I don’t wear a lot of makeup and what I do buy seems to last me forever, which no doubt explains why I look the way I do. At any rate, the end of the jar is reaching the remains of the day and I have been meaning to pick up a new one, so, I put Nordstrom’s on my to-do list for Saturday. When I reached the lot it was full, but, it was late on a Saturday morning, the sun was out attracting shoppers, and it didn’t seem that unusual to me. I parked the car, went in to the store on the lower level, and rode the escalator up to the main floor to the usual bouncy, upbeat tunes associated with stores like Nordstrom’s. As the escalator reached the main floor, the music got louder, the activity more intense, and a faint memory of a flyer in the mail about a cosmetic event filtered through my half frozen brain.
As I carefully got off the escalator, I emerged into a frenzied sea of women in all sizes and shapes, cosmetically enhanced and wearing black shirts with rhinestone lettering naming Estee Lauder and Bobbie Brown, and advertising Clinique and Lancome. These women were everywhere, walking briskly, slips of paper in hand with credit cards hanging like fingertip towels. Some were poised in artistic study as they painted the masses of women out for a day of “free” consultation at counters and make-shift tables throughout the cosmetics department.
It was a sight to behold!
All I needed was one jar of makeup. The kind that last for a year or two for a gal like me. “Would you like for someone to apply it for you?” the saleswoman queried. Why? I thought, as I already had some on!
Of course, my specific shade, C10 please, straight up, no ice, stirred, not shaken, was nowhere on the floor or in the many drawers or on the countertops. This was discovered after about 15 minutes of my harried cosmopolitan – no, wait, I wanted a cosmopolitan, it was my cosmetologist who was harried! Anyways, the poor gal, much older than I, looked frazzled as she sprinted to and fro in search of my perfected formula, her own makeup expertly applied, giving me a chance to observe the frenzy around me.
Everywhere – the color black. I have never seen so many ways to wear regulatory black as I saw prancing before me. There were black gaucho pants with black velveteen jackets and black tights with stiletto boots and a little skirt hanging on a skinny waist, flouncing about like an apron. Long, black dusters covering hips. I know that trick. It doesn’t work, but we pretend it does, and even the male employees were decked out in black jackets with colorful ties.
I had black on too. My black leather jacket. I was cool. My gloves matched. I fit the color du jour. Well, there was the exception of my brown corduroys and beige socks and comfy ecru FINNs, which cost an arm and a leg several years ago, but have been very kind to my feet and go lots of places with me, allowing me to stand for fifteen minutes or more and watch the chaos a cosmetics event wreaks upon women who have been sequestered, frozen and probably bored in their snowbound lives and like an ancient siren call, emerge for a little pampering on a sunny but cold day here in the bleak midwinter.
They are mailing my jar of make-up.