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rue-madame's Diaryland Diary

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Art and artifice

Before I launch into this entry, I would just like to inform all the English readers that a very good band will be touring your neck of the woods in March! Mates of State will be performing in London at Arts Cafe on March 6th (there are other English dates as well so if you donít live in London, go to their website for more info: www.matesofstate.com). The band is just 2 people, husband and wife, who alternate and blend their vocals while singing over keyboard and drums. The formula is simple and yields some really beautiful results.

Enough about that.

Letís get to the more interesting news which is that I had a wax in Beverly Hills yesterday. This woman came highly recommended by multiple American and European magazines, several online beauty reference sites, and a former colleague. I was all set to have a lovely, relaxing, pampering experience and it was anything but. The phone rang the entire time, and she kept abandoning me mid-wax to answer it! The office portion of the salon was nice enough, but the treatment room was messy and kinda gross. Her pot of wax sat on an aluminum foil-encased wooden stool which had like months and monthsí worth of wax buildup on it. I mean, it looked like one of those hippy drippy candles that you make at the beach in a pit of sand... only really, really disgusting. And the wax was too hot.

As I was lying there, legs splayed apart, door OPEN while she was on the phone (I was the only one in the salon, but come on! canít you at least *pretend* you care a smidgen about your clientís privacy?,) I had time to look around and notice that the art prints on the wall were all by contemporary artists. The 2 that caught my eye were by Ed Ruscha, and they were signed ďTo X, Love, Ed.Ē The print right above my head was completely splattered in wax, and though it sickened me, I used it as an opportunity to ask her about him. Apparently, Ed Ruschaís been a client of hers for many years. What could Ed Ruscha be having done, I thought to myself: facials? Waxing? Microdermabrasion? I am very intrigued. The aesthetician did manage to tell me that Ed is irrestible, that women and children love to be near him, and that heís a small man but very attractive and virile. Itís not everyday that youíve got some aesthetician staring at your holiest of holies, carrying on about a 20th Century American Artist with a Capital A.

And I havenít even mentioned what she looked like. Frightening! A short squat little thing in a black velour sweatsuit, collagen lips and who knows how much facelift surgery, and skin that had been resurfaced a zillion times. She looked like she was made of wax actually. It was difficult for me to look at her without picturing her true face rotting and twisting ŗ la Dorian Gray in a closet someplace. I asked her to leave my eyebrows a bit on the natural side, and she instead gave me 50ís arches that make me look perpetually surprised. Eyebrows are never even, and she more or less made mine symmetrical (although Terence did say, when I came home, that one eye looked more quizzical than the other.) I will just have to be patient while they grow out.

Needless to say I will not be going back there. It cost 25% more than what I am accustomed to paying in a fancy salon. She was friendly and talkative and had that salt-of-the-earth persona that most waxers have, which I appreciate, but thatís just not enough for me.

Imagine how nervous I was, then, for todayís haircut! Finding decent purveyors of beauty services is indeed one of the big hurdles to surmount when you move to a new city. Right up there with finding a decent local for your evening drinks, a cozy no-fail restaurant, a good bookstore. I am happy to report that I had a lovely haircut: Ruby was friendly, professional, and from Santa Cruz (which is 1.5 hours from San Francisco.) Such a relief after yesterdayís visit with Madame Tussaud.

4:10 p.m. - 2002-02-27

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