up on the morning of my birthday determined to have a good day.
Rather than spend it reflecting on what was wrong, and how it would
never get better, I decided for the next 24 hours to put all that
aside. I would make a concerted effort to be positive. I was filled
By noon I was exhausted.
How do these positive people do it' They must shop a lot. If you
don't think about spending money, buying stuff is an excellent
I was looking forward to dinner that evening
with my girl friends, but that was eight hours away, and since
I'd taken the day off work I didn't know what to do with myself.
When I'm not working, my free time is spent thinking about how
I should be working. Or doing chores and sleeping. Or, more precisely,
doing chores, quitting chores and sleeping. None of which sounded
like a festive birthday option.
But I was torn. I knew I'd feel good if
I got through some of these chores, like taxes, expenses, laundry
and bills. I've been putting them off and here was a chance for
self-improvement. Then it hit me: there was another opportunity
for self-improvement: I could go shopping! For make-up.
"For what?" Joanna asked, shocked.
I repeated: for make-up. "But you don't wear make-up."
That was the point. It was time to look into it. Why not buy some
foundation? I needed to shake things up a bit.
Sephora is a department store for cosmetics,
and the women who work there seem to wear every product they sell.
They also have a hands-free headset - the kind air-traffic controllers
wear when landing planes. They patrol around the store with serious
expressions, asking things like: "Do we have Bliss body butter
in stock?" Then they'll wait, without moving, until they
get a response. "Negative." Got it. Who are they talking
to? The make-up command centre? If these women were working the
security at Heathrow, we'd all feel a lot safer.
Wandering along the anti-ageing aisle, I
looked like a lost lamb. When the Sephora lady approached, I told
her it was my birthday and I was interested in buying a cover-up
or a lotion or something. The 'or something' is where I went wrong.
As she began a monologue about the benefits of a specific cream
that comes in a crystal bottle, I cut her off. "Does that
come in a tube?" She looked horrified.
I explained that I travel and need something
more durable. When she showed me a jar filled with loose powder,
she opened it and I sneezed. "Does that come in a compact?"
I asked. She shook her head. "It would compromise the integrity
of the minerals in the powder if it were pressed." I nodded.
Who knew powder had integrity?
One by one, item by item, I began.
to get more depressed. There was a wrinkle
cream called Shar Pei. How is seeing that every morning supposed
to boost confidence? Finally, she found me a product I could relate
to: When Hope Is Not Enough. It's a serum that comes in a little
brown bottle with a dropper, so it even looked medicinal.
After all the time I'd put in, I had to
make a purchase. But I'm done with self-improvement. The more
I tried, the worse I felt.