If dignity equates to self-respect, then the quickest way to part with that particular state of being, is to kiss $50 goodbye on soap.
Indeed, it seems only the 21st Century, with its self-centeredness and obsession with all things superficial, could produce the kind of sensory indulgence that is Lush Cosmetics.
Don't get me wrong, my heart can always bleed out a capitalistic drop or two, and if Lush flourishes, there must a reason -- one of those being that something had to put Bath and Body Works out of its freesia-scented misery. Even still, these are dark days, and just because you need to buy a bath bomb for that co-worker you don't really know that well, shouldn't mean you have to sacrifice your god given right to afford fair trade rosemary sea salt crackers at Trader Joe's.
Depressions breed frugality, which in turn breeds impulsive self-destructive spending on necessities like "body butter." Lush is that perfect blend of organic, handmade elegance sold to you at low-ish price points by ordinary tattooed folk who just happen to love soap with a passion usually reserved for that first real time text exchange on Tinder.
Walking into Lush is like finding yourself accidentally at church after years of avoiding Catholicism, like a Rolling Stone avoiding any decade that isn't the 60s. An incense-like cloud of perfume chokes you upon entering. There are rituals, hand-washing, a collection basket passed and by the time you finally get out, you feel cleaner, less rich and not sure you've walked away with anything remotely fulfilling.
And so -- since even the laxest of Catholics still enjoy a good guilt trip -- if you must go into Lush, here are a few pointers to help you get out with your head held high.
1. Avoid eye contact, conversation and general interaction at all costs. If you're going to be a sissy about this, feign blindness via a harnessed dog and a pair of Ray Bans. Walk around with a stick deliberately knocking over stacks of Happy Hippy shower gel. The salespeople will be equally distracted/horrified at your blatant disregard for the product.
2. If you screw up number one and find yourself engaged with an ombre-haired saleswoman in a heavy conversation about facial scrub, keep a bleach-soaked rag handy and periodically turn and breathe into it. The fumes will both block the smell of sea salt-laced lavender, and keep you sufficiently emotionally detached to make frugal decisions.
3. Don't, under any circumstances, let anyone wash your hands or any other body parts. This is the ultimate downward spiral because -- as any good Lush knows -- hands, like hair, also need conditioning. Uh, Duh. Then after you condition your hands, you'll also need to apply a sheer layer of gold dust, hemp weed, and a few precious stones for good measure. Avoid this like the plague. If a salesperson leads you within even three feet of a sink, chuck a Bath Melt at them, yell: "You've Been Mangoed!" and book it. Don a fake mustache and try again next week.
4. Loving soap does not make the Lush salespeople in the right. Just because they seek emotional fulfillment from a blueberry wheatgrass face mask, doesn't mean you have to. Remember how Hitler really liked dogs? This is kind of like that. Only Hitler doesn't try to scrub your hands like some maniacal German washer woman. "Another Honey Bee bath bomb, macht schnell!"
5. Leave all access to credit at home and walk in with exactly the right amount of cash for the Lush product you intend to buy. Actually, walk in with less than enough cash and upon checking out, lay out the god's truth: If you spend $35 on this rose petal leg hair conditioner, you won't be able to afford your bi-annual Whole Foods splurge on flax seed and tea tree oil toothpaste. Use forced tears and your genuine lack of large bills to convey a sense of helplessness.
Ultimately, to quote the great prophet Bob Ross, it's your world. Do what you want. Cleanliness may be next to godliness but, as that even greater prophet Benny Franklin once declared, "A penny saved is a $6 pack of Dove soap at Walmart."
God bless America.