I may be a tool of the patriarchy, or I may have been warped in my formative years by a big box of Mademoiselle back issues given to me by my aunt, but nothing makes me happier than looking and smelling pretty. I'm sorry, Gloria.
“You smell like candy” someone said to me recently. “Really?” I said, batting my eyelashes. “That’s funny.” Of course I smell like candy – I spent an hour at Sephora, dipping my fingers into tester pots of solid perfume, slathering myself with body lotion samples, and spritzing eau de toilette onto tiny sticks of paper and waving them in front of my nose, trying to create the exact combination of smells that produce the sugary scent that emanates from me. Call me crazy, but when I smell good, I feel good. Put on a little lipstick and a dab of perfume, and the world seems brighter.
I suspect that the other parents at my kids’ school think I have it all together because I’m wearing eyeliner and lipstick when I bring my kids to school in the morning, but all it really means is that I took five minutes to moon in front of the mirror, ignoring the demands of my daughters on the other side of the bathroom door. God may have given me one face, but I have no qualms about making myself another, even when lunches need to be packed and breakfasts made. Take away my makeup and perfume, and I’ll be tempted to do my Ophelia impression at the bottom of Prospect Park Lake. Come to think of it, maybe that’s what happened to her. She was so fixated on those flowers; she was probably just jonesing for some good perfume. Forget the nunnery, Ophelia - get thee to a Sephora!
Illustration © Jaeman Park