Three Ways Successful Women Manage Wealth
When I was 13, I got an allowance. I saved it up for lip gloss. They called it “kissing gloss,” and it was this liquid that rolled onto your lips with ball point pen action. My favorite flavor was “Birthday Cake.” I used to layer it on thick, so it looked like I just finished drinking a glass of cooking oil. My dad told me, when I was young, that prostitutes in Vietnam used lipstick to signal that they were willing to give a blow job. Now, every time I put some on, I think, am I willing to suck someone off? Dads. So crazy. Usually, I’m not willing to, but I use it anyway. It would be fun to be the person that names these colors: Box of Chocolates, Yummy Mummy, Cherry Poppin’ Punch, Hot Buttered Runoff, Black Happiness. I try not to let the names bring me down. Box of Chocolates actually tastes like chocolate. That helps.
Somehow, it doesn’t matter how many shoes I have, I always want to buy more. It’s like I have a shoe-sized hole inside me that just keeps demanding them. I will use that metaphor in therapy, should I ever follow Brian’s advice. It will save my future therapist the trouble, which, in turn, should save me money.
A woman I know goes into Chanel stores and buys $10,000 worth of clothes in one pop. She’s a partner in a very big law firm and has lots of money to go around. Once, when she was moving, she set out some shoes for me in these little plastic boxes, like Tupperware but more rectangular. They sat right there by her door. There wasn’t a note or anything. Just shoes. They were gorgeous and impractical and actually too small. I wear them around the house sometimes. Put on the Beatles and try to dance in four-inch spikes. Have you seen Polythene Pam? That song was about a groupie that used to swallow plastic. She burned it when she was cold because she loved the feeling of hot, knotted cellophane going down her throat. When her friend got a job in a plastic bag factory, she had a constant supply. I love that jam.
When we moved into our old house, there were tiny bottles from the 1800s in the basement. Strange inscriptions on them. I found out that cum cibos means “with food.” They used Rx back then, too, It’s an abbreviation of the latin word for recipe and simply means “take.” Some were corked with a dark, thick liquid still inside them. Liniments and tonics from the 1800s, back when people thought drinking poison would cure them. So funny what people believed.
When friends came over, I used to show them the bottles. And then the call went out, I guess, because whenever it was time for presents, people got me bottles. Little vials from flea markets and small sets of colored glass ones from TJ Maxx. I had so many, I packed some away for when my daughter goes off to college. I guess you never actually own a tiny bottle. You merely take care of it for the next generation.
Jeanne Jones is a writer and teacher based in the D.C. area. Her work can be found in American Short Fiction, SmokeLong Quarterly, Jellyfish Review, and elsewhere.