You know that part of Macy’s where all those women in lab coats lurk, like they’re secretly working on proving scientific theorems?
I had to go there today.
I was well prepared, and raised by women, so I wasn’t afraid.
Beth ran out of Clinique “Even Better” serum (makeup, broad spectrum, SPF 15, evens and corrects), number 02 for fair skin. I was to get her another vial. Knowing I’d probably screw up, she sent me with the empty container with the instructions:
- Find the Clinique counter
- Hand this to the lady
- Grunt in a pathetic way
- Pay whatever they ask and leave without embarrassing me.
I find the place (who are we kidding? I already knew where it was), and waited my turn. The lady in front of me was buying a couple of hundred bucks worth of spackle. The lady who was waiting on her, you know, the one in the lab coat and wearing clown makeup, called nervously to an associate, “Uh, Becky, could you come here for a minute? There’s a [half-whisper] “man” over here who I think needs help.” When Becky arrived, she presented me with her best concerned/patronizing face. I simply held out my hand and grunted, “I need one of these.” She seemed relieved. I figured playing my part was the best way to go. Why shake up social norms? I told her my wife wanted to make sure I got it right and had sent me with the empty container. That seemed to make everyone feel better. Why they were so nervous to begin with, I’ll never know. It’s like the inner sanctum is for women only, and the other men have learned to stay away.
Or, maybe they don’t get a lot of guys with buzz cuts buying whatever this stuff is on Saturday afternoons.
“Will you only be needing the one today, sir?” she asked kindly. I briefly thought about buying a case, which would simplify my future self’s life, but decided against it. That’s the approach I take with tampons and other assorted feminine products. I get ’em at Sam’s Club – saves trips. Turns out the one-at-a-time approach was smart. The single ounce of beige goo cost me $27!
No, I didn’t stutter – $27!
I took my bounty and left quietly, twenty seven bucks poorer.
Maybe that’s one of the reasons guys aren’t overly welcome in the twilight zone of women’s cosmetics. It’s no place for rational thought.