Monday, May 14, 2012
A Short and Embarrasing Encounter With Bobbi Brown
I insulted make-up maven, Bobbi Brown, within 5 minutes of meeting her.
I took my mother to Canyon Ranch in Massachusettes, for a few days, to celebrate her 70th birthday, and Mother’s Day. But for that price, it’s going to count as her next two birthday gifts.
We hit the road and, although visions of Thelma & Louise, never really danced in our heads, we caught up on the goings on in our lives. After a wrong turn here and an antique store there, we arrived three hours later, just in time for lunch. I was not going to miss out on a free meal.
In a matter of 48 hours, we saw Ted Koppel in a bathrobe, went zip lining, and both my mother and I managed to embarrass ourselves and insult the make-up maven herself, Ms. Bobbi Brown!
On our last morning at the ranch, we walked into the adorable cafe for breakfast where I immediately spotted Bobbi Brown and another woman sitting at a table. I was sure that my mom hadn’t seen her and it didn’t matter because we were going to take a seat at the far end of the cafe to take in the view of the sprawling property. But when another woman sat down at the window, my mother, sensing that it might be a bit cramped, sat down at the table next to Bobbi.
It’s hard to know what possesses me to do or say the things that I do and it’s probably better that I don’t look too closely. What I knew was that, for whatever reason, I was going to talk to Bobbi Brown, so I commented on her sausage. Say what?
It was the first thing that came to mind. She was eating a sausage, and I marveled at how good it looked and that maybe I should order one. What? She sensed my indecisiveness and asked me if I was a vegetarian. I told her that I ate fish and chicken, to which she assured me that it was a chicken sausage. I smiled and thought about the next asinine thing I could say.
I wouldn’t have to wait long.
I couldn’t help imagine what she was probably thinking, “These women don’t wear make-up? Really?” Leave it to me and my non make-up wearing mother to sit right next to Bobbi Brown. She did offer up some of her coffee, while we waited for ours, but I graciously declined. I thought that might’ve started a diarrhea of the mouth shit storm from me.
She said she was going to see what I was eating because I looked so fit. She opened the door. I simply walked in. I thanked her but the truth was, I was wearing black from head to toe. I didn’t need to tell her how slimming black can be. I told her that my bodily specimen of perfection was due to Pilates, which wasn’t entirely true. I’d been doing the Insanity workout and remiss with my Pilates practice, but I thought the conversation would end there, so I didn’t care.
Upon hearing Pilates, she humphed and the woman who was sitting across from her said, “I’m a Pilates instructor.” Shit. I replied, “Me too.” We chatted about our certifications, and where we lived. When I said New Jersey, Bobbi asked where and as it turns out we live about 15 minutes from each other. I told her that I had seen a house in her town that I had fallen in love with and that I wanted to replicate it in the town where my boyfriend and I were building a house. I’m sure she hadn’t heard a riveting story like that in a long time.
We continued speaking and my mom still didn’t know who we were talking to. This will mean a lot in a moment. Bobbi and her companion looked alike, and the ranch is notorious for mother daughter getaways, so I asked if they were mother and daughter. Bobbi shot me a look that felt like a dagger had pierced my heart, soul and cerebral cortex. Clearly they were not a mother and daughter team. I tried to be funny, and I back pedaled super fast. They were sisters.
Bobbi asked where my mom was from, and when she told her, Bobbi said that she only knew one family that lived there. The Lauren’s. My mom thought. Bobbi continued, “Ralph.” My mom said, “Oh, yeah, they were living there. But I don’t know if they’re still there.” I wanted her to stop talking because I think that Bobbi Brown would know where Ralph Lauren, who she’s probably broken bread with, lives. But I’m sorry to say that it went back and forth one more round before the topic was dropped.
I only wish that I had my business cards on me. I would’ve offered to barter with Bobbi, make-up lessons for Pilates lessons.