Thursday, August 13, 2009
Secrets from the Dead Sea
Here’s one of the few ways to get me to buy something:
Be cute; have big dark eyes. Speak with an accent (Middle Eastern works best). Tell me I look like I’m 32. Lower the price five times.
This almost worked like a charm at the mall kiosk the other day, where I came this close to buying a two-year supply of Dead Sea Salt Scrub and the accompanying Secret Mineral Lotion. I was instantly transported back to my days in Jerusalem, where Israeli boys will flirt with you no matter how much older you are and the only way to be sure you’ve gotten the absolute lowest price is to declare a firm, unequivocal “no” and stride purposefully away from the merchant.
After exfoliating and lotioning at the kiosk, my hands really were soft and rejuvenated. My new Israeli friend showed me the residue floating in the basin. Dead skin cells, he declared. He sounded almost wistful.
“How much would you pay to go to a spa?” he asked me.
I don’t go to spas.
“What do you do for a living?”
I told him I write and I wondered how he could possibly use that information to further his cause.
“Oh, a writer. So you wash your hands often, yes?”
Are writers supposed to wash their hands a lot? Is this why I’m not more successful?
I ultimately passed up deal after deal and left the mall empty handed. I told my husband that I loved the way my hands felt (and smelled) after the Dead Sea treatment, but sloughing and creaming once a week just felt like another chore to do. Besides, my husband thinks my skin is plenty soft, and the only other time I’m touched is when my kids want to infuriate me by playing with the fat on my upper arms.
“If the Dead Sea salt makes that little activity more appealing, I don’t want any part of it,” I told my husband.
“Maybe you can invent a product that actually makes your upper arms rough and sandpapery,” he said, always trying to help me think of ways to improve my life.
Or maybe I should just wash my hands more.