MAKEOVER by Megan Smith-Harris
The entire east coast was in the throes of post-traumatic holiday stress disorder. Under the mall’s unforgiving fluorescent lights, everyone—teens, babies, career women, me—looked pasty and unwell, like extras from Night of the Living Dead. We were sick of winter.
I wanted to shout, “Come on you guys—let’s hop on the next flight to Cabo. We’ll be sipping mango daiquiris by sunset!”
But I didn’t. Instead, I crossed the threshold of Victoria’s Secret to return a crotch-grazing fuchsia satin nightgown—a misguided but well-intentioned Christmas gift from my sister-in-law. The salesclerk’s eyes swept over my no longer hot (just barely lukewarm) body, dismissed me as unworthy of a leopard thong and matching pushup demi-bra, and turned to a much younger customer. I slunk out, defeated.
I needed cheering up. Maybe I’d buy myself a little something? I hopped on the nearest escalator and was delivered to the velvety interior of Saks. The air was rife with commingling scents – citrus, musk, ambergris, gardenia. I glanced at the perfume bottles arranged alluringly on a silver tray. The labels seemed to neatly encapsulate the cycle of life: “DNA,” “Beautiful,” “Passion,” “Amour Amour,” “Eternity,” “Revenge,” and “Escape.”
Only a matter of time, I thought, before some marketing genius created “Dumpy,” “Whore-moan-al,” and “Corpse.”
I looked up and came face to face with a bag lady. What on earth was a bag lady doing in Saks? I took in the dun-colored coat, greasy hair, sallow complexion, and empty eyes. Defeat clung to her like a bad smell. Where was security?
I smiled. She smiled back.
I blinked. So did she.
In one terrifying moment of clarity, I realized that I wasn’t staring at a bag lady—I was staring at my own reflection.
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Megan’s career encompasses documentary, television, film, theater, and radio. She is the president and owner of Pyewackitt Productions, an independent production company with a commitment to create high quality, socially relevant documentary programs with a unique perspective. Megan is currently producing and directing Trial by Fire: Lives Re-Forged (view the trailer at www.trialbyfiredoc.com). She also produced and directed Surrogate Stories, a two-hour special about surrogate mothers, as well as Child Brides and Polygamy, all for WEtv (clips can be viewed at www.pyewackitt.com)
In Canada Megan co-wrote and produced Mad in Canada, a hit stage show that ran for a year in Toronto and Montreal. She cowrote fifty episodes of the popular national comedy radio series The Norm for CBC.
Presently, Megan is working on her novel, Benefit, a social satire set in the mythical town of New Stanwich, Connecticut. She is also putting the finishing touches on a screenplay, Behind the Hedgerows, a psychological mystery set in East Hampton. She lives in Wilton, Connecticut, with her husband, Bill, and their son, Jack.