After finding Gracie a new outfit, I found a pair of jeans that were exactly what I was looking for, and we sauntered along until I saw a Lush store straight ahead. I've never been in one, but just walking past one gives me an insta-headache from the demon scents. It's as if mother nature threw up all over herself and then rinsed it off with lavender and jasmine. It's worse than walking through the laundry detergent aisle in the grocery store. However, I got a few Lush products for my birthday last year and loved them, and there were a few things I wanted to try, but I wanted to see them in person first.
James and Gracie sat on a nearby bench while I declared war on my olfactory senses. I walked inside, willing myself not to pull my shirt over my face. I stuck my fingers in various samples of lotions and felt myself lose consciousness a few times from the overwhelming odor that can only come from every single smell known to man aggressively wafting through one tiny room. By the time I was three steps in I had already started wheezing. It reminded me of when I was pregnant and could smell everyone's body wash from a mile away. Add in some debilitating nausea and I was back in the first trimester.
I found the face scrub I was looking for and tried to see what else I could find before the smells overpowered my will to live. Within seconds, an employee spotted me, stood as close to me as possible, and then softly whisper-asked if I've used the face scrub before.
"Nope, but a few people recommended it so I'm going to try it."
She inched even closer to me, as if she were going to tell me her debit card number, looked me dead in the eyes and whispered, "But what are your skincare needs?"
My skincare needs? I'm not sure I even understand what that means.
I shrugged as she pulled me over to a bowl of water and asked for my hand. I thought she was going to propose until she whipped out a sample and started massaging my hand with it. People were shuffling in and out and all around, staring at me as I stood rigidly through an unauthorized hand massage, praying I wouldn't see anyone I knew.
"Doesn't that feel good? Doesn't the salt make you feel like you're vacationing in Florida? Doesn't your skin feel wonderful?" she whispered as she continued to rub my hand and I strained to hear what she said. Not only was it incredibly noisy, but I think even the violent fragrances were making it hard to hear. The only thing that made me feel like I was in Florida was the fact that I was sweating, but it was due to the awkwardness and not humidity. It was a good thing I had already decided to buy this stuff, because otherwise I think she would've held me captive until I agreed to. It was like they rounded up a bunch of car salesmen to sell skincare.
"Compare your hands. Doesn't the scrub make your hands look completely different?"
"Wow! Totally!" I said, even though the only difference I could tell was that one was still slightly wet and one was dry.
I quickly backed away to glance at one more thing when a girl with emerald green hair and bright blue eyebrows swooped in and redirected my attention to something called "shower jelly." Before I knew what was happening, she was rubbing what looked to be a blob of yellow jello up and down my arm that reeked of gummy bears.
"Isn't this so great? It's made from seaweed! It's only $7! Here, buy some! You should get the neon blue one!"
"That's ok, I'll buy it next time." I said as I slowly backed away with a nervous smile plastered on my face. I felt like I was in the back of a 1970s VW van, and everyone was high except for me.
I started to walk to the check-out counter, proud of myself for sticking to my guns and only buying what I had walked in for, when the mermaid girl swooped back in front of me.
"Oh my gosh!! When are you due? Congratulations!"
"When are you due? You're pregnant, right?"
Next time I think I'll just order online.