Saturday, February 7, 2009

Oh, Possum, My Possum!

(New Bossy Betty Fans and Forgetful Old Ones may want to review my Possum
post to see just how far Betty has come!

Oh Possum, My Possum
                      (With apologies to Walt Whitman)

Oh, Possum!  My Possum! Our fearful trip is done;
The credit card is put away; the shopping was quite fun
The soap and lotions are in the bag, the lipstick in the tube
The serums, the moisturizers, with them my face I'll lube
But O heart! Heart! Heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the floor of Nordstroms my possum lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

She plied me with fast food, sweet bubbly drinks, and a ride in her fine car and before I knew what was happening, my friend (we'll call her Fancy) had me walking right up to the brightly lit make-up counters of Nordstorms.  There stood  an army of black-coated professionals, some wearing tool belts made of black leather, equipment at the ready for these carpenters of the face. 

For Betty, who for years has stumbled down the stark alleys of K-Mart for her beauty essentials, it was a new experience.  There were no displays of Charmin and Comet across the aisle from the lipsticks.  No Almond Joys or socks were strewn over the shelves of foundations. Instead there were slick counters, black leather stools and lots of shiny bottles and glossy tubes.

The possum was active for about the first fifteen minutes while I followed Fancy around to the various booths like her pet lamb.  I wanted to leave when one of the ladies wanted me to put my face in a glowing alter-like structure to have a "facial analysis as featured on Oprah."  Fancy dispensed with that helper and moved me to another booth where she instructed the worker "we" were looking for a good moisturizer.  Bottles and jars appeared, all with shiny silver lids.  Large prices also appeared, as did a new vocabulary, words like "Fibrelastine" and "Imanance" and "Primordiale." 

Soon, I found I was slowly starting to enjoy myself in this new land.  The natives were nice, the language was becoming familiar, and once I resigned myself to the high cost of living,  I found myself ready to hand over gobs of money to these trained, impeccably made-up professionals because it seemed to be the custom here.  

Fancy left me for a few minutes and I found myself alone with a very nice lady who explained to me the various deals of the day.  I didn't really understand all the language, but I was ready to hand over the dough when Fancy pulled me to the side, and growled, "Listen here," she said, "We are not going for any PWP.  We want a GWP."  I nodded, dazed and confused as we moved away.   Just when I thought I was getting the lay of the land!  Apparently, PWP means "Purchase With Purchase" where you buy expensive stuff and that makes you eligible to buy more expensive stuff (that comes in a FREE Tote!) for a supposedly great deal.  We, she explained, guiding me by my elbow over to another counter, were hunting down the even better GWP--Gift with Purchase instead. 

Fancy preferred the black-coated professionals at the likes of Lancome and Mac, but finally, sensing that the possum might possibly still be breathing and capable of challenging her authority, allowed me time at the Clinique counter where they mostly used real English words for their products and the salespeople wore white which made them seem like medical professionals, helping me justify the high prices. I bought some things there and got a bunch of GWP's!  Yeah!  Score!

In a facade of placation, Fancy took me to the bathroom at Nordstroms where we hung out on the couches in the Lounge Area and looked at the art on the walls, which Fancy claimed were of a lascivious nature.  I was sure we were done with our beauty supply shopping, but this "rest" time was actually a tool of manipulation and in one final tenacious attempt to kill the possum completely,  Fancy suggested we "swing by" the Lancome counter.  There, under the pretense of finding make-up for Fancy, we met a lovely make-up consultant named Mahalia who made it her mission in life to find just the right shade of foundation for Betty and just the right moisturizer for Betty and complimented Betty's supple skin.  Betty listened.  Betty bought.  Betty got more GWP's!  Yeah!

Ever the scholar/cultural anthropologist, (and now a well-moisturized scholar/cultural anthropologist!)  my field research on this day included a collection of words that seemed to have magical powers as they flowed from the mouths of the leaders of this sect of beauty.  These words, in conjunction with the application of lotions and subtly colored powders, seem to serve as hypnotic incantations to all those sit in the high leather chairs under the mesmeric lights. These words include:


Thanks, Fancy, for my big day out! 

Mahalia and Fancy in action at the Lancome booth:

Tomorrow:  Beauty Week Continues!  Finally, an alternative to all those creams and lotions!


Susan said...

You are a brave soul, Betty! If I went to those counters, I'll bet the vocabulary would be quite different:
irreversable damage
clogged pores
never seen the open jar of...

Anonymous said...

Dahling, doesn't moisture just WORK for you? I thank the good gods of Madison Avenue every time I need a spending binge, for without them, I wouldn't know what I needed or what my imperfections were.

Anytime you need me, I am here for you. There is always another eyeliner, a new lipstick, more moisturizer.

Ms. Fancy

Anonymous said...

After 48 years of not wearing make-up, I have at times wondered what it would be like to visit the Macy's counter, but I have always imagined they would bring out some kind of spackling instrument and suggest that there is nothing they can do for me... that I had waited until it was too late.

Bossy Betty said...

OH NO! There is ALWAYS something they can do! (Unlike the Apple Bar Genuises.) They have some great spackle and spackling tools too! We'll go shopping!

Rida said...
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Rida said...
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Rida said...
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