On My Mind: the writings of Sarah Bracey White                                                                                        

 
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                                                       The Eyes Tell All

Since childhood, I’ve had allergies, just like my mother and my favorite aunt, her sister Susie. I watched both of them suffer their way through every spring and summer. What began for me as “hay fever” blossomed into sneezing, a constant runny nose and watery, itchy eyes every spring and fall during my teenage years. Doctors assured me that as I got older, my allergies would improve. They didn’t. Instead, they got worse! I hardly remember my college graduation, which took place on a grassy football field, because I was dosed with memory-robbing antihistamines. Soon, my seasonal allergies turned into year-round symptoms that drove me to an allergist. “Allergic rhinitis” was his diagnosis. Years of allergy shots to desensitize my body to the things I so loved in nature - grass, trees, bushes, and flowers – only alleviated some of my symptoms. The rest were soothed by prescription medicines. As I continued to age, my allergies grew worse. The list of things I was allergic to now included dust mites, mold, and the off-gasses from latex products.

Then, dark circles around my eyes added to my miseries. I bought every product that promised to lighten them; but, nothing helped. So, I resigned myself to concealing them with cosmetics whenever I had important events to attend. Then, one day, as I strolled through The Westchester, an upscale shopping mall, an employee in a shop ran out after I had walked past her door, and offered me a sample of body cream from their line. When I accepted her gift, she looked at me and said, “You have beautiful skin, but I have something that will help the dark circles around your eyes.”

I followed her back into her store, and took the stool she offered me at the counter. Just like the commercials I’d seen on television (and didn’t believe) she patted a clear gel under my left eye while she asked what products I had been using. After I told her, she said that the product she was using attacked dark circles on a cellular level, rather than a cosmetic level. “Our product increases the blood flow around the eye, and retrains the muscles,” she said. She then applied a small amount of cream over the area where she had applied the gel. “Applying these two products once a day for 30 days will remove the dark circles entirely, and alleviate the slight puffiness under your eyes,” she promised.

I was flabbergasted. Within a few minutes, the dark circle around my left eye, and the puffiness under it were much less apparent than the untreated right eye. “How much does this cost?” I asked. “Will I have to sell my firstborn to pay for it?”

She laughed. “No, you won’t.” I was pleasantly surprised by the price – not inexpensive, by any means, but not as exorbitant as I had expected. “And we’re running a special for new customers,” she said, then gave me a coupon for a free facial that will make my “beautiful” skin even better. I booked an appointment for the facial next week.

In a half hour, I walked out of her shop with the gift coupon and receipt in my purse, and a small, gold bag containing three items: a skin cleanser, serum, and eye cream. A printed card provided directions for my 30-day ritual. The saleswoman said constancy is the key to success with their products. I’m fully committed to this 30 day trial. If it works, I’m a regular customer, whatever the price!

Stay tuned.