The Magic Elixir
The Internet doesn’t list a twelve-step- program designed for my addiction. Maybe, addiction is the wrong term. How about this? “Rehab program for individuals who cannot resist the siren’s call of the gracefully formed bottles containing magic elixirs brewed to elicit physical beauty.” Google says, “No results found.”
My husband, Clueless, refers to it as my “department store issue,” and has even suggested that my paycheck be directly deposited into the Macy’s cosmetic department cash register.
Driving past a mall, I hear the Pandora’s bottles sweetly sing, “buy me, buy me.” Heart racing, palms sweating, an invisible rope pulls me. My resistance shatters. Lovingly, I stroke the boxes while reading the exquisite prose. “Super Rescue Antioxidant Right Moisturizer, Ultimate Wrinkle Correct Crème.” Irresistible—these tiny bottles contain the brass ring to a more beautiful, youthful me.
Transforming elixirs will make me tall, thin, and blond. Irrational? Maybe. I prefer to think of it as faith. Recently, I tested a new Dead Sea mud product. According to the box, it erases years from your face, reduce cellulite, and increases your IQ by 10 points. I heated it to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, applied generously and hoped the treatment time of three hours would pass quickly.
It’s impossible to sit naked, covered with mud for three hours. So I threw on my skuzzy old bathrobe and went into the kitchen to cook dinner. Half way through the treatment, my son walked in with three of his former best friends. Jaws agape, they bolted out the back door. My son is now begging to move to a new school district.
Clueless is skeptical of everything relating to face creams, masks, peels, buffers, and most of all Retin A. Explaining that these will make my face as smooth as a baby’s butt provokes his usual response, “with or without diaper rash?”
He would deny this, but I know what he’s really afraid of. When my complexion becomes youthful, and dewy, it will draw attention his baldness and his belly, which my children refer to as “The Twins.” I can live with a bit of jealousy, but what really bugs me is his irrational belief that I genetically passed this condition to my daughter. “Impossible,” I said.
My mother didn’t pass it to me. She’s a shoe person. My daughter only owns two small bottles. Both prescribed for the killer acne she inherited from her dad. Now you tell me who has the bad genes?
My therapist encouraged me when I went cold turkey a few years ago. I did pretty well until the Clinque free gift event. Clueless suggested hypnotism and the nice lady in the book store informed me that no one has written a self-help book for face cream abusers. Even so, I think that I am ready to try again. I’ve taken up yoga and feeling strong. I think I can resist the urge now. Wish me luck; I’m off to buy a new tube of lipstick. They have the most delicious names.