I do refer to ‘The Holidays’ instead of Christmas sometimes. It’s somewhat PC, since my environment surrounds me with many different strokes of folks and when the season is upon us I like to hope everyone enjoys whatever the hell they’re doing. But this is only half the motivation. Since my birthday is slightly before Christmas, a month prior to be precise, and since ‘Christmas’ starts earlier and earlier every year, I have come to refer to my own fete as part of ‘the holidays’. Yes, I am fantastic enough to look at all the glittery lights and snowflakes and assume that they are there in celebration of me. I think someone, somewhere once (probably in University) got offended by that, but where I come from Christmas is nothing more than a reminder to spend money. So fuck it, it’s my damn birthday.
Anyways, I tend to get much in the way of gift cards and the like throughout the holidays. I’m not the kind of person to be offended by the “it’s so impersonal” approach. I do enjoy a random thoughtful gift, something small and inexpensive that demonstrates a close knowledge of my life and loves, a reminder that I’m liked. A surprise Starbucks on a bad day, a nice pen or other desktop knick-knack. But for the mandatory gift-giving seasons, where I feel we do no more than exchange money instead of time, hit me up with gift cards. I’m all over that. I’m sure you’ve got enough people in your own life that are difficult enough to buy for and I’m not going to be one of them. I don’t need stuff.
This year the cards were Winners, Lululemon, and the Body Shop. They procured, respectively, the Mom Purse (seriously, when the fuck did I start carrying around a big-ass, doubles-as-a-laptop-case, knocks over old people behemoth of a purse?), a yoga dvd (as yet unopened…) and some Mandarin Orange Orchid perfume.
Let me tell you about the perfume. It’s not much, simple and fun. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it. I do wish I had been able to actually shop around and purchase something I really wanted, but I unfortunately got sucked into the consumerism mind trick that says “YOU HAVE ENTERED A STORE. YOU MAY NOT LEAVE UNLESS YOU PURCHASE SOMETHING. YOU HAVE A GIFT CARD, WHY CAN’T YOU JUST MAKE UP YOUR STUPID MIND???”
I really wish I had just turned on my heels and left the store. My poor dad who was with me just shook his head and stayed out by the fountain – no way in hell kiddo, you’re on your own in there.
Tell me, what comes to mind when you think of ‘The Body Shop,’ hmm?
It Used To Be For Hippies
Do you, much like myself, still think of ‘non-animal testing’ and ‘natural’ and ‘fresh’ and other familiar, somewhat hippie terms? Oatmeal scrubs and raspberry soaps? Body butters, surely!
Natural Looking Faces - A Good Thing!
Well. I’m sorry if I haven’t made a trek into one of these little hovels of hippiedom anytime recently. I now live in an area of the city in which it is far easier to go to the indie natural store up the street whenever I have the urge to buy something environmentally friendly. So yes, it has been a while since my presence has graced this formerly fresh-faced facility, I will admit. However, given that the last time I checked they’re still all yay-environment, I was a little surprised to be not just greeted, but accosted, by this face:
- What. The. Ass.
When did The Body Shop start competing with MAC and failing terribly? Have you never heard of image branding? What the hell? If I wanted to be blind sided by glaring liner and oonksha-oonksha-oonksha-wikki-wikki-whiirrr music I would have gone into Stitches or wherever the hell young skinny people shop for saran-wrap pants these days. I want earthy! I want clear skin and cotton shirts! I sure as hell don’t want some Kelly Osbourne sans-rehab done up a la Rocky Horror getting between me and the shelving within thirty seconds of my crossing the threshold!
After telling Body Shop Barrista #1 that I’m more than capable of browsing without having my upper lip waxed, I did a quick circle of the premises to investigate the sale items, the new items, the smelliest items. It seems we’ve lost the way of the granola, but at least the place still smells fantastic – perhaps all is not lost. This may be why I ended up at the perfume section in the first place, it’s not like I’m an otherwise frequent user.
This is where Barrista #2 showed up.
YOU MUST BUY THE GIFT SET!!!
My hand had not yet touched a sample bottle or even reached for the little paper tabs intended for test sprays when a glaring flowery head accessory came dashing towards me, all in a flurry about gift sets. Don’t buy the single bottle! My name is Anna and we’ve got gift sets! Yes, oh yes, you can get not just a bottle of the scent you need to live, but powders and creams and matching little boxes that will go gloriously moldy in that unvented bathroom of yours! Oh, but not in that scent. Or that scent. How about the lavender? I know you seem to be interested in Mandarin Orange Orchid, but if you simply decide to like what I like, you can get more of what I like!
Hey Anna? Fuck off.
So this is probably why I grabbed the Mandarin Orange Orchid, to show Anna that I was so intent on my desired purchase that I would forgo all offers of extras in order to claim my prize. I covet this little bottle, and not you or Dr. Frankenberry Lipliner who got me at the door will stop me! Get out of my way, I’m headed for the cash!
I got my perfume. I went back into the mall, shaking the music and lights and anger from my head. My dad greeted me at the Starbucks, marvelled over the noise I had just faced (remember, a year ago I probably would have cried) and waited patiently while I poured enough honey into my rooibos tea to sugar-shock myself into a nice daze for the ride home. It took me a week to bust out with the first spray, and if it hadn’t been at least remotely pleasant I probably would have just bombed someone with it out my back window instead of making the return trek to have it exchanged.
The perfume was about $20. The gift card was $25. I won’t be spending the remainder any time soon, so uh…yeah. Let me know if you want $5 in Body Shop Bucks.
Stupid Body Shop.