Thank you but no, I’m not interested in buying a bridge in Brooklyn.

I’m cheap so I hate being upsold, but I love pre-rehearsed retail speak in any form. The memorization of lines makes the efforts of salespeople more entertaining, for sure.

I’ve never bought anything at Aveda, but they send me coupons for free promotional products as a way of thanking me for my loyalty. Which is nice of them, I’m glad that they know I’m loyal, even if not to them. Free stuff, however, I am very loyal to, so I took advantage of the opportunity to try their customized aromatherapeutic perfume oil. I can use any form of therapy I can get and to pass up one that retails for $19.50 would be foolish. So I went to Aveda ready to create a scent that would soothe my soul without relieving me of my hard earned Washingtons and was greeted by goth Black Lipstick Girl.

Not the first time I’ve been greeted by a member of the Black Lipstick Family, by the way. When I was a freshman in college, my friends took me to the Mac store because I did not own makeup, nor had I ever hooked up with anyone on campus. Armed with our improvised but very marketable mantra that “Beauty Equals Booty” we went to get me some Lipglass and concealer to make me more hot and less lonely, and I was made over by a man wearing a shade of lipstick that I believe he called Rum Raisin. Too dark for my ivory complexion, but he really pulled it off.

Black Lipstick Girl scrutinized my coupon which made me feel like she was on to the fact that I’ve never shopped at her store but then, God love her for abiding by the Aveda script, very seriously said “Okay…Do you have a few minutes to be taken on a sensual journey?” When you put it that way, how could I not find time for that? So with Black Lipstick as my guide, she magically carpeted me to a whole new world that was shining, shimmering, and splendid. The back of the store. This was where I concocted a witch’s brew of sensuality and relaxation consisting of a scented oil she held under my nose. Yeah, it wasn’t so much a “Create a personalized scent” as much as it was “Smell this and then I’ll bottle it”. Hey! My whole new world felt cheap! Plus, I felt olfactorily rushed. I got to smell four oils but we took our journey so quickly that I didn’t even notice much of a difference between any of them and just told her to give me the last one she called “woodsy” but now that my palate is cleared actually smells like banana Runts. Hardly the scent I’d like enveloping me as I rub my temples in a steamy tub. I guess you do pay a price for free stuff after all.

Last night, Hillertime and I went to Aldo because my dogs were barkin’ somethin’ ugly. My shoes were a wreck, they looked and smelled homeless. I wouldn’t sit next to them on the subway, that’s for sure. I tried on a pair and told the salesman I needed a different size and he told me “No, it’s ok, I can give you something to put in the shoe to make it fit”. Or…you could get me the size I want and not sell me anything else? Maybe? I think that’s how most other shoe stores work?


So I bought a new, correctly sized pair and as I was rung up, the salesgirl with her thick Russian accent said “Here is how you will care for shoes,” and proceeded to coat half of one shoe in waterproofing spray.
“You will do this every two weeks”.
I’m sure some people are like “Well that’s just great, now 1/4 of my total foot area will be protected from the elements, I should buy the spray just to finish the job this woman started” but not me. I am a savvy consumer who will not be fooled! When I rejected her shoe-care advances, she rang me up without the pleasantness that was present at the start of our relationship. I really missed the old her.

I enjoyed that she made the Aldo-script her own but she was like the Michelle Rodriguez of shoe salespeople – I respected the performance but the real-life person made me uncomfortable and scared. Jeff and I left the store worried that the shoe mafia might trail us and beat us with the array of unbought items we left behind.

I saw something the other day on TV where one person asked another “What’s the point of dying?” and the response was “To make life mean something”. I’m actually pretty sure it was from an episode of Lost – that show can get deep purple, for reals. But maybe that’s the point of people like Mean Aldo Saleslady – her death-like existence made me more thankful that there are people like Black Lipstick Guy, whose purpose was to make me (more) pretty, no questions asked. I only wish I could go back and thank him for his help. By the way, ladies – beauty really does equal booty.

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