Last week I went to the mall to just kinda like wander around and kill an hour or so of my life.
So I wandered in to Sephora because this summer when I was blonde I read an article on the internet that said blondes should try wearing brown mascara, and if an article on the internet says I should do something, I usually do it which is why I’ve joined QAnon (kidding. Obviously).
So anyway all summer I wore brown mascara but now that I’m a brunette again I felt it was the right time to return to black mascara, (I know, the story is really getting good).
Well, I was a little upset because online it said that Sephora carried Givenchy Phenomeneyes Mascara but I wandered around for at least fifteen minutes and didn’t find it anywhere. ALL of the employees working asked me at some point if I was “finding everything okay”, and it was very awkward because although it was quite obvious I was not “finding everything okay,” I wasn’t going to actually ask for help. Like, what if they laughed at my choice of mascara? Or tried to help me find a better mascara for me?
My womanhood would be challenged.
So I decided to just go with Anastasia brand mascara because that’s the brand the winner of Rupaul’s Drag Race gets.
But all of this is just extraneous detail that is entirely beside the point.
So…sorry about that.
THE POINT IS, when I went to pay for my purchase, the cashier asked for my email address to look up my Sephora account. I was V excited to hear what my account would yield because I KNEW it had accumulated a LOT of points because once upon a time in days of yore, I was making bank in the city and would go to Sephora at least twice a week for some made up reason such as “this work event calls for a dark purple lip color” or “this weekend I’m going to see if I can look like a Snapchat filter“.
I knew I must have some serious points.
So imagine my surprise when the cashier’s Kat von D mouth opened wide in surprise, and instead of “congratulations, you have ten million points, your purchase is free and you now own all of Sephora” she said…
“Ah! It’s time to collect your birthday gift!”
My entire life flashed before my eyes.
My day of birth is March 25th.
I tried to mirror her excitement, and then winced….
Oh my god, I’ve been unemployed so long that I don’t even know what month or season it is…
Or…or I’ve gone into mental hibernation…a protective mode to shield me from the chaos of the world.
It must’ve been triggered by the “debate” the previous evening. My senses were on overload and I couldn’t cope. So much yelling, so much “old white man,” so much peanutbutter whiskey consumed…
My true consciousness went to sleep and my body and brain had continued on auto-pilot until the chaos was over and it sensed a safe place to wake me back up…
How much had I missed?
Was Donald still the president?
Was Amy Coney Barrett a Supreme Court Justice?
Can women and people of color still vote?
Can gays still marry?
Did I miss the last Christmas where women can sit at the same table as men?
Is it “Handmaid’s Tale” now? Is Britney okay? Did she get any freedom before we all had to don our “Maid” apparel?
WHEN WILL THE NEW BATMAN WITH ROBERT PATTINSON COME OUT AND WHY DO I CARE!?!?
All these thoughts…all at once…
The cashier was looking at me. It was now or never.
Do I tell her its not my birth month? Do I do the honest thing so they don’t run out of birthday gifts for people who actually have October birthdays?
“Y-yeah…ohh…er…yay! My birthday!”
Just….just wow. Some poor Libra isn’t gonna get their free body cream or free mascara because you are the worst.
Wait…this could not be my fault…she didn’t even ask me! She just…said it. She told me it was time to collect my birthday gift…and I’m not trying to argue in the Sephora store, that’s not part of my zen.
But now I was feeling rushed. Rushed to turn thirty. The pressure and doom I’d associated with that number sent a chill up my spine.
It’s the bags…the bags under my eyes.
She took one look at me and she was like….”this b—h just turned thirty, look at those lines. You can see the young person she was yesterday just being devoured by an old witch with osteoporosis and New Balance sneakers!”
She looked at me impatiently and said, with an evil smirk, “do you want the body cream or the mascara?”
And what I wanted to say was “B***H I JUST BOUGHT MASCARA WTF DO YOU THINK?” and then just RUN OUT OF THE STORE CRYING.
Deep, deep, “Harry-Styles-Calm-App” Breaths.
How could she be this cruel on my birthday!
IT’S NOT YOUR BIRTHDAY YOU PSYCHO!
“I’ll go with the body-cream.” And I’ll rub it all over my hot, young, wrinkle-free twenty-nine-year old body.
Smile. Nod. Thank you. No bag necessary, I’m saving the planet.
So I have this dishonest Sephora birthday gift now, and I can’t bear to open it because I wonder what it means.
What it means about who I’ve become and who I’m becoming.
I wonder if this means no Sephora Birthday Gift in March…
I wonder if it is possible to hibernate my consciousness until after November 3rd, or possibly even until 2024.
I wonder if Sephora is really a safe space or if they’re pushing me to grow up too fast.
And I wonder if maybe they accidentally pulled up my mom’s account who’s birthday is in October, and now my mom will be Sephora Birthday Gift-less…
The world may never know.
Save me from myself.