She gives her husband a playful tap on the hand.
“Oh hush now, Jake. There’s one right over there.” She points toward the outside of the store in the mall area.
He sighs then shrugs.
“I’ll wait here, I guess….in the…what is this? Cosmetics?”
“Yes, dear. Fragrances and Cosmetics. I’ll only be a minute.”
“Oh yeah? Well your minute is….”
“I said hush! You might want to find the little boys…”
“I don’t have to pee, Brenda!”
“Well. Browse around. Find some cologne. Anythings got to be better than that aftershave you have at home. Smells like bowl cleaner.”
“IT DOES NOT!” says wide-eyed, Jake.
“It does too. And I don’t think the men your age stopped wearing it.”
“British Sterling is a fine scent.”
“No it’s not. And your not British!”
Jake smiles. “Have to admit. It’s better than Bay Rum.”
“Yes my love. Bay Rum looks like pee. Now. I’m off to the girl’s room.”
Jake watches his wife wander off. He then turns toward the store and allows his feet to do the navigating. He observes the store activity, the women moving frantically about. Salespeople ringing up transactions for make-up. Cosmetologist giving free treatments of all sorts to women seated in sophisticated chairs. More women standing around spritzing liquids in fancy bottles on their skin, on sample paper then wafting under their noses.
He stopped to look at one woman matching her complexion to a chart of all different tones. A little girl, no more than 11-12 is doing the same. It’s the woman’s daughter. Now both of them are busy at the task at hand.
Jake then strolls through the women’s clothing sections, then the undergarments. It was all a bit overwhelming for the old fella.
Suddenly he’s met by his wife. As expected, its been more than a minute.
“Sorry dear. I…”
Jake cuts in.
“Eyeliner to define.
Blush to enhance.
Eye shadow to…shadow
Lips gloss to luster
Foundation to conceal
Chemical peels to reveal
Botox to tighten
Facials to hydrate
Collagen Induction Therapy
Bras that lift. Bras that separate. Bras that lift and separate. Thongs. Boy shorts. Undergarments that make you feel sexy. Bottom shaping jeans. Pants that elevate the bottom. All modeled by women who are said to be flawless but look severely malnourished.
Sweetheart. Are women suppose to look like this? Are they suppose to do this to themselves?”
Brenda puts her arms around, Jake.
“Jake. It’s a different world…different time.”
He looks deep into his wife’s eyes. He perfected making Brenda feel every one of those joyful 52 years of love with his eyes.
They began walking slowly again, hand in hand.
“Brenda? When did when start hating themselves?”