Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What Women Want

Women are fascinating creatures.  What makes them tick has been baffling men for centuries.  Some women are even baffled by themselves.  Which is precisely why the South Towne Expo Center in South Jordan, UT hosted What Women Want on Friday, April 16, 2010. 

I was surprised that there weren’t more cars in the parking lot.  Have you ever tried to go there for a scrapbooking convention?  You can’t even find parking on the street, much less pay someone to park in their driveway!  The scrapbooking convention is insane chaos of paper, embellishments, scrapbooking kits, and anything else you can think of to do with the ever popular hobby of scrapbooking. 

Friday’s choice parking spots were not a mirage.  Perhaps women already know what they want. 

The great and spacious building loomed across the parking lot inviting us to enter a world of color and fragrant air.  Enter we would.  We had free tickets from the newspaper and everyone knows women want bargains.

The inside of the Expo Center showed a decent sized turn out of women, many pushing babies in strollers.  Women travel in packs.  Which leads me to believe the women arrived via clown van.  Painted and fragrant woman after hairsprayed woman climbing out one after another. 

Every vendor had a convincing spiel of their take on what women want.  Most of the vendors hooked women with a free drawing.  We were accosted at the door with instructions for a drawing before even entering the convention!  Once inside, we were overwhelmed with booths of potions, lotions, accessories, massage tables, tattooed make up and so forth.  A vendor of magic lotion stopped us and before we knew what was happening she was rolling shiny, wet glue on our hands as we filled out a card hoping to win the overpriced youth elixir. 

I felt really good about filling out that card until I had filled out many cards throughout the room.  Candi said she never put her email address on the cards.  Suddenly it hit me.  I would be a victim of spam for the rest of my life!  So far I have had no emails or phone calls.    Hopefully seeing a California address turned people off to me.  I doubt it. 

We wandered around with eyes wide in anticipation, awe, and joy.  The vendors had been well selected to teach what women want.  Makeovers were being revealed on stage to a small gathering of women while vendors peddled their wares enticing onlookers with free samples.  Free.  Shiny.  Fragrantly smelly.  Delicious.  This is what women want!

Mom kept getting separated from us.  She was always found tasting the free samples of decadent treats.  The purses and shoes tempted Candi and me.  Gaudy and/or interesting jewelry caught our attention but never enough to buy.  Candi bought a darling fairy book for Isabel.  I wanted books too but resisted the urge.  My eye was on boutique priced purses and skirts.  I was ready to walk out with nothing.  The desire to get souvenirs for the kids hurt too much to leave empty handed.  What is a girl to do?

An osteoporosis booth caught our attention.  All three of us are healthy.  I had the best number which I found surprising especially since my doctor recently had me on calcium supplements and vitamin D.  Weird.  A man stopped us to explain how a dream plant works.  They printed words on a bean.  That was pretty cool.  Candi complained about her free smelly candle.  She thought it was stinky!  But she was too afraid to ditch it at a booth.  We rounded the corner and saw flat iron central.  An oasis where women were getting their hair curled by flat iron vendors.

The girl tried to get us to agree to having our hair curled with her fancy flat iron.  We instinctively said no.  As we walked away I changed my mind.  Women’s minds are cleaner than men’s because we change them so often!  I was having too much fun walking around Estrogen Land and missing Gwen like crazy.  She would have died with how feminine that place was.  I turned to Candi and said, “Let’s do it.  Let’s get our hair curled.”  She looked skeptical.  I convinced her.

I sat down first and felt like I was being scrutinized and judged in the worst way.  The girl acted like I must be an idiot for using a curling iron.  When I told her it was ceramic she jumped all over me.  “Does it say it’s 100% ceramic?  Probably not.  Nothing is but these flat irons.  Everything else is just coated with ceramic.  It’s not really ceramic.”  After the tongue lashing from the hairstylist, I felt like a darn clown.  She curled my hair in a really weird way.  I have curled my hair recently and I looked so much better than the weirdness this girl did to me where my hair was waving at everyone as it bounced on top of my head strangely.  Apparently my gray hair had wrapped around so it was shining and smiling right on top of the highest curl. 

Somehow I was able to walk away by saying we would think about the investment of $150 for a flat iron.  Heath never gets mad at me but I know he would have my head on a platter if I came home with a flat iron for that price!  It’s probably a good deal.  I don’t know.  All I knew was I did not need it. 

The three of us walked down the aisle, Candi and my curls bouncing awkwardly.  We stopped by the coolest booth I had seen all day.  The guy showed us how his Del Sol products changed color under UV rays.  It was so much better than those crazy hyper color shirts from the 80’s and 90’s that changed color where you sweat!  His prices were three items for $20 or $10 an item.  I was trying to not spend my money on frivolity and Candi had spent most of her “free” money.  She found some cash she forgot about and was pretty excited to use it.  We agreed to split the three items.  She got some nail polish that changes from blue to green and I got nail polish that changes from pink to purple.  We split the plastic flower hair clips. 

When I got home I showed Gwen the nail polish.  She was interested in my pink toes.  Sadly I have not painted even my toenails in quite some time.  No wonder my toes captured her attention.  I put the clips in Gwen’s hair which she was very excited about.  Then I painted her toenails.  She insisted I paint her fingernails too.  I was worried about that because the polish didn’t say fast drying.  Gwen is two years old. 

I told her she had to hold still and not touch anything until I told her she could.  She sat there so patiently with enough excited energy to power a toaster.  When I started blowing on her fingernails of one hand she almost wouldn’t let me finish painting the second hand because she was too busy blowing on her fingernails!  She strutted around afraid to touch anything afterwards.  So cute.  I have zero regrets on that purchase.  Even though she has chipped her nail polish and sucked most of it off (not while it was wet), I still don’t regret it.  She loves the pretty color and she loves the clips.  Every day she asks me to put the clips in.  If it were up to her she would wear all three clips at once!  I got two purple and one blue.  Candi got the other blue and two pink clips. 

So what do women want?  They want bargains.  They want to feel beautiful.  They want tiny samples of food so it feels like they aren’t overdoing it.  They want to band together and wander around being pampered for free.  They want anything beautiful, pretty, or cute.  The South Towne Expo Center’s What Women Want was the funnest most feminine thing I have ever done.  I loved it. 

I’m grateful that Ed hung out with little Izzy so my mom, sister, and I could all go together.  He would have been patient if he came but I know spending alone time with his baby daughter was more what he needed than the land flowing with femininity and estrogen in South Jordan. 

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