[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
hair today, $100 and a freakin' disaster tomorrow.
i got a new ‘do. against my will. sort of. i mean, not without my consent, but...well, it started out innocently enough. just popping in to get my coif in order for the thanksgiving trip home, and the inevitable holiday photos. hey, even we terminally unphotogenic people like to try. it's a game we play with ourselves