Shopping For Make-Up: Plain Jane Vs. The Kabuki Woman

I’m not a fan of make-up.  I think that the stuff is overrated, but I bow to social custom and use a little of it*.

I believe that for me THE NATURAL LOOK IS ALWAYS BEST**.

Combine the foregoing with the fact that when provoked I will say what I’m really thinking— and you get the following conversation between me, Plain Jane, and the sales associate, Kabuki Woman, at the Bobbi Brown counter in Nordstrom***.

~ • ~ 

Plain Jane: (approaching the make-up counter)  Hi!

Kabuki Woman: (looking blankly at me)  Yes.

Plain Jane: (continuing on, ignoring her disinterested tone of voice)  Yes, hello.  I need to get some Bobbi Brown eye shadow.  Would you be able to help me please?

Kabuki Woman: (sighing at the injustice of having to wait on me)  Yes.

Plain Jane: (fully aware that I am staring at this woman’s ghostly white face + overdone eye make-up, but unable to look away)  Ah, yes.  I need Sable & Ivory, please.  I looked them up online before I came in and I think that those would be the most neutral colors for me.  What do you think?  

Kabuki Woman: (glaring at me with loathing while making a dismissive gesture with her hand)  They’ll be fine… on YOU.

Plain Jane: (hearing my mother’s voice in my head say: “young lady, you go upstairs right now and wash that stuff off your face so that we can see how pretty you really are”)  And I need a lip liner pencil.  I wear Clinique Spicy Honey Almost Lipstick and I want the pencil to blend with my lips and be natural.

Kabuki Woman: (fixating on me with a fiery hot hatred, snarling her overly pigmented red lips)  You’re supposed to see the lip liner when you wear it. You can look at these here.  All of them are neutrals.  Just pick one.  They’ll all work.

Plain Jane: (getting steamed, wondering why I hadn’t gone to Sephora where the nice gay man with too much eyeliner had helped me just a week ago)  Well, I think it should be a little bit better than: IT’LL WORK.  Which one do I use?

Kabuki Woman: (starting to look a bit red underneath her ghostly white face)  ANY… OF… THEM…

Plain Jane: (saying what I had been thinking the whole time)  Look, I HATE MAKE-UP AND SHOPPING FOR IT IS WHY.  I just want someone else to figure it out for me.  SO WHICH ONE DO I BUY?  I want to look natural.

Kabuki Woman: (shocked into actually doing something)  Use this one, Bobbi Brown Brownie Pink.

Plain Jane: (making a mental note to join a convent where no one expects women to wear make-up so that I never have to suffer through this again)  Thank you.

Kabuki Woman: (tottering away from me as fast as possible on her slutty high heels without so much as a thank you or a goodbye)  You can pay over there.


~ • ~ 

*Interesting.  “Would We Feel Better Without Makeup? One Woman’s Modesty Experiment”

**Adorable.  Sloth Gets Her Makeup Done Before The ‘Today’ Show (PHOTO)

 ***Useful.  Bobbi Brown Website


My Report On The U.S. Flag Complete With Commentary

{ image from Library of Congress}

Today is Flag Day.  On this date in 1777, the Continental Congress officially approved the design of the U.S. flag as we know it today.

•  But you knew that, of course.  You paid attention in history class and it’s right there on your calendar, in small print.

# # #

In adopting the flag the Continental Congress stated: “Resolved, That the Flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”  It is interesting to note that the colors of red – white – blue did not have meanings when this resolution was adopted.

In 1818, after 5 more states joined the Union, the U.S. Congress passed legislation fixing the number of stripes at 13 and requiring that the number of stars equal the number of states.

•  Smart thinking if you ask me.  Have a plan, stick to it.

# # #

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson declared June 14th as a national day of recognition for the flag.  According to this declaration, the flag is to be flown everywhere on this day, not just on government buildings and schools.

In 1949, while President Truman was in office, the U.S. Congress established June 14 as National Flag Day.  The next year on June 14th he proclaimed it as such.  However, this does not make June 14th an official federal holiday so no one gets the day off from work because of this Act of Congress.

•  I fail to see the reason why the U.S. Congress did what they did, but that’s nothing new.

# # #

The U.S. flag has three nicknames“Stars and Stripes” – “Star-Spangled Banner” – “Old Glory.”  And as you can imagine, no matter what you call it, there are etiquette rules for flying the U.S. flag.  Reading through them you will discover that We, The People, break these rules almost daily.

•  I direct your attention to the Decorative section of the list.  ‘Nuff said.

# # #

In 1960, on July 4th, the last new star was added to the flag when Hawaii became the 50th state.  That is the last time there has been a change to the U.S. flag itself.  But there is more to the story than mere design changes.  You see, on June 14, 2004, the U.S. Congress unanimously voted to declare that Flag Day originated in Ozaukee County, Waubeka Wisconsin, thereby acknowledging another little known historical fact.

And with that I have nothing more to add to this report.  ‘Tis time for me to go put my cute little red, white & blue flags in my large blue green flower pots filled with dark pink geraniums, so that I can say that I’m [stylishly] observing this holiday.

•  How about you?  What are you going to do to celebrate Flag Day?

# # #

Revenge, I Now Know, Is Lime Green

pure white
Sherwin-Williams 7005 Pure White

A few years ago I attended a good-bye party for a woman who lived across the street.  At this party were other neighbors who I met for the first time.  One was a nice woman who, until not too long ago, lived up the street.

During the party this woman got talking about her husband who feared color.  She told me that he would only allow her to have pure white walls and trim in their house.

