During the last leg of my trip I visited a friend at an ultra liberal, New England college. His apartment-mates are his girlfriend and a third friend of theirs. On the afternoon I arrived, he, the girlfriend and I went to a farm share to get locally grown produce and then picked tomatoes, beans and herbs from an adjacent field. Barefoot, she tucked probably two pounds of tomatoes into the top layer of her ankle length, white-peasant skirt and carried them back to my car that way; I just collected the veggies in my wide-brimmed blue hat. This is the sort of place where a number of people do that on a weekly basis.
The college population itself is undergoing a war of the "suffixes," my friend put it -- hippies versus hipsters (with a smattering of young, more-conventional freshman thrown in to make this year possibly transitional and interesting). My friend's girlfriend comes across as the former, a Catholic-school girl from middle of nowhere Pennsylvania who now favors farm work, neutral colors, long skirts and bohemian scarfs. She eats local and cooks organic. (And she gave me delicious homemade tomato sauce! Soooo good. Straight off the vine.) This is the vibe I got for only knowing her for a few hours though, I'm sure there's more below the surface.
But since it is the vibe I got, you can understand why I didn't expect what I'm going to explain next.
Yesterday morning I dragged my road-trip-tired self to the bathroom to wash up when I realized I'd left my face wash in my bags. It's also that-time-of-the-month, but I left my Advil in the car and could really have used a painkiller for cramps. So I started browsing around all the odds and ends laying out in the bathroom (they just moved in) for an Advil and face wash.
I found neither. But what I did find, to my surprise, was a bottle of Smashbox Photo Finish Primer with SPF 15. It could only have been hers. Surrounded by all-natural bathroom spray, essential oils and Tom's of Maine toothpaste was this little slice of the stuff beauty blogs are made of!
I also spotted Bed Head hair products and Bare Minerals powder. Totally not expected! But pretty cool, I thought. That even in a seemingly remote place that's outside the mainstream, this girl still has part of her mind on the things we all have on our minds.
That's not to say all women have to be interested in beauty products or high-end stuff -- I am a total drugstore product addict -- but it was a breath of familiar air in a largely unfamiliar place. I mean, who'd have thought?
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