Thursday, January 22, 2009

Old Lady Face Cream

Is there something that I don't know? Is there some coveted ingredient in Olay Definity that can be cooked down into a form of amphetamine that will give kids a cheap high? Or is it possible that people are so desperate for the fountain of youth that they are stealing old lady face cream?

The reason I ask is because while looking for some new facial cleanser the other day at my local grocery store, I found that all of the Olay Definity products were empty boxes marked with uneven black lettering from a chunky magic marker: "For Display Only -- Ask for Assistance". HUH?

I waffled between wanting to ask for it just because I was intrigued (and wanted to know why it was put away in the back) and wanting to rebel and buy anything else on the shelf.** Yes, I wanted to ask, but in my head, the potential scenario went something like this...

Me: (to clerk who is stocking potato chips) Excuse me, ma'am? I would like a package of the Definity face wash.
Clerk: Aisle 12.
Me: No, you don't understand. It's just an empty display box.
Clerk; Oh. Uh, ask the pharmacist.
(trudge, trudge, trudge)
Me: (to pharmacist) I'd like a package of the Definity Face Wash.
Pharm: Oh. (looks around to see if anyone is listening) How old are you?
Me: What does that matter??
Pharm: There's an age requirement.
Me: Is there a height requirement, too? How tall are you really back there on your raised platform?? Hmm?
Pharm: No need to get nasty, ma'am. There is an age requirement, I tell you.
Me: What is it?
Pharm: How old are you?
Me: (recognizing the recursive conversation is going nowhere) Can I speak to your supervisor?
Pharm: Let me get the manager.
(tap, tap, tap)

Me: (noticing that my frozen foods are melting, I feel a furrow growing between my brows) Where is he?
Pharm: She'll be here shortly.
(large, homely woman arrives and looks me up and down)
Me: I just want to buy some damned face wash ... and maybe some damnd face cream, too.
Mgr: How old are you?
Me: (banging my head against the wall near the blood pressure machine) Damn it. I'm 46, ok??
Mgr: Have you ever been convicted of a felony?
Me: What the--? NO!
Mgr: Have you ever had a problem with addictive substances?
Me: Again, NO!

(Manager disappears into back room with a jailhouse ring of keys. Comes back moments later with the coveted packages of face wash and face cream. Pharmacist glances at me nervously and checks to see if anyone is watching us.)
Pharm: (ringing it up) That'll be $55.
Me: Fifty-five!? For face stuff that'll be gone in a month? At which time we'll have to dance this waltz again??
Pharm: You're lucky to be getting this. It's experimental and highly sought after by European spies.
Me: (Imagining my face dissolving into a rapid outbreak of zits from the experimental treatment) Nah....I guess I'll pass.

And then I'd be escorted out of the store and told never to return.

After playing all this out in my head, I decided on something different.** It wasn't worth it to go through the red tape just to get some products I could freely order from an online retailer. I just don't get it. I mean, they never restricted the old lady face cream my mom used to love - Avon's Rich Moisture. It came in a little aqua-colored jar (though it was once released in the vanity jar, shown in the picture above...Mom had one on her dresser till the day she died) and lasted 6 months. And she? Never had a wrinkle until her 60s. I can't say the same for me, but with my sensitive skin, I never know what will work.

I tell you what won't work...having to go to a clerk who is tired and cranky and works for minimum wage and asking to buy expensive facial products. If any of you have a clue as to why the stuff is suddenly so hard to get, let me know! I'm curious!

Peace - D

** I ended up buying Olay Regenerist facial cleanser, because it was the closest to what I was looking case you were wondering.

[photo credit]


Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

WTF??? I hardly credit this...I thought you were gonna say it was cos of thieving...which is why its empty in our supermarket.but asking your age...I thought you were restrained. if it were my pal and I out on a Saturday afternoon, the guy would've lost his knee caps!! LOL

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

well here it is in uk

from £14.99 so l repeat WTF??

Sarah said...

