She is stardust.
She is golden.
She is Heather, mighty Prescriptives salesgirl.
I stopped by the Prescriptives counter at Macy's the other day to procure some powerful youth-imbuing makeup items. Heather appeared behind the counter and greeted me cheerfully. She was dressed smartly in her black lab coat, and this reassured me, for it signaled her position as a trained medical professional, qualified to handle the potent concoctions that I was hopeful would transform me into a glowing twentysomething. I had the girls with me, and they sat by eagerly, waiting to see the magical transformation.
I was nervous, but Dr. Heather reassured me that I was minutes away from a more youthful, happier me. She began delicately applying various creams and potions, using her skilled fingers to smooth them across my cheeks with surgical precision. After an hour of this, and obviously not seeing the results she expected, she distracted me for a moment and suddenly was upon me, wielding a trowel and using it to apply a thick, industrial plaster evenly across my forehead. I could see the frustration in her eyes when this technique also failed. She sighed, reached under the counter and pulled out a small jackhammer.
"Uh, Dr. Heather, is this really necessary?"
"Yes. Trust me, I am a doctor. Please put on your goggles."
The blasting of my pores lasted a mere minutes, but my pain, it was great, and her cursing indicated to me that this technique had also proved inadequate. She explained that it was always more effective when used in tandem with a rotary sander, anyway.
She disappeared through a hidden door in 'Handbags' and appeared a few minutes later pulling behind her what appeared to be a small closet. Above the door was a hand lettered sign that said 'Time Machine.' I told her that while I definitely desired the skin and body of someone twenty years younger, I wanted to keep my current brain, since I didn't want to regress to the state of mind of someone who once thought shoulder pads and jumpsuits looked 'hot.' Plus, in recent years I had learned how to make a decent PB&J and memorized all the words to the 'Teen Titans' theme song, all powerful knowledge that I wasn't willing to part with. She pretended to listen, fiddled with the controls, and asked me step inside. She told me to think young, positive thoughts and to stare intently at the numerous pictures of Paris Hilton and the Olsen twins pasted on the inside of the booth, since my level of concentration would be key to my transformation.
I stepped out a few minutes later and I tried to console her as she sobbed in defeat. I told her that it was all my fault, that I was having a hard time concentrating since I could see my girls through the peephole and was too preoccupied watching Kiyomi cleaning out the cash register at the Chanel counter and Kira using seventy-five dollar tubes of lipstick to color in her manga drawings.
But Dr. Heather, she was resolute! She mustered up all that was left of her strength and with her quivering hands unlocked a small safe hidden underneath the counter. She pulled out a tray that was breathtaking - 24k gold inlaid with rubies and signed by all the major supermodels. On it were carefully arranged three items that she breathlessly presented to me as "The Holy Grail." I had never spoken of cosmetics in biblical terms, but this was Dr. Heather, after all, and she is omnipotent!
I was keenly aware that this was the last resort, my last hope at salvation. She applied all three potions in quick succession and with solemn reverence; first Super*, then Vibrant*, and then Magic*, pausing only briefly between each to make the sign of the cross upon her chest. Upon finishing, she said a quick prayer and then held up a mirror to me. And it was good.
While only managing to make my skin look five years younger, after our travails we considered this a rousing success. We high fived! We drank champagne! We mud wrestled in vats of fifty-dollar bottles of foundation! I paid for my purchases and as I took my girls by the hand and prepared to leave she urged me to return soon so that we could "Explore color!"
Yes! Yes! I shall return, Dr. Heather!
*No product names have been changed to protect the truly miraculous.
Archive File: This Life
Sunday, July 17, 2005
She is stardust.