The Song: "Wig in a Box," The Polyphonic Spree. Words & music by Stephen Trask. Track 9 of Wig in a Box, 2004.
When/how acquired: Purchased MP3, 2007.
I had errands to run and friends to see in Portland yesterday, and stopped off at the Maine Mall to spend a gift card a friend/client had given me for Christmas. I never go shopping, and can't remember the last time I visited the Macy's in South Portland. I needed a new winter coat; I needed new turtlenecks to replace the ones that have become so desperately shabby; I needed socks and underwear and all those things I never replace until they are frayed and holey.
I used my gift card to buy a tube of Chanel lip gloss.
I can't remember the last time I bought expensive makeup; several years ago, certainly, before some conference where I knew I'd see a young man who had captured my affections. (Makeup didn't help, by the way. In my experience, it never does.) I don't lead a life that requires much makeup, except when I go on stage, and I have enough stage makeup to last a while.
But I saw the Chanel display, and remembered a wonderful tube of Chanel lipstick I used to have, years and years ago when I had disposable income for that kind of thing. I stopped at the counter, pulled out a tester in a shade I liked, and tried it on the back of my hand. It was bright, and shiny, and made the world around me seem brighter and shinier.
"I'll take it," I said, and handed over my gift card.
It's completely indefensible. Self-indulgent. Reckless, even. But if the result is that I go out looking for opportunities to wear my lip gloss in public, that might not be a bad thing.