Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Buyer's Remorse

I’ve never really understood how this works, but it seems that I go through periods where all the decisions I make seem to be bad ones. Everyone makes bad decisions now and again, so it’s not that I expect I never will. After all, (and pardon me for sounding like a bad greeting card) we tend to learn more from bad decisions than from good ones. But over these last few days, I find myself suffering from Buyer’s Remorse.

Buyer’s Remorse, Exhibit A
Yesterday when I went back to work, I told Co-Worker Who Loves Product As Much As I Do (whom, for the sake of Brevity, I shall heretofore refer to as B.) about my makeover at Trish McEvoy. B. reacted with appropriate excitement and enthusiasm, and then she said, “I just read Consumer Reports review of the most effective skin care.”

Oh no.

“Guess what it was?” B. said.

No, not Trish McEvoy. “Oil of Olay?” I guessed.

“That’s crazy!” she said. “How did you know that? The Regenerist line! I started on it and blah blah blah…” That last part was all “blah blah blah” because I quit listening and was instead picturing myself at Target filling my little red basket with all kinds of Regenerist product.

But then I remembered I had just purchased umpteen-million dollars’ worth of Trish McEvoy. And then I remembered my resolution to stop being a beauty product nomad and use what I bought.

But what if Regenerist is The One? What if it’s better? Because truth be told, my skin is still meh. Sure, it’s only been a few days, but should I not see improvement from my line-reducing serum that also promotes cell turnover? I checked the label to see what it said:

Spread this line-reducing serum over your face and throat after cleansing in the morning and evening. Follow with moisturizer. After the first few days, you’ll see clearer, firmer skin, although it also may be possible your skin will flake off in sheets, particularly when you’re trying to apply your new, expensive foundation, causing you to look like you have some form of cosmetic leprosy. Sucker.

Oh god! I knew it. B. is going to have beautiful, line-free skin, and I’m going to live in skin-care exile with only the nuns to care for me.

Buyer’s Remorse, Exhibit B

Yesterday I got my hair cut. I was supposed to be going in for a trim, but when I got into the chair, I just felt the need to do something.

“I want fewer layers,” I said. “And I want to let these bangs grow out.”

“Do you want to cut about an inch off?” asked Hairdresser. “We could cut it at a bit of an angle in the back, and blah blah blah…” The “blah blah blah” part was when I stopped listening because I was telling myself, “You’re just getting it trimmed. Tell her you just want a trim.”

“So what do you think?” That’s Hairdresser again.

“Sure, that sounds great!” That’s me, nodding like a toy dog with a spring in its head, completely clueless about whatever it was I’d just agreed to.

She didn’t exactly do anything controversial: she cut about an inch off and trimmed the rest, leaving the layers alone. Except taking about an inch off actually put it right at the length where it sticks in my collar, and the lack of layers made it pouf out in a way that I knew might force me to do something desperate, like buy a Flowbie.

“It’s going to be right inside my collar,” I said. “This is all wrong. Look at this piece here.” I picked up an innocent piece of stray hair near my right ear. “It’s going to pouf out.”

“Okay,” said Hairdresser. “You want me to layer it so it will lay a little better?”

“Okay,” I said. She layered. I watched in horror. Then she trimmed my bangs. Shorter hair with more layers and new bangs was not at all what I wanted. Please note that this is not Hairdresser’s fault, but in fact is the result of my occasional panic in Hairdresser’s chair when I want to change something but can’t commit to anything.

I’m pretty sure these new layers highlight the skin flaking off my chin.

Buyer’s Remorse, Exhibit C

Right after I got my hair cut, I walked a few doors down to get my brows waxed. Esthetician and I have known each other for a long time, and I got really involved in telling her about some family drama while she did her work, which means I forgot to repeat my waxing mantra: “I like them a little fuller.”

I was still talking when she handed me the mirror, so I didn’t notice then what I saw when I finally got home (after a trip to the grocery store and Starbucks, mind you). There, above my left eye, surrounded by inflamed skin, highlighted by bangs and shorter somewhat poufy layers, my lovely new sperm-shaped left eyebrow. This might not be tragedy for someone who knows how to use an eyebrow pencil properly, but I don’t even own an eyebrow pencil. And even if I did, I’d probably just end up looking like some deranged five-year old had gone after my face with a brown crayon.

Of course, none of this is really bad at all, but viewed through the hormonal lens can seem quite tragic. I can laugh about it now, and it hasn’t even been 24 hours.

*Just so you know, I do have a brain and a real life apart from perfume and product. I swear. I have a full time job I enjoy. I’m reading both Doctor Zhivago and a book about the Kennedy administration. I listen to NPR. I do!