He wanted me to buy $200 worth of skin products to look younger. This is what I said.

So. I was kind of a brat the other day. And I don't regret it one bit.

I was headed to my gate at the airport when a man at a store suckered me in with a free bar of natural soap. NOTHING IS FREE, PEOPLE!

At least, not in airports, am I right?


This is basically how the conversation went, although I admit, this is not verbatim.

Man: "Your skin is so natural looking, you aren't wearing any makeup, right?"

Me: "Um, no?"

Man: "Let me guess your age."

He proceeded to pull out a number 12 years younger than I am.

Me: "I look my age, and that's OK, actually."

Man: "Let me show you our face serum, because if you aren't careful to maintain your skin now, these wrinkles on your face will get much deeper. By 45, creams won't help anymore."

Me: "What's wrong with a woman looking 40?"

Man: "Well, let's talk about the bags under your eyes and those smile lines. My eye cream could improve those in 15 minutes."

Me: "What's wrong with my eyes? I have a miracle baby at home and haven't slept in 2 years, so if I have bags I am grateful to have them. And my husband and I laugh a lot. Those are his fault. He loves how I look ... I don't think I need your cream."

"What's wrong with a woman looking 40?"

Man: (nervously) "They may be manageable now, but by 50, it's too late to correct sagging skin and deep wrinkles. Unless you act now, only surgery can correct those."

Me: "What's wrong again with a woman aging? You know, my husband and I can't wait to grow old together, we talk about it all the time, how we'll be this funny, wrinkled old couple. My husband is going to age too. We all are. It's kind of how life works."

Now he's glancing nervously at other customers in the store who are listening in.

Man: "Wait, if it's the price that's an issue, I can offer you our special this week, all three creams for $199 — that's cheaper than Botox!"

Me: "I look fine now, and when I'm 45 I will look fine, and when I'm 50 I will look fine because there is nothing wrong with a woman aging. Old age is a privilege denied to many, and I don't appreciate you marketing youth instead of your products and denigrating aging women as a sales tactic. Thank you, but I don't want or need your cream."

I was so horrified by the normalcy of his sales pitch, and the sales ringing up at his cash register, that I took a picture of that wrinkled baggy face he was selling to, right on the spot.

Photo by Annick Robinson, used with permission.

This is the face my children and my husband love. I think I'll keep it.

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