It was the late 80s, beforeÂ the Crash of '87, a period that has echoes in the run-up to the Crash of 2008.Â I was at a firm dinner in Boston when another lawyer, a woman who worked night and day on tax-driven real estate syndications, blew in from New York with her date.
I did a double-take, as did others at our table.Â In addition to her usual flamboyant outfit,Â the woman'sÂ face was festooned with glitter across the bridge of her nose and upper cheeks.
The wife of another lawyer to my left, a salty-tongued daughter of Irish South Boston, gave out a snort and said to me under her breath--"What's up with Sparkle Puss?"
Our glittering table companion was only tooÂ happy to enlighten us.Â "This is what everybody's wearing in New York now," she gushed, as if that settled the matter, and tout les femmes deÂ Boston would soon glow like reflective jogging vestsÂ inÂ the glare of oncoming headlights.
That implicit prediction didn't come true.Â Boston is not New York, as fatherÂ told son in The Late George Apley, John P. Marquand's novel of the Brahmins of Beacon Hill, and nationally a period of restraintÂ set in following the insider-trading scandals of that decade.Â Still, the thought of mature American women adopting a manner of personal adornment thatÂ suggested a primitive tribe or a pagan religion brought a question to my mind, both then and now: Namely--are you out of your freaking mind?
That look recalled nothing so much as the attempts at model car customizing I botched as a young boy; the bitchin' candy-apple red and aquamarine sparkly blue street machines that would earn me high esteem among the airplane glue-and-spraypaint set.Â But I was putting those toxic substances on cheap plastic car bodies--not my face.
The epiphany of that night came back to me the other day when I learned that a certain woman of our acquaintance--and one who does not have to worry about planning her 50th birthday party anymore--has had a Brazilian wax job done to her groin and extended nether regions in order to rekindle her husband's interests in the fruits of their marriage bed.Â Nothing wrong with that.
But she had gone further, and had upgraded to the "Jewelzilian", a/k/a "vajazzling"--a wax job in which Swarovski crystals are appliquedÂ onto what waxing technologists refer to as the "bikini area" in a "cute little heart."Â You can choose any shape you want,Â according toÂ the owner of a brow and crotchÂ salon in California.Â A happy face?Â A Phi Beta Kappa key?Â Like Barney the Purple Dinosaur says--Use your imagination!
The upgrade is suggested as a gift from a newlywed bride to her groom on their wedding night.Â I gather that the process is painful, so you wouldn't want to do it for minor occasions like Arbor Day, orÂ when his favorite team clinches a wild-card berth.
But be prepared, like the Boy Scouts, for questions from stick-in-the-mud skeptics; the kind of guys who think about children and life insurance and other sexually-arousing topics, and who may dissent from the prevailing school of thought that a man wants his woman to be a lady on the streets and a freak in bed, as postulated by eminent social philosophers Ludacris and Usher.
The kind of guy who, when he turns back the sheets would look down . . . uh . . . there, and say:
What's up with Sparkle Pussy?