Viva Viagra(but not for 15 year-olds)
I’ll get to that punchline in a minute. But Thursday nite, you shoulda been there. Nine immaculately groomed, all-buttoned up (all buttoned up in the beginning, anyway) thirty to forty year old women and me. There was a time I used to dismiss this type of woman. The type that’s too thin and too taut with shiny white teeth, perfect hair, and nicely applied “all natural” make-up. I figured they were boring, corporate, and way too controlling. Then I realized that I am also too thin and too taut and definitely way too controlling. So now I try not to dismiss them so quickly. It’s hard, tho. It’s very hard, especially when you hear them discussing the ins and outs of their personal skin-care “regimen” with the same sort of intensity and fierce earnestness that I might use to discuss genocide in the Congo or the melting of the polar ice cap. But this, after all, was why we were together in the room. To give an ad agency feedback about a new skin-care product. In this case, that product happened to be an extremely high end moisturizer. So high end, it gave me vertigo. Because it costs $1,000 an ounce. That’s right. A thousand bucks an ounce. When I heard they were giving it away free for ninety minutes of my time, I didn’t walk. I fucking ran through a blizzard to get there.
After the discussion came the great unveiling. There it was. A lucite diamond jar heavy enough to use as a doorstop. Or a weapon.Within seconds, jackets and sweaters were off. Shirts unbuttoned. Even sleeves rolled up as we dug into this magic creme with tiny silver spoons and slathered the stuff all over our skin in layers as thick as paint. My hands were so slippery, I couldn’t even hold a pencil. And I wasn’t alone. We were all greased up like women about to swim the English Channel. Which is when I stopped and laughed out loud. Because I had suddenly seen an ugly side of myself. It wasn’t my face or my skin. It was GREED. Pure, unadulterated greed. The same kind of greed that I imagine brings down international banks and creates men like Bernie Madoff. I mean, if I’d had a pocketbook, I would have stolen the stuff– swiped the bottles right off the counter and shoved them deep down into my bag. It was scary… At which point, the woman next to me told us a story about two of her friend’s sons on the Upper East Side. Seems they stole a couple of tabs of Viagra from Daddy’s medicine cabinet. Nine hours later, they still had hard-ons. Their parents had to take them to a nearby Emergency Room. I guess if women had hard-ons, I’d have had one for that $1,000 creme. But what a way to learn a lesson…
P.S. It’s now five days later and I swear I have the neck of a twenty-year-old. Maybe I’ll, finally, wash it off tonight.