Vanity Unfair

Vanity Unfair

A humorous story sure to put a smile on your face. Involves a woman, her vanity and a lot of make-up.

Humming along to Brenda Lee’s “Jingle Bell Rock,” I’m almost ready to leave for my follow-up appointment with Dr. P. Perr, my optometrist. I’m not sure what the P. stands for, but it could be Petunia for all I care. Not exactly tall, dark or handsome, he is, however, a doctor. My friend Gertie’s told me for years that I should snag myself a well-to-do man; she never said he had to be handsome. So what if this one’s short, fair and as far south of handsome as one can travel without booking a flight? Professional men hob knob with the higher-classed crowd, you know. And since Nancy, Dr. P’s assistant, told me he’s headed down the divorce trail, there’s hope for me yet.

I wanted to make myself so darned gorgeous, he'd have little choice but to forget his wife,
I wanted to make myself so darned gorgeous, he’d have little choice but to forget his wife,

I wanted to make myself so darned gorgeous, he’d have little choice but to forget his wife, old what’s her name, and notice me. So after my shower, I sat at the vanity table and gazed into the mirror. I frowned (well, I could have sworn I did, but my expression didn’t change; those Botox injections I got yesterday really work!). What was that jutting from my left cheek? On closer inspection, I saw that not only was it hair, but the three “tresses” were long enough to put Rapunzel in a snit! Wasn’t it just yesterday that I visited Mimi, my electrolysist? The woman must be visually impaired. Was I expected to French braid the monstrosities and fashion them into a makeshift bun then walk around looking like Princess Leia after a rough night on the town?

Aquamarine Post-It-Note to self: Add Mimi to Christmas list. Purchase a seeing-eye dog and Braille instructions.

It was time to put in my new gray contact lenses. I chose that color in honor of Dr. P., who wore a tie that very shade the last time I saw him. Lenses inserted, I wiped away the automatic tears and looked at my reflection. I shrieked so loudly that the cat shot straight up off my bed, most likely losing one of her remaining seven lives in the process. Now I ask you, would I have bought the darned contacts if I’d known I’d look like that cat in “Pet Semetary?”

After my initial disappointment in the new look, I applied moisturizer (along with several helpings of wrinkle repellant – a gal can’t be too careful, you know), foundation, blush and eye makeup. I looked at the results and know darned well I frowned again because my eyelashes looked stunted. I decided to use the new heat-seeking eyelash curler that Trina, my Acme Beauty Representative, delivered Monday. Battery-operated, it didn’t take long to get nice and warm. Ok, really warm, but who can go wrong with an Acme product, right?

my left eyelash looked cute and perky
my left eyelash looked cute and perky

I followed the instructions verbatim, and my left eyelash looked cute and perky, just as I’d hoped. I repeated the steps on my other lashes, but my arm grew tired from holding the gizmo. Consequently, I guess I must have relaxed my fingers a tad. Big mistake. I’m not sure whether I felt the searing heat first or smelled the scorched skin. At any rate, I now sport crescent-shaped, Acme-induced scar tissue a quarter of an inch below my right eyebrow. I look as if God hiccupped when He created me.

Lime Green Neon Post-It-Note to self: Christmas for Trina – a “like new” Acme Eyelash Curler, Neosporin and Band Aids.

Next I tackled my hair. Yesterday afternoon, I videotaped Maggie, my hairdresser, so I was confident I could repeat what she did with the curling iron. Halfway into the process, my hair got caught in the heated brush; apparently I’d wound it a bit tight and none too smoothly. How come hairdressers make it look so easy? I tugged, pleaded, pulled. Finally the curling iron released my captive hair and I let out a relief-filled sigh. But I should never have looked down at the appliance. Gobs of my mane were wrapped around the barrel! I let out a war whoop that would make Custer’s knees buckle. My eyes crept to the mirror. I almost fell off my vanity chair – there were more curls in the curling iron than in the forefront of my head! If a gaping bald spot didn’t get my mirror-carrying membership to Egos Anonymous revoked, I hated to see what would. I wondered if there was a twelve-step program to help me through the ordeal. I spent the next twenty minutes in an attempt to sweep what’s left of my hair over the gap. I ended up looking like Mortie the grocer!

Hot Pink Post-It-Note to self: The heck with Christmas – courier Maggie an anonymous, hair-encrusted curling iron today!

Apparently thinking isn’t my forte
Apparently thinking isn’t my forte

Resisting the urge to open my Prozac and down the contents, I slipped into black slacks and buttoned into a new hot pink blouse I bought yesterday. Pink, black and white earrings completed the ensemble. At least they did yesterday! A few minutes ago, I thought maybe if I tied a white scarf around my head it would cover the bald crater, as well as blend with the outfit. Apparently thinking isn’t my forte.

I’m finished tying the scarf now, but a glance at my watch tells me I’ve got to hustle – no time to review the damage in my mirror. I slip into black Prada’s and am finally ready to go. Before I head out the door, I grab my purse, unable to resist one last look in the full-length mirror in the foyer. My jaw drops. Staring back at me is a de-haired, Star Wars-cheeked, dead-cat-eyed woman dressed like a giant box of Good & Plenty!

Chin aquiver, I pull my cell phone from my purse. “Hello, Nancy? It’s Barb. Yes, Happy Holidays to you, too, Hon. Listen, I can’t make this afternoon’s appointment.” I repeat Nancy’s question about when I can reschedule. Then, mouth tight, injected forehead impassive, and vision fixed on the cue ball of a forehead peeking out from under my scarf, I dab at my creepy looking eyes and say, “Um … I’m thinking maybe late July.”

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