On Thursday of last week, I headed into the heart of Indianapolis to pick up some discounted tickets I had purchased for only $20 each (a $32 savings per ticket) for the Indiana Repertory Theater's showing of "Dracula." I figured it would be a quick trip in and out and planned to return home with plenty of time to exercise and shower before picking Sean back up. Alas, things didn't go quite as planned.
When I arrived at the theater, I discovered that the box office wasn't open yet. Indeed, it wouldn't open until 11 a.m. I was pleased that I had parked in the Circle Center Mall parking because I assumed I could kill the time shopping in the mall (something I almost NEVER do because instead of being a mall-level shopper, I'm more of a Target-level shopper). However, even the mall shops hadn't opened. Obviously, Indianapolis is NOT the "city that never sleeps!"
Thankfully, Subway was open in the food court and I was thrilled to discover a wonderful promotion offering a small breakfast melt for only 55 cents. Now, we're talking! It was a delicious mix of egg, bacon, cheese and tomato. Yum!
The shops finally opened at 10 and I made a beeline to the Aeropostale store where I managed to snag a t-shirt for Bryce for only $6. Score one more deal for Wendy!
At this point, I was merely wandering around assessing the shops available at the mall. I had another half hour to kill. It had been so long since I've been in a mall, that I didn't realize how dangerous wandering can be! It seems that now there are vendors in the halls who pounce upon the wandering, ambling shopper.
Let me preface the details of this interaction by explaining exactly how I looked. I had foregone a shower that morning because I was so convinced I would make it home in time to exercise and shower later. My hair was drooping. My clothes were ... let's say not up to mall-shopping attire (although, I'm pleased that I wasn't still clad in sweats or pajama bottoms - ha).
As I ambled by, this absolutely gorgeous girl (mid-twenties, I'd say) stopped to offer me a sample of her Deep Sea Cosmetics. I took the sample (mistake number one). Then, she quickly commented (before I had time to dash off) that she noticed I wear my nails au natural (without polish). She asked if she could show me something that would amaze me. Then she asked about the last time I had been amazed. I couldn't even think of anything amazing in my life.
She pulled me over and began her spiel. She produced a rectangular buffer and began rubbing along my thumb nail while telling me loads of enticing information about her wonderful products from the Dead Sea in Israel. The girl manipulated with another tactic, asking my name so she could appeal to me on a personal level with each persuasive pitch. Internally, I was already rehearsing my no-sale mantra ("There's no way I'm spending that kind of money. I'm not even the type of woman who devotes time and energy to such maintenance").
I actually WAS AMAZED! When she finished buffing my nail, first with the blue side, then the magenta side, then the white silk side, my nail was absolutely shining ... all on its own, with no polish. I'm not a polish-kind-of-girl. In fact, to use the above comparison, I'd be a Dollar-Store-nail care patron. I can't be bothered with wearing polish and besides, when I do attempt to put on polish, one of the boys smudges them before they get a chance to dry.
Of course, she wasn't just selling the buffer tool. That would be too simple, too easy. No, they want to make money. She offered me the complete Dead Sea nail treatment kit for only $49.99, and they would throw in a second one for free. As she launched into all the reasons, I should purchase the kit, she began to apply a nourishing cuticle oil and explained how it heals cuticles without the need for the services of a manicure (as if I ever pay money for someone to manicure my nails!).
The final piece in the package was a tube of Dead Sea hand and body lotion. I have very sensitive skin. My skin is susceptible to eczema. I have to moisturize it regularly. My dermatologist has counselled me never to use lotions that come as a cream (in a tube or squirt-bottle). So I really wasn't interested in the lotion.
I tried to haggle. I wanted them to sell me the nail buffer and the oil without the lotion. The girl, (whose name I had discovered was Jila - though she was as far from a Jila monster as you could get) appealed to her boss. He vetoed the idea but joined in the sales pitch. He was sure there was someone I would need a gift for soon. I couldn't convince him that there wasn't one person in my life to whom I could reasonably give this as a gift.
What can I say? They wore me down. I gave in. I kept thinking, "I can't believe I'm spending this much money on myself!" Then I would internally argue that my life coach has been encouraging me to spend money on myself.
I shouldn't have lingered a moment in those internal arguments. Before I could pull myself away, Jila, with her exotic accent, moved right into the next sales pitch. I kept thinking, "They can tell I'm a woman who needs to spend more time taking care of herself!"
Jila put a dab of sea salt scrub into the palm of my hand, poured a small amount of water from a pitcher over it and told me to rub my hands together. Moments later, she poured water over again. Here was the clincher: she showed me the contents of the bowl (amazingly scummy with dead skin cells) and urged me to feel my hands. They were, as she said, "as soft as a baby's bottom!"
Fifty-nine further dollars later, I have amazingly shiny nails and astoundingly soft skin. I love these products. I didn't love the price (and I did find similar ones on-line for a tad-bit less), but I can't complain about the results I am experiencing. (I'm hoping it will work on Trevor's eczema, too, if he'll tolerate the beautiful smell.) My skin and nails are worth it. I'm worth it. That's my mantra, and I'm sticking to it!