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March 07, 2005 - 11:13 am

PINK CADILLAC

I attended a Mary Kay party this weekend, and had it not been for the wine and snacks and the fact that I liked the other women there, it would have come fairly close to my definition of "hellish nightmare."

It would be an understatement to say I really donít get into make-up that much. I donít wear a lot, and what I do wear I pick up at the grocery store from the same aisle where I get my deodorant and athleteís foot spray. Iíve got nothing against makeup in general nor against women who wear it; itís just not that important to me, which is the basis of todayís little story.

Have you ever had that feeling that thereís been a horrible mistake and you just donít belong here and must run for your life or die trying? I think Erik must have some idea of how I felt at this make-up party after his role as groomsman at this wedding last year:

Oh, sorry - heís the one on the far right. I love that they got Emanuel Lewis to be the ring bearer, but itís kind of rude how heís staring at Erik like Erik is the weirdo or something.

Anyway, I swear to god, I was in sheer panic mode for the first half hour of this make-up party, thinking to myself, "How am I going to gracefully decline participating in this bizarre ritual group face wash and mortar application without seeming like a complete freak? Do women really do this? Are they really this enthusiastic about this stuff? Does no one else think putting make up on together like this is peculiar?" No one else seemed to mind.

They subtly prey on the little insecurities most women already have, starting off the show with the question, "Whatís your least favorite thing about your skin?" And while I wouldnít go so far as to call the whole affair an old-time snake oil medicine show, I would say there was something vaguely unsettling in the way the woman referred to the makeup as "the product," as if calling it "face cream" or "foundation" or "eye shadow" somehow just wasnít doing this marvel of modern science justice. You should have seen the look on this one woman's face when I told her I washed mine with Dove soap.

After a few glasses of wine and a few layers of moisturizer, however, I relaxed a little and settled into the realization that it was basically your typical sales pitch, pretty much along the lines of Amway, Florida timeshares, or Tupperware, so I maintained a healthy suspicion, a safe distance, and a sense of humor. I mean, I'm not the kind of person who feels compelled to convince someone to use what I use or to do what I do just because I FEEL SO STRONGLY ABOUT HOW GREAT THIS PRODUCT IS! and I seriously doubt most other people are either. Hyperbole flows like Niagara Falls at these things, and anyone who canít see that deserves that $300 bag of makeup "essentials" they go home with.

I ended up with some hand lotion that came in a cute little vinyl bag with a drawstring. It smells nice.

And just for fun, I scheduled a microderm abrasion party for me and a few friends in mid-April. I mean, youíd be a fool not to exfoliate at our age, right?

~Samantha

recommended:
reading -Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
viewing - Brazil
listening -"See-Line Woman" by Nina Simone

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