When I walk into a department store at this time of year I feel like a mouse standing in front of a trap loaded with lovely fresh Gruyère, wagging my cute little tail with a sense of anticipation and a teensy bit of caution. My nose and my credit card are twitching, my ears are perked up taking in the cuddly Christmas music and my belly is calling out for gratification. I want all the cheese and I want it now. The cosmetics department is strategically positioned at the entrance to every store because that’s how their marketing gurus bait us as soon as we walk in the door. It’s particularly hazardous during the holiday season because everything is festooned with sparkles, sequins, tulle and ribbon unlike any other time of year. And what girl can resist bling? Visions of sugar plums dance before our innocent, unadorned eyes.
Speaking of eyes, have you tried the latest bedazzled glittery palette of eye shadows? Electric turquoise, sparkly bronze, shimmery green, deep sea iridescent blue; they’re all on display and irresistibly packaged with a bonus highlighting apricot blusher in a clever little compact resembling an evening clutch. With a little leopard motif. And if I spend just $65.00, I can score a travel case loaded with more than $400.00 worth of products for a mere $85.00 extra. By my calculations, that’s a savings of $315.00? How can I resist? The fact that the travel case and most of its contents are of no use to me is irrelevant. I’m smitten. Hooked. Sucked in. But not quite.
Then, there’s perfume. The bottles enchant me; the fragrances rarely do, which is why the fragrance companies hire top designers to create new, glamorous decanters that gullible people like me can’t resist. And at this time of year, they’ll toss in a cute purse-sized atomizer and a lovely bottle of matching body lotion exquisitely packaged in a gilded gift box with pink and gold grosgrain ribbon. My heart is screaming “Load up” while my brain says, “Whoahh girl! You already have
#$%^ bottles of perfume and you’re running out of spaces to put them.”
Due to my advanced age, I’ve been down this road before. Over the years I’ve learned to resist the cosmetics sirens calling my name. I even have photographic evidence to remind me of my previous falls from sanity. The only solution I’ve found to avoid these seasonal promotions is to avoid department stores altogether until mid-January. I should be able to accomplish this because in our world of over-abundance and rampant consumerism, my family and friends have reached a “No gifts” agreement which suits us just fine. I may not be sporting the latest fluorescent yellow eye shadow or be wearing a debt-inducing glamorous new sparkly outfit this season, but that’s OK. I just wish January would hurry up and get here before I make a grab for the cheese, which will just leave me feeling constipated and hating myself. That would not be in the spirit of the season at all.