I also have sensitive skin. I love Olay, but I've not noticed any increased security.


® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

I loved your imaginary conversation!
You know the very same thing happens here in Brazil... anything in supermarkets and pharmacies that are over a certain price or products of a superior quality are kept around the back of the cashiers in a locked glass cabinet because (they say) these products are sought after by shoplifters....
Well I think it's disgusting as by doing that they are just calling every single one of their customers a thief!

I sometimes want to pick up a new product, some moituriser or superior quality battery-operated toothbrush and read the pack and see if it's right for me... how can I do that when everything is locked away in a glass cabinet out of sight?! it's ridiculous and I thought it only happened here!

If they are all so worried about shoplifters then why don't these stores just get better security, security guards e.t.c..?!

And sometimes I am too embarrassed to be asking for a some kind of luxury moisturiser by L'Oreal, Nivea et al when I am standing in a queue of 20 people all wondering why a man wants to buy women's moisturiser! haha
So now I have also turned to purchasing these things online.. sometimes much cheaper too!

Big Hug! X

Hilary said...

That's too strange. The only time I've been questioned about any pharmacy product was about children's aspirin, and was completely reasonable to me. The pharmacist asked who it was for. It was for an arthritic cat and that was the answer he wanted to hear. The concern was for kids and Ryes syndrome. But face cream? Geesh!

Akelamalu said...

Crikey it must be special! :0

Mental P Mama said...

That is weird. Weird. Now I want to go to CVS and try to buy some.

Cloudia said...

Fun- NY, Doris!!

Maggie May said...

Oh.....try some E45 moisturiser. It is fairly cheap and lasts a long time.
I bet it is all much the same. The reason Olay is all locked away is because it is so expensive and to prevent shop lifters, I think.

Shrinky said...

Oh shit, okay, I fess up - it was me. I use so much of the stuff they've resorted to putting it on rations now, neediest first.

I love, love, love that virtual conversation, such humour, wit and irony in there. Grin. You rock girl!

Lilly's Life said...

Strange that you say that but I have found the same here when trying to get it for my sister who is disabled and cant go shopping much. I have tried various stores too.

I think its a good middle of the road brand and therefore it is popular. Their marketing is excellent. I also think that a lot of people who may have been buying far more expensive brands may be looking at it as a better option.

The reality is that none of it does us any good necessarily. It is more of a psychological thing I think. Remember Ponds Cold Cream - its probably the best thing there ever was.

I loved the way you wrote this and it was very clever. I wonder though if it is going to be like this for some time to come. I think I would be shopping online if I was you too.

RiverPoet said...

:-) I'm so glad you all enjoyed my imaginary conversation with the store personnel. Of course it wasn't real. Just a figment of my overactive imagination.

However, it did make me wonder about the potency of the face cream, you know!

Anyway, sure seems like a lot of trouble for moisturizer...

Peace - D

Lorna said...

What a coincidence..... I also used to use Olay Revitalist and then switched to Olay Definity. I buy them off the shelf and I like them.

I also remember years ago when I was a little girl, seeing those Oil of Olay ads with the pink bottle and black cap in the paper or magazines --- tiny little ads that one simply did not respect. :-)

the walking man said...

What is face cream?

gel(Emerald Eyes) said...

Hi there,
(Came here via Sandy's thoughts blog.)

I, too, have sensitive skin, but I can't help you figure this out. Your humorous take on that frustration is well-done, especially that imaginary conversation.

This makes me happy that I only use water to wash my face. Once in a blue moon I use a dab of Lubiderm for sensitive skin if there's a dry spot. (That's what I use on the rest of me for dry skin.)

For some reason, I thought there'd be poetry here. I'll have a look around. :)

Woman in a Window said...

Your wit is biting and fun, your wrinkles, scarce. (But a tiny bone to pick. I am a trudging minimumish wage clerk and I'm hardly grumpy at all.)

RiverPoet said...

