to look like everyone's ears werent' hurting and they weren't just there for the free shwag bag.

I found myself wishing that Mrs. Kennedy was there - she would have skewered the whole scene with her wit, taken some funny pictures, rocked Nars' saucy blush/lip gloss set, and (I imagine) made some pithy, yogi-like remark of serenity mixed with a bit of snark. Of course, had she been there, I would probably either wet myself or said something completely inane and embarrassing, so.....well, moving on, good times.

Any rate, after sniffing this and sampling that, I found myself being accosted, I mean, helped by, a lil' ole' Southern gent. He tapped my arm and twisted his lips into a quick salesman's' smile before launching into full on, Defcon-4, Dixie chick Sales mode. "Haaaaaaaaaaaa, y'all doin' o.k. here? Havin' a good tiame? Goood. Now what can ah help yew faand today?"

"Well, I was looking at this Lip and Eye Spackle, what can you tell me about that? I've got these terrible chronic dark circ-"

"Circles, yes, ah see that... Now he-are's what yew want to do...Yew can take it and just smooth a lil' bit of it heeeere.." (Sponging my undereye in a manner I would never do...i.e. rather hard, pulling on the skin, breathing Eau de Cigarette break + Tic-Tac on me)

"Uhh-huh, sounds ...good.." (waiting for touching gal-to-gal-pal makeup tip, trying not to inhale)

"And it alllso really helps to brighten that skin and haaiiide those fine lines around your eyes...." Now I believe he said something else about the lip spackle portion after this, but I seem to have missed it, because all I could hear were the words, "those fine lines around your eyes," and it seemed to have come through a g.d. megaphone. Instantly, all the patrons in my immediate vicinity were dewy-faced eighteen year old girls, searching for deep magenta eyeshadow and looking askance at the old woman in the pink T shirt. A collective shudder of horror seemed to pass through them. I murmured my thanks, swabbed on a little lip gloss, grabbed my free schwag bag and headed for the door.

Note to fruity (or otherwise) salespeople: Do Not use the phrase, "hide those fine lines around your eyes" as part of your sales pitch. You are causing the The Look to spread. Also, I will not buy things from you, because I refuse to be bullied into spending money on crap I may or may not need when I can find nice people with Good Samples elsewhere. As you were.

Additional Note of The Strange: Tonight we drove by a man having a conversation and subsequently hugging and kissing....wait for it.... a fire hydrant. As in: Dogs pee on it every day. Say no to drugs (or yes to anti-psychotics - one or the other, I can't be sure).


Lindsay said...


Chiada said...

Oh.my.gawwwwwd. Hugging and kissing a fire hydrant. I can so totally picture it. Excellent post: very funny, snarky, and visual with the drawling salesman. How gross!!! I would have given him the closed-lip smile and said I'm just "browsing" and turned around and left. Sheesh. Don't you just miss Garden Botanika?!?

Meepers said...

Thankyouverymuch...I DO miss G.B., especially the essential oils. I think you can still get it online, but I could be wrong.

desiree said...

You are young. You are pretty. Fine lines? I am not as strong as you. I would have sucker punched the guy and then cried for a few hours with a pan of brownies. Plus, if you are trying to sell something do not do so with bad breath, tic tacs are useless? Augh.

I am glad, however, to hear that some person on the street made a heartfelt connection. Those are so hard to come by these days.

jen-again said...

Ugh- one of the doctors that I work with just helped his 'precious Sara' (yes, that is what he calls her) move down to your town. She is one of the new car, little clothing, daddy's credit card girls that you mention. We all had to hear about him installing her new 32" plasma TV and wireless surround sound and computer network. Also got to hear about all of the new Pottery Barn furniture that he bought her for her dorm room. What happened to Target for dorm room things?

Meepers said...

See? I'm SO NOT exaggerating. We had a tenant who had her rent/credit cards/car/living expenses paid for ... years on end. I dunno what happenend to the Target/Ikea special stuff. I for one, still have my Ikea furniture. And a very old TV. Whatchagonnado?

chiefbiscuit said...

You make me laugh. You are so very very funny ...