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Tuesday, November 26, 2013
The Eyes Have It
It’s My Life
By Diana Roemer
This story is for women. For I am certain none but another female could comprehend the true tale I’m about to tell.
Nobody likes saving money more than me. That’s why when the price of my favorite mascara (which, in case you’re a guy, is that dark stuff we ever-so-carefully layer onto our eyelashes) shot to nearly $30 a tube, I quit. I quit because I knew I could buy a drug store version for a third of Lancôme’s cost. So for a few years now, as my stash of “the good stuff” has dwindled to near nothing, I’ve amassed tube after tube of the bargain brand mascaras, brightly packaged in their blister packs, all promising lush, full, amazing, you-will-be-a-goddess-now-if-you-just-try-me eyelashes. In search of the Holy Grail of mascara, I’ve tested brands like Maybelline, Bonnie Bell, Cover Girl, Avon, Almay, and Revlon -- and, sadly, report there is nothing like the pricey Lancôme Precious Cells mascara. Nothing.
Resigned, now, after years of arduous cheap mascara shopping (I’m so tired) I finally decided I must return to the almighty altar of Lancôme. So on a Sunday night, I began again to troll Lancôme’s online shop. I felt good about making the decision. After all. One’s eyelashes must be satisfied. I put a few choices into my “shopping cart,” and without actually clicking “buy now,” (I sleep on major purchases), I hit the hay.
And then the next day – a Monday -- came. Mondays are notoriously cursed for me. That Monday, at about 8 a.m., I’d finished scraping an old Lancôme tube of its final contents happily stroking on what was left of “plum glimmer”-colored Precious Cells (which I bought about three years ago when the price was less than a barrel of oil). I think, in fact, they call it Precious Cells because it’s made with something so special the price of a few tubes rivals that of a small Porsche.
And after finalizing my ritual of fluffing my eyelashes, cheeks, and lips, I stood back and looked. I was satisfied. This was going to be a good day. A good Monday. I had a ton of work at my office. But I was energized. Because (trumpet sound) I was wearing purple Lancôme “Precious Cells” mascara and I’d decided to buy more, yes more, MORE MORE!
I was so pleased with that decision I was almost willing to enjoy the onset of winter when I looked out the window and realized “it’s snowing. It’s Monday. And I’ve gotta get on the road fast.”
This called for the Cavalry: Much Caffeine!
Forcing myself to remain upbeat despite the worsening dread of the 31.9-mile commute I was facing, I moved to the cupboard and chose a coffee cup from my vast coffee cup collection which just about matches – in sheer numbers -- the volume of my now-cast-off cheaper mascara collection.
I chose an 8-inch tall red and white cup that features drifting colorful snowflakes. I was feeling kind of clever. Snowing outside – snowflake cup. I poured the snowflake cup about ¾ full. I took a sip.
And then it happened.
As I pulled the cup away from my face, it splashed. Like a wave crashing onto a beach, coffee slammed into my left eye. Not just the corner of the eye – directly INTO and ON the eye, a direct hit, the kind of hit that people sue fast food chains or cup manufacturers for.
Every other woman who encounters the same issue might get the coffee on her blouse. Or in her hair. Or on the floor. Not me. I get it smack on the eyelid – the lid protected by the eyelashes that had the last of the million dollar mascara on it.
My Precious Cells project had become a not-so-precious mess.
I stood in my quiet kitchen, snow blowing outside, and for just a moment, my eyes shut, I contemplated the masterful symmetry of how this could happen.
And I decided there had to be an angel watching over me that didn’t want me to get in my car just yet. I trudged back to the makeup mirror. Plum-colored mascara was smeared over and under my eyelids, dotting my skin like lavender ornaments on a Christmas tree, dripping from my lashes as if I’d been crying brown tears.
I began the careful process of removing the smears. And I thought to myself: It’s a Monday, that’s for sure.
But there is, yes, an upside.
I know, for a fact, without a doubt, that I am still, and probably always will be, a true blond.
And I now get to click “buy now” guilt-free.
Life is good.