Make Up and Kiss Off

I can scratch off “Makeup Counter Lady” from the list of jobs I can do when I finally decide what I want to be when I grow up. (I’m holding out for something with a good retirement package, since I’ll be a mere months away from retirement when I start my new career. Meanwhile, the list gets shorter.)

The makeup counter ladies are so mean. I don’t think a nice Hubbard girl could last a day in a white coat at the Lancome counter. I wouldn’t sufficiently look down my nose at wrinkly women, pimply people and other unfortunates. Plus I’m pretty sure you have to look like Kate Moss in order to sell the stuff. (I got mixed up and was going for Kate Smith.)

I tried to buy some makeup at the Clinique counter at Macy’s this week. I knew from past experience that just walking up there would be committing self-esteem hari-kari.

Oh, and - big suprise - I walked away without any makeup but with a big shopping bag full of knowledge that I could sit in a singles bar for 4 hours before someone would buy me a drink. Did I really need the makeup counter lady to tell me that I have combination skin, vellus and Stage 1 crows feet? (Well, the vellus, yes, I did need her to tell me. I still can’t see it, even with my reading glasses on and a magnifier mirror.)

“No one is ever going to get close enough to me to see that,” I told her. “I’m married. The only people who get that close to my face are my husband and the eye doctor and neither of them have mentioned that they give a rat’s ass about invisible hairs on my face.”

I knew the makeup buying experience would be bad. Ever since a makeup lady walked up to my mom in the Bon Appetit Food Show in Chicago, grabbed her arm and said, “I can show you something to get rid of those wrinkles,” I’ve hated makeup ladies. We were at a food show, stuffing our faces with sushi and other delicious things wrapped in more delicious things, and pocketing all the free coasters, candy and other giveaways we could stuff in our purses. Who needs a reminder that you have wrinkles when you’re concentrating on getting fat?

“She’s not interested,” I said, grabbing my mom’s other arm. Afterward, one of the snappy comebacks I came up with was “She’s wrinkly because she smokes. Got anything at your magic makeup counter for that?”

All of my good comebacks arrive hours late, after I’m home eating all the skin care no-no foods and the makeup counter girl is getting drinks lined up in front of her at the singles bar.

If you're afraid to comment openly here, for fear of retribution by the mean makeup counter ladies, you may send comments to Diane Laney Fitzpatrick at diane.laney.fitzpatrick@gmail.com.

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