Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Watching them not watching me

    Accompanying my wife to a hospital appointment kept me away from work today. With an hour or two to kill in the morning we went in to town for a bit of shopping. She needed a couple of cosmetics so we went to our local MAC outlet, on the street-facing downstairs windows of our Debenhams department store.
    While she was receiving the attentions of the sales lady I stood back and looked out of the window onto the street, did a bit of people watching. MAC outlets are popular because they offer damn good quality cosmetics and a makeover service with knowledgeable staff. I was curious though because a frequent concern from the timid centres on their location, they always seem to have large on-street windows meaning that passers-by can see the people receiving makeovers.
     So I stood there for ten minutes, acting the uncertain bloke in the girl store to perfection, and watched the passers-by. My wife claims she saw a teenaged girl glance in the window, but I must have missed her because I saw nobody take an interest in the store. On a Wednesday morning everyone seemed more anxious to catch their bus or seize an opportunity to cross the road than they were to gawp at the cosmetics.
    I'm not convinced I need a MAC makeover just at the moment, but it's an important lesson for going out in the world en femme in general, people only really see what's right in front of them.
    The afternoon saw us in yet another waiting room in the hospital on the hill. This one was completely devoid of reading matter and I hate people watching in hospitals, everyone's so sad. Happily a family with three amazingly cute kids provided plenty of entertainment. My wife was pretty convinced she misgendered the oldest girl's teddy bear, something which I'm afraid to say amused us mightily in what was probably not the right environment for it. Well, until we heard the child talking to her she did look very masculine, in a cuddly ursine kind of way!
    My wife? It's official, there is nothing wrong with her. We celebrated at our local café.


  1. The MAC stores I've seen in the Toronto area are all in shopping malls. Usually they are not deep but are wide, so that everything going on there is easily seen by any passer-by. You definitely need to be pretty care-free under those conditions.

    Personally, I've taken to zie'ing teddys... you just never know.

    Great news about your wife.

  2. Fantastic news about your wife!


  3. Good news about your wife!!

    Kay and I have used MAC products for several years, even before the local Belk store put in a MAC counter. We would have to go to Tallahassee, Fl. or Atlanta, at the Macy's or Dillard store. What I like about MAC is they recycle used stuff and you get some new lipstick in exchange, not a bad deal.


  4. good show.

    My teddy bear is called Orsa. Which is a clue to her gender. As is that 'she'.

  5. Thanks all. I should have explained really, Mrs. J. had a scare earlier in the year over a false positive on a breast cancer test. Her mother is a breast cancer survivor so we took it very seriously. But we now have final confirmation that there is nothing to worry about. For which as you can imagine we are very very thankful.

    You'd think a company like MAC would figure they have a following among the more shy and install makeover stations behind displays or something.

    I think I'll be zie-ing soft toys from now on too. You never know when you might cause offence :)

  6. Been through all that and more with my wife over the years, she sure knows how to scare me with months or years of uncertainty.

    Thank goodness you are free of it and can now worry about something else instead!

    Caroline xxx

  7. Great to hear your wife is ok. It must be a relief to you both.
    I have never had a makeover but I may try one soon.
    Like you I was always worried I would stick out to much, but you are right, most people take no notice at all.

  8. Congratulations to your wife, on her clean bill of health, and thank you so much for teaching me a new word; ursine! Now I understand the derivation of Ursa Major, and Ursa Minor!

    Melissa XX

  9. The MAC section in our local Debs is v upfront and almost theatrical, or at least the people who work there are. I think I'd feel more invisible among them than in the slightly Stepfordy perfection of the labcoated girls on the other counters. Though there is a young chap in Boots who wears a miniskirt...

  10. Stepfordy is a perfect description of the traditional consmetic sales women. I've found them to be perfectly friendly but still intimidating. No chaps in miniskirts in this town, sadly.

  11. Lovely news that all is well with your wife. A very big relief for you both.

    I just don't do make-up. End of. When I walk past cosmetics saleswomen, I can sometimes feel their gaze, as in, "You poor naked thing, you're not wearing any make-up - how could you think to go out without it?" However, that's very likely to be just my imagination working overtime.

    Loved your description of the children and the bear :-)

  12. Thank you!

    I'm afraid it's a beard concealment thing, though my genetics haven't cursed me in that department as much as many in my predicament. If Mrs. J has taught me one thing in cosmetics as in everything, less is more.

  13. All the MAC counters I have ever been to have been buried in the middle of department stores, usually Dillard's or Macy. I've always been impressed with their professionalism and service, and their willingness to help me regardless of how I've been dressed.

  14. Delighted to hear your missus is in the clear!

  15. @Jaye: that's much as I'm told they are here. It's just their very visible positions that make them "interesting".

    @Leslie: thank you! A load off our minds.

  16. @Jaye: that's much as I'm told they are here. It's just their very visible positions that make them "interesting".

    @Leslie: thank you! A load off our minds.

  17. Pleased about the news regarding your wife :-)

  18. Jenny, good to hear your wife is OK.

    The title of this post reminded me of the Kate Bush song (introduced to me by our own CFG), Watching You Without Me. Has absolutely nothing to do with this post (so why am I even writing this, lol?)

    People only see what they want to see. We get so worried about being seen and generally realize that in most cases there is really nothing to worry about.

    Now, about that makeover?

    Calie xxx

  19. Thank you both!

    I will reach a MAC in girl mode in the fullness of time, don't worry.