Beauty Masks and Chivalry

Beauty in the day: he came in with a somber look, this little makes-you-think-of-the-kid-in-Jerry Maguire. He laid his glasses on the counter in pieces. “Can you fix these?” he asked with a tremulous voice. I looked.
“Actually, I believe I can,” I said encouragingly, and opened my Office Manager Drawer with a flourish. “I know it’s around here somewhere,” I mused, wondering to myself where that might be. He picked up on my musing, and said, “I really hope you can, because if you can’t, my mom is going to be so mad.”
“Nah, she won’t,” I said. “Maybe she would be if you sat at your desk and took out a little screwdriver, and purposely unscrewed your glasses, but she won’t be mad at you for this,” I explained, with the knowledge of one who knows that he couldn’t possibly have done that.
I found my kit, a tiny box that measured 1 1/2 X 1 inch, and took out the teeny, tiny screwdriver. He showed me rather triumphantly that I would not need one of the spare screws inside, since he had so deftly managed to salvage his own.
While I worked on his glasses (a feat that required patience and precision – and a tiny smear of a glue stick to hold the screw to the screwdriver), the lad took a look at a Rugrats book he had found, and we chatted about the characters. He suddenly came to a page that shocked him. “Is this,” he pointed, ” is THIS the MOM?” It was, indeed, and she had the green goo of a beauty mask all over her face. “Yes, but that’s not what she really looks like. She is wearing a beauty product on her face. Sometimes they are green. When she washes it off, her skin will look good. A lot of women do this from time to time,” I told him, reassuringly.
He looked at me then, rather quizzically, and asked the obvious: “Do YOU do this?”
“I have. It wasn’t green, but it’s still the same thing. Look! Here are your glasses – good as new!” He put them on, quite pleased. Now he regarded me thoughtfully, peering through the lenses. “You look good. You don’t need to use the mask stuff.”
– And they say chivalry is dead.

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