Quote of Inspiration

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Atilla and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I went to Nordstrom today to pick up my Creme de la Mer body lotion. You can imagine my delight when they told me that since I purchased the lotion, I was also going to be given a special anniversary gift. Now, let me just say that Creme de la Mer isn't known for gifts. They're not like Lancome or Clinique, who seem to have a constant rotation of "gifts-with-purchase." I've never before even seen a gift-with-purchase at la Mer.

Well, in addition to my bottle of lotion, I received a .24 oz. jar of actual Creme de la Mer face cream (which I use everyday), a small bottle of the tonic and a little jar of the eye concentrate. As if that wasn't enough, she threw in a small tube of the body creme, which is thicker than the lotion, and which I'm especially pleased with as my hands are beyond dry at the moment.

In addition to all of this, I tried the sunscreen. Now, let me say that sunscreen is very important to me - as you might imagine - given the whiteness of my skin (which my sister says is better described as "translucent"). I have tried every facial sunscreen on the market. I like Clinique City Block in 40 SPF and Cetephil's new facial moisturizer with SPF 50. Both are quite nice, but both do feel like sunscreen. They go on and leave just a hint of that white, sunscreen film, catching the tiny hairs across my face in a faint glow.

I didn't expect much from Creme de la Mer's sunscreen, because how can you really improve upon facial sunscreen? Well.........let me tell you, however they do it, they've done it. The sunscreen is incredibly light and soft. It feels like putting silk across your face. There is no white residue. None. It actually feels like a sheer coating of primer, which makes putting make-up on even nicer. I felt my skin was smoother after applying the sunscreen. It is lovely. It is an SPF 30 and has 4% zinc oxcide. And really, it doesn't take a heaping gob. The stuff really does smooth over the skin so that it only requires a small amount.

I bought it. It's $65 for a small tube, which should last me several months. I think it's totally worth the money.

I am excited about my body lotion. I will apply it today, when I get home from the pool, after I shower. It will be especially nice and luxurious after spending hours under the sun, slathered in drying sunscreen (I have to use an SPF factor of 50 to 70).

My sister read my post from the other day, and she called me and said, "I think your post makes you sound more frugal than you really are." She has a point. I'm not all Mrs. Frugal, coupon-shopper, never buy anything nice. When I spend money, I can really spend money. But the point is that I agonize over it, wring my hands, put it off, and then I end up returning much of what I purchase. The point of this experience is to buy a luxury item and to use it all with abandon, no hand-wringing, no dabbing it on once tiny minuscule amount at a time, no returning it. When I got home today, I tore off the packaging, put the lotion in my bathroom and threw the box away. It feels great.

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