An Apology To My Friend Deborah Lippmann, I Have Become My Parents
I’m sure if I had joined the therapy bandwagon years ago when all my pals were doing it that maybe I would not have answered the call of destiny so completely but answer it I have. I used to think that I had taken the best of both of my parents, mixed a little bit of my own fabulous in and created a unique human being. I was wrong. A recent couple of trips to stores like Neiman Marcus and Barneys to buy some nail polish (as gifts) from a pal’s collection, Deborah Lippmann and the assimilation was complete. An apology to my friend Deborah Lippmann, I have become my parents – Don’t Get Me Started!
Lest you think that I do not like my parents, I can assure you that I adore them. We make one another laugh like no other people on the planet. I talk to my mother almost every day and we have dinner together every Sunday. (What kind of a nice Jewish boy would I be if I didn’t make my spouse have dinner with my parents every week?) But what has always bothered me about my parents is a list that is too long to go into here so I’ll focus on the one annoyance that I now possess. It began years ago actually. My father is the worst but my mother is just as bad. You see, my father grew up in a small town. So small that when my parents moved back there to take care of his parents when their health was failing, my mother received a call one morning from my grandmother at around 9am asking why she had been at the market at 8am? You see, so and so had seen her there and called my grandmother and well, you get how it goes, it was a small town and everyone but everyone was in everyone’s business. My parents did not live there long. The thing is that my father carries his special brand of small townness with him wherever he goes. We’re creatures of habit and when my parents would frequent the same restaurant for certain meals of the day and then I would come to town before I sat down the server and everyone else at the restaurant all ready knew everything about me. “Oh, you’re the actor son, right? Where are you acting? Your parents told me about that part you almost got.” As I would cringe and sink into the leather booth I realized that my parents had shared a little too much.
Well it’s happened and I’m sharing way too much. At this point I guess it’s best to tell you that I have known Deborah Lippmann for most of my life. Our families were and are close friends. I adore her and when she became the “Manicurist to the Stars” I was not surprised. Nor was I surprised by her fabulous selling CDs for I have also heard Deborah sing for most of my life and know she’s an amazing talent. So when I was invited by a co-worker to his sixteen year old daughter’s fashion show for charity well, I’m a Jew I can’t go empty handed so I immediately thought about the semi-new color from my pal Deborah’s nail line, “Happy Birthday” a glittery bottle of fun that every woman should own. Sure I could have gone to the website to purchased it (and you should do so right now http://lippmanncollection.com/07/LC007_index.html) but I thought it was better if I bought it in a retail location so that the retailer would know how hot Deborah’s products really are. First I called Nordstrom and they were sold out of the Happy Birthday so I called Neiman’s and they had one in stock. I had them hold it for me. When I arrived at Neiman’s I asked for the salesperson I’d spoken to on the phone and she immediately knew who I was and what I was there for as only Neiman’s sales associates can do, they give great guest service. I asked if I could see the Lippmann Collection display. After all I figured, I should look and see that Deborah’s stuff was merchandised correctly as I’m an old retail gay from way back. The display was fine and mostly full with the exception of Happy Birthday which while there was one for display, the one bottle left was under the counter for me. And as the salesperson walked me back to the counter I heard this voice coming from me that I couldn’t quite believe, “I’m a friend of Deborah Lippmann so I like to check out the display when I buy her products to let her know how it looks in the store.” ARGHHHHHHHH! While some may think I was trying to impress the salesperson I can assure you that it was just my parents’ “too much information telling” entering my body.
Flash forward a week later and I’m about to go visit a friend on tour with Fiddler on the Roof with Theodore Bikel. The friend in question who is a stage manager on the show used to be a manicurist so I once again knew Happy Birthday was the way to go. In the meantime another co-worker had told me his daughter’s birthday was coming up so another bottle needed to be purchased. I called Nordstrom, still out. Neiman’s? I had exhausted their current stock. And so I called Barneys. George (who somehow managed to get the “S” sound in his name upon answering the phone at his cosmetics counter) knew exactly what I was looking for and asked me how many bottles of Happy Birthday I needed. “Two please George, thankssss.” I answered for I have been cursed with the sibilant “s” too. When I arrived at Barneys there he was, tanned within an inch of his life, dyed black hair spiked to perfection and a pursing of the lips that only us gays can do. He took the bottles from under the counter and said, “You’ve shopped with us before, yes?” I told him I had and as he searched for me in the system, raising and eyebrow that I was a local there was a pause in the conversation. And although I had practiced in the car NOT to say anything about knowing Deborah, Satan’s voice came from the depths of my body once more, the whole story spilled out about me knowing Deborah most of my life. I was embarrassed, George seemed nonplused and as I walked out with the silliest, smallest shopping I was emotionally cutting myself.
I feel a little like Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein, “Destiny, destiny, no escaping, that’s for me.” There are certain ways that I’m not like my parents but I’m afraid there are more ways that I’m exactly like them. As my spouse said to me once when I said, “I think I’m becoming my mother.” “BECOMING?!?” was his response as I glared. So to Deborah Lippmann and to all my friends actually, I don’t think this will be the first or the last of these kinds of apologies, just realize that I’m doing it from a good place and can’t help myself. You’d forgive an alcoholic citing his disease I hope you can do the same for me with my “telling all” syndrome. An apology to my friend Deborah Lippmann, I have become my parents – Don’t Get Me Started!
Read More Scott @ www.somelikeitscott.com
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