Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A woman my age.

It's a funny story how I ended up at the Lancome counter at Macy's.

Back story - My mother and I went on a "girls trip" to Chicago last August. One thing I've learned in my years of existence is that if my mother and I hope to survive more than 3 hours at a time together, I just have to let go and let Cami have her way. Once I accepted this, life became much easier for my mom and I. Thus, I found myself at the Lancome counter at Saks, getting a makeover (sigh.) Now, I am not a makeup girl. I'm a lip gloss and mascara girl - on good days, I'm also a moisturizer girl. I ended up with too much eye makeup on (of course) and way too much lipstick. (My mom even took photos. Fabulous. Here's me.)

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But there is a silver lining. I did find the best mascara in the world. (Seriously girls, if you don't believe me, you haven't tried Lancome mascara. It's probably not the best value, but if you're looking for good mascara, you can't find any better.)

So when they started running the "free gift if you spend XX amount" ads for Lancome, I decided that I needed some new mascara. I hate the mall, and I avoid it like the plague, but I bravely headed into Macy's to get my mascara (and free gift.) I walked up to the first Lancome associate I saw (really cute, really made up, and really young - I was immediately amused. They let girls who can't drink sell makeup? That struck me as funny.) and asked for the mascara. So we start talking,

"How long have you worked here?"
"About 6 months now. But Lancome has the best makeup, so I definitely wanted to work here."
"I know, they have great mascara. That's what I came here for." We started heading over to the mascara.
"They do have good mascara. But I really like their moisturizers too. Have you tried them?"
"Not really. Just the small samples you get sometimes as free gifts."
"Really? Women your age should be using moisturizer daily, especially around your eyes."

Hold up. "Women my age?" Surely she means "women who can legally drive a vehicle", because Barbie looks like mom drove her into work today.

"I'm sorry?"
"Oh, I just mean women who are approaching thirty."

Hold up. I am so not.....well, it's not like.....well....I only graduated from college

My brain, not finding any way to defend itself from such horrendous accusations, immediately reverts to the petulant mode. I am SO not buying the moisturizer.

Meanwhile, there's this lecture about skin, and aging and sun going on from the teenager who can't buy beer. I'm attempting to listen while not fainting from the realization that I've gone from young (which is what I feel) to "approaching thirty." At least she didn't say "over thirty." Then she might not have any hair left.

She pulls me over to a magnifying mirror and shows me lines (DEAR GOD!) that can be avoided or removed by using this miraculous moisturizer. She points out bags and discoloration....she puts moisturizer on me and shows how it will help slow the aging process.... I am being manhandled by a girl who is probably more than a decade younger than me, and there's absolutely nothing I can do to defend myself. The confident woman who's planning on celebrating her 30th birthday in the Andes is gone, and this wrinkled, discolored woman who's approaching thirty with bags under her eyes remains.

When the lecture ends, and the child is using the closing line, "I'll go ahead and ring up your moisturizer and mascara." My will reasserts itself.

"No thanks. I just need the mascara."
"Are you sure?" (her voice suggests that I'm making a horrible mistake re-entering the world with wrinkles, discoloration and bags)I steel myself - remembering that I wouldn't go back to being her age for all the money in the world. "Yes, I don't think I'm at the age where I need to worry about wrinkles quite yet," (kind smile) "and early prevention has never been my strong suit."

As I left with my mascara, I felt empowered, confident, fabulous. I don't care about age - in fact, I think I look better than I did 5 years ago. I don't need the approval of a teenager who can't imagine being my age. I wanted to tell her that it sneaks up on you, but that attitude is everything. Being able to resist magazines, billboards, and Lacome counter girls who tell you that you're old is key.

But I totally went to Target and bought some moisturizer. I'm not entirely immune.