Fear?  Allow?  Say what?!  What decade is this?

Naturally I was curious.  So I asked her how fear of color manifested.  I mean, I dislike certain shades of color but I do not fear them.  They are not my enemies.  I do not cower in their presence.

She told me that for her husband seeing anything that wasn’t uniform made him uneasy– so much so that different shades of any color, including white, were anxiety producing for him.  She also said that they had nothing hanging on the walls because that made him crazy, too.

I asked her if she, too, feared color.  But she didn’t.  In fact, she volunteered that she liked all colors a lot.

# # #

electric lime
Sherwin-Williams 6921 Electric Lime

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I was out for a walk and saw a For Sale sign in the front yard of this couple’s house.

Not surprisingly, they had divorced.

She had kept the house for a while after the divorce, but now had put the property on the market using a realtor who always puts photos from inside the house on the For Sale sign outside the house.

When I got a close-up of the For Sale sign I almost couldn’t stop laughing.  On the sign was one large photo of the interior of this modern, open-concept house which features 14′ cathedral ceilings on the first floor.

And what color were these large dramatic walls inside this house?  They were a shade of citrus-y lime green so glaringly bright that parrots would look pale standing near them.  Bold + loud.  A decidedly in-your-face color.

Yes, that’s the color that this newly divorced woman painted the walls after all those years of living with a color-phobic husband.  And, damn, do those walls look good.  Finally.

Way to make a statement, girlfriend.  Way to go.  😉

Confounded By Group Photos

“Time can change me, But I can’t trace time.”

~ David Bowie

# # #

A few months ago I was talking on the phone with a friend who happens to be in her eighties.  She is a delight– mentally with it + honest to a fault.  In other words, exactly who I want to be when I get to be an eightysomething.

In our conversation my friend mentioned that her granddaughter had emailed her some photos of herself with her friends.  The young women had gotten dressed up and gone out to brunch together somewhere pricey.  The photo of was of all of them in front of the restaurant.

# # #

I asked my friend how her granddaughter looked in the photo and my friend said: “Cute, I guess.  All the girls look alike to me, so I can’t tell which one she is.  They all have long, stringy hair and carry huge purses.  I think that my granddaughter is one of them.”

As we talked a bit more about kids.these.days. I chuckled to myself about me humoring a delightful older woman who was clearly confused by the obvious.  I mean, how could she not know which girl was her granddaughter?  Really.

# # #

A younger friend of mine, who is not on Twitter, has a high school daughter, who is on Twitter.  And as you know, I’m on Twitter.  So, every once in a while I check to see what my friend’s daughter is doing on Twitter.

What I have discovered is that this girl is a good kid.  She has pleasant friends, likes ice cream, doesn’t like schoolwork, likes sports, goes on dates.  Nothing scathing at all– unless you consider a few swear words once in a while to be trouble.  Which I don’t.

# # #

One day last week I was glancing at the photos that my friend’s daughter had added to her Twitter feed and I saw a group shot of a bunch of teenage girls.  They were all wearing skinny jeans and white t-shirts and pumps with 4″ heels.  And I thought: “What a cute photo.  I wonder which one is my friend’s daughter?  They all look alike.”  

Then it hit me. *BAM*  I had just said exactly what my older friend said about her granddaughter and her friends.  And I realized that I had morphed into an old woman who couldn’t distinguish one child from another.  

# # #

This means, of course, that now I must admit to my younger friend that I can’t recognize her daughter in the photo.  I can’t help but wonder if my friend will politely listen to me on the phone while chuckling to herself about humoring me, a delightful older woman who is clearly confused by the obvious.  I mean, I would understand where she was coming from… as I was in that same situation only a few short months ago.

Oh yeah.  Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.

# # #

Of Salesmanship And Sequestration

Did you know that at one point in my life I worked as a sales representative for a greeting card company?

That’s right, the woman who would prefer to be at home grooving to her own beat had a job dragging samples and order forms around her three-state territory convincing store owners to buy the products that she represented.

In spite of the job being a lousy fit for my personality and energy level, I was moderately successful at sales.  Early on in my career as a sales rep I figured out a few basic principles that helped me focus on what mattered– that is, getting things done.

Here is what I learned:

  1. Getting buyers to feel comfortable with their decisions requires the insight of a family therapist, the explanatory powers of a college professor & the enthusiasm of a family dog.
  2. No one gets everything that they want.  That is why dealmaking requires negotiation– which requires stepping outside your comfort zone and adapting to each unique situation.
  3. Details make it happen.  Chit-chat and generalities, while pleasant, are pointless when it comes time to sign the contract.
  4. Every person you meet could be your next lead, so be polite and listen actively, at least for a little while, to everyone.
  5. Say “thank you” to the buyer no matter what happens.


Why, oh why, am I thinking about this topic today?

Well, it is because as I watch Washington NOT find a way to make reasonable deals about managing national finances, I am taken back to my days when my paycheck was tied to my ability to get things done.  Sell more cards, make more money.

Very simple.

And while I was not always enthusiastic about all the deals that I made when I worked in sales, I did make deals.  Lots of them.  Because I knew that was what was expected of me.  It was part of the job.

Very simple. 

So as a way to help our poor [overpaid] Senators and Representatives learn how to focus on what matters and start making sensible deals that are not tied to unrealistic party lines, I have shared my five principles of salesmanship.

Perhaps if all of these Washington jackweasels would apply my principles to their discussions about the impending sequestration they would be moderately successful at their jobs.  And get some things done that benefit all of us… not just their oversized egos.

Very simple.