Thursday, April 3, 2008

When a Gay Man Suggests Something, I Take Note

When I was in New York City for AWP, a fabulous gay man did my makeup. He was tiny and peppy and Asian. His limbs were so thin and tender I could've snapped him with my thighs when he bent in close to do my liquid eyeliner, which, it must be said, is an evil, evil thing, and having someone else painting it on you is pure eye-blinking, tear-inducing torture. But I still enjoyed the whole experience, from the moment he planted himself in front of me, throwing his hands on his hips and exclaiming, "Guess what I am!" (meaning Guess where my ancestors came from!) to the moment he whisked me around and let me look at myself in all my whored-up glory.

During the application process--a little lip gloss here, a little pancake there--the sweet gay man traded war stories with me. We talked about boys and how awful they could be. We talked about heartbreak. We talked about credit cards. We talked about owning property in Manhattan. We talked about crime. We also talked about eye cream. The gay man asked me if I used an eye cream. I told him I did not. I said I was only twenty-six, so what was the rush?

He grimaced. "Oh no no no no!" he said. "EVERYONE--and I mean that--needs to use an eye cream. EVERY NIGHT."

I tell you this because I need to explain my actions. I feel like I need to account for why I found myself standing in the lotion aisle of the local pharmacy the other day. I was just standing there, blinking at all the night creams, eye creams, neck creams, cellulite creams, and regenerating creams. The gay man's words flopped over and over against the back of my skull. Eye cream! Eye cream! Eye cream! Every night!

And then I did something I'm not very proud of. I picked up one of those eye creams and flipped it over so I could read the claims on the back of the box. Maybe I was thinking about my gay makeup artist or maybe I was thinking about all the birthdays my friends have been having lately or maybe I was thinking about how everyone was going off and getting married and talking babies or maybe I was calculating how old my younger boyfriend would be when I turned thirty.

I read the claims. I then even went so far as to pick up another eye cream and read the claims it made on the back of its own box. I compared the two and selected one. I put it in my basket.

I made it out of the store with that eye cream. On the journey from the lotion aisle to the checkout, I did not manage to talk myself out of taking the first step on what I'm assuming could be a very slippery slope. So now, at the age of twenty-six, I am in possession of anti-wrinkle eye cream. But really, in the end, I figure it's okay. After all, the stuff that is swimming around in my soupy DNA is riddled with female mustache genes--thank you, Grandma!--so anything I can use to get a leg up on the man-ification of my body is a plus.


Kristin said...

All right, you knew I was going to say something.

A - Which makeup company was this?


B - OH MY GOD You don't use eye cream? Jess. I have failed you.:)

Jess said...

Why? Are you saying I shouldn't be using ANYTHING??

Also, he was a "private contractor" makeup artist. He came with his own bag-o-tricks with all kinds of makeup. Lots of MAC.