Today I went to my favorite beauty supply shop, on a street in a wealthy community where everyone is too thin and the people sitting outside Peete’s Coffee are talking to their agents on their iPhones. It’s a great shop that carries every obscure brand you’ve ever heard of and the sales people leave you alone unless you want their help.
I picked out two hair products that won’t have any effect on the quality of my hair, but I enjoy the process of wasting money this way. At the counter, a woman was asking for help with her eyebrows. She was explaining that her eyebrow has a cowlick and nothing she’s tried could solve the problem.
I was fascinated. The sales person was eager to help, and obviously relished the opportunity. She suggested eyebrow gel, but the woman said that gels haven’t worked. I managed to suppress my urge to butt in. Personally, I swear by Lancome eyebrow gel in Brunet. It grooms the brows nicely and makes them look nice and full.
The sales person suggested mustache wax to tame the problem hair. I thought this was a great idea, even though I know you can actually get eyebrow wax at Bloomingdales or somewhere. It’s probably the same stuff, right? But the woman balked at mustache wax. She changed the subject to the dark circles under her eyes but continued to complain about her eyebrows. They were the bane of her existence, she said bitterly.
Finally, I couldn’t stand it. “Just pull that fucker out!” I snapped helpfully. Everyone turned to look at me. The sales woman smiled and said, “You’re so funny!” the way people do when they’re shocked by your candor. The eyebrow lady whined, “No, then I’ll have a bald spot!”
Now that I was involved, I offered a barrage of solutions but the eyebrow lady shot down each one. I began to realize how agitated she was. Maybe she didn’t really want help. Now she was complaining about the concealer she’d been offered and she refused to try the moustache wax. The sales woman turned to assist another customer and the eyebrow lady announced that she would try a department store, where “someone has the time” to give her their “complete attention.”
I realized that she was nuts. Not in any dramatic way, but still nuts. One of the things I love about the beauty supply store is listening to women explain what they’re looking for, in a beseeching tone that reveals their absolute belief that something will make them beautiful and happy. I find it so poignant. The belief and the hope in that beauty supply store could fill several churches.
The eyebrow lady was an anomaly that almost ruined my pleasure in wasting $42. Almost. But when she left the store, everything was restored to normal. I was disappointed that the nail polish I wanted was discontinued: it’s called “Bring on the Bling” and I tried it on last week when my BFF was having a manicure. It was like an entire Mardis Gras in a bottle.
Thank god I can still enjoy beauty products and I’m not a crazy eyebrow lady. That is my affirmation for today.