Gel - Occasionally I do put poetry on my blog, very infrequently. You see many of my poems get submitted for consideration to paying publications, and they don't look kindly on any work that has been given away freely or published before (on the web). It all counts. So when I do publish something here, it's special, and it is something I'm not planning to submit.

Woman - No offense meant on the grumpy clerk thing, and it was me doing the imaginary trudging. I guess that wasn't inherently obvious. I frequently trudge and drag my feet, especially when frustrated! And in all fairness I had a certain clerk and a certain manager in mind when I wrote this. They both exist, but their names and location shall remain cloaked.

For the record I have worked at many, many minimum wage jobs in my time, and most of the time I was quite perky and friendly. The two women I'm thinking of never smile -- never. Not sure what that's about.


Jay said...

LOL! Yeah, it's usually because of thieving over here, too. They even keep the wretched Venus razors under the counter - only the women's ones, mind you, the men's razors are all out there. It makes me so mad, I won't buy one from them if they do that. I'd rather walk down the road and get one from the chemist, even if I have to pay more.


Oh, yeah, and I use Clinique face creams. They suit my sensitive skin, and it's taken ages to find something that does. AND they send them by post in a plain brown wrapper. *Snigger*

Daryl said...

I dont understand why this happened tho I did LOVE your mental conversation ... the scary part is I probably would have had that conversation because I am a true biach and dont take well to being interrogated when I want to buy something ...

And your skin looks exquisite in your pix ... clearly whatever you are using is working!


LOL @ the walking man!!! I love your overactive imagination!!! And it probably wasn't to far off!!! lol. I tried to use Olay once, and I broke out all over, maybe I'll give it another try though. I use the Avon wrinkle cream now, and I like it alot, but , it is expensive. Does it work??? LOL, I guess, a little. All of the suntanning I did as a teenager is really starting to show up now! :( There's always face lifts right?? lol take care my friend,

SandyCarlson said...

Reminds me of when vanilla extract became a controlled substance because it has alcohol in it. My first thought: anyone that desperate to be drunk will do it more cheaply than that. Perhaps there is an opiate in the lotion!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Can't help I'm afraid but I'd try the internet. Mind you, there are so many different face creams and washes on the market today you could be spoilt for choice. And aren't some of them expensive?!!

CJ xx

Hilary said...

You are hilarious :D

I've been wondering what's so special about the really expensive face creams. I see lots of stuff that has salicylic acid which just peels your skin off--same as acne cream--same as wart remover... It must be the special berry extracts and bat wings and hair from a virgin and things like that.

*goes to rub vaseline on face*

Moannie said...

I almost never buy stuff for my face but rely on birthday or christmas gifts. Last year i received some Roc and this year Estee Lauder. They all make my skin feel soft and pampered but there 'aint nothing going to get rid of the wrinkles. Use a high sunscreen, and moisterise, but don't stop laughing.
As a young thing I used Nivea Cream. It came in a dark blue tin and was very cheap. It would still do the trick today but has become quite expensive as well. I think the manufacturers have cashed in on our vanity.

Sandy said...

I have a jar that looks just like that! Sigh.

Ruth D~ said...

Nice post, loved the imagined conversation! What's wrong with me? I wash my face with liquid hand soap.

Ghost Dansing said...

u yung kids with the face cream already.....

Stesha said...

I love face cream! My hubby thinks I am obsessed.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

I can't live without my Nivea. And neither can LittleMan, it seems. Does anyone here remember the glass bottles of Nivea that actually used to separate and you'd have to shake it before applying? We had that stuff in our medicine cabinet as a kid and I LOVE it. Now if I could just find some of THAT.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Cetaphil. It's the only damned thing that doesn't break me out. What's in that Definity stuff? Monkey placenta? :)

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is so are a HOOT!!!

Carol said...

Oh dear! I'm sure it was the price of it....not the age of the beautiful purchaser! (You should have just told him you were old enough to drink, drive and vote!!)

小貓咪 said...