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On June 16th, the Many Shades blog will be closed.
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Thursday, April 1, 2010


By A.J. Llewellyn

My friend Nadia opened her own day spa salon in Studio City a couple of years ago and told me when I rant into her in the street the other day that she was hurt that I hadn't made an appointment for a facial. Number one, I suppose some guys go in for this sort of thing but not me. Number two, I can't afford her rates. Number three, I sort of felt ambushed because I was walking my dog.
She didn't care. She dragged me and my dog up to her salon on Saturday afternoon. My dog cooled her heels chewing on some chicken under Nadia's desk as Nadia took me into one of her rooms and slathered some products on my face.
"Oh, my," she said, peering at my skin under a harsh light. "Tsk tsk tsk."
I started to panic. what did she mean tsk?
"Unless you do do something soon, your age will start to show." Say, what? The spooked expression on her face was the kind you usually see on people watching horror movies. My age? How bad do I look?
"You have to look after your skin. You're not gay," she said.
"Yes, I am."
"No, no. I mean looking after your skin means you're a Metrosexual."
"I hate that word. I'm gay."
She looked pained. "My straight clients use these products and they aren't gay."
She gave me a ton of samples to take home to try and urged me to use the mask. "When you're ready to buy, come see me and I'll give you a good price."
I staggered out of there with a bag full of swag, my dog dangling at the end of the leash. My skin felt good, so yesterday, I took out the swag and there was the mask. I followed the directions. I put the gray chalky stuff all over my face. It felt thick and creamy. Quite comforting in the heat of the unseasonably warm day.
I was supposed to wash it off after 10 minutes but it still felt wet to the touch so I left it on. I took a shower a little while later, dried off and washed my teeth, raced the dog out for a walk and then drove to a work meeting.
Everybody at the office stared at me. I thought my skin must have looked extra good. Maybe they thought I'd had a face lift. Every place I went, I got stares and whispers. I beamed at everyone. I felt pretty damned sexy.
Last night I went to chant at my Buddhist group. One of the guys drew me aside.
"Andy, are you aware you have a face mask on?"
I rushed to the bathroom. Holy fuckity fuck fuck fuck. He wasn't kidding! It was still there! In spite of a vigorous wash in the shower and a full day out and about, the mask was still on my face.
Holy crap!
No wonder people stared at me. I walked through the entire Universal Studios lot. I went to lunch at The Counter. I went to the post office, bank, the library...oh. My. God.
I scrubbed my face pretty hard probably undoing any good that damned mask might have done. This morning I see hints of it on my skin. Maybe the pasty look is in.
I do know I won't be purchasing any Metrosexual rubbish. I will just start to look my gay old age.

Aloha oe,


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