Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"Have you ever had your makeup done? At first I didn't like her hands on my eyes. The brushes tickled. But I got used to it."

I couldn't see her. My back was towards her, but I could tell by the sound of her voice that she was tan and got pedicures. I could smell her from where I sat. She smelled good. Like shea butter lotion and coconut hair product. She was the type who said "fabulous" like fabulous. I pretended to read my book. Her friend made the obligatory sounds of someone who was pretending to care.

"And look," she said.

I imagined she was pointing to a picture on her iPhone. Or some device.

"The way the eye shadow reacts to light changes the color of your eyes. For the first time in my life, mine were blue."

"Unbelievable," said her friend. Mockingly?

I listened out for the empty, dramatic pause.

There it was.

"I know," said Fabulous. "Right?"

Nothing Fabulous and her friend spoke about was of particular interest. There was no reason to take offense. Except the fact that I was here, at this cafe, under this fig tree first. Reading my book in silence. Then they sat down to smoke and chat about Bobbi Brown makeovers.

I am no one to badmouth Bobbi Brown and her makeovers. I know firsthand the wonders she works. Her longwear gel eyeliner changed my life. Well, not really, but since buying my first jar years ago, my eye makeup has never looked better, even post-sleep. But this didn't detract from the fact that Fabulous & Co. were cramping on my afternoon.

Really, the events under the fig tree were a matter of volume and nothing more. I've met women like Fabulous. I haven't just heard them while I pretend to read Didion. They want to be heard. They want to be heard talking about eye makeup. I'm still trying to figure out why.

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