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I was on my way to get Someone a birthday prize when I encountered a stylish woman standing just outside the door of a boutique, only 300 ft away from my destination. The lady, who sounded as if she was French, gave me a diamond shaped paper scented with a cologne. I thanked her and meant to move on. I made the fatal mistake I learned from a friend from NYC: “If you make eye contact, you are a goner.” We met eye contact and her face lit up like a brilliant sunrise. She exclaimed if I would step into her store she had a surprise for me. Somehow I ended up sitting in a chair in a swanky salon. Sitting among the Scottsdale matrons and fashion plates I  felt immediately like white trash, dressed in my disheveled khakis and white shirt, a bit dog-eared around the collar.  There was an invisible sign around my neck, which said in bright red letters “Frump”.

With the vivacity of Glinda assisting Elphaba in the song “Popular”she started to apply some goop around my left eye.  Enraptured, she explained this marvelous material (applied nightly for a month) will eliminate all creases like Botox without injections. She stood back from her application, looked astonished, and held up a hand mirror. Did I not see the miraculous change compared to the untreated right eyelid?  What I saw in the mirror was a Dorian Gray, a haggard tired ‘old man’ face with a beard that wants trimming. Good lord I thought I look like Einstein with insomnia.

While the gel “set”, she pulled out some other creams and started to exfoliate my right arm of dead cells and nasty toxins, while rattling off the virtues of the products. The droop-be-gone eye cream has ground diamonds; the carbon (why not coal?) strengthens and shortens the collagen of my cernuous eyelids.

She asked what facial products I used. I replied like a 6th grader confessing to an austere teacher he has forgotten his homework I was a typical man who uses soap and water. After she recovered from her swoon she explained she could do me better and conjured from thin air another anodyne guaranteed to make me look ten years younger (although I don’t remember saying this was a goal of mine).

During my fix-up I had to restrain myself from reciting lines from “The Women” about Summer Rain.*  My inner BS meter was going off more than a richter scale in an earthquake, but it was sweet to have all this attention and be cosseted so.  Every so often she brought back the mirror to show the progress in my face . I did see mild dissipation of crow’s lines. My exfoliated R arm was smoother and brighter than the left which looked dry and flaky by comparison.

Alas, my attention span is not long and by now I was losing interest and wanting to get out and back to where I was going.  She explained the cream was usually 800$ a jar and the exfoliating ointment was also 800$. The lotion was 400$ and the fourth item (whose point escapes me) was $200 – but – as she really liked me she will give me the fourth as a gift and the others were half off in some sort of Black Friday sale. The set was a steal at $1000.

I tried to be firm I was not going to buy things for myself after all I was shopping for another. The penny dropped rather quickly as did the French accent; she wished me a curt good bye. With my left eye tighter than the right, and my right arm bereft of dead skin I went to on to shop, where no one apparently noticed I was asymmetrical and only 50% fabulous.



* Go watch the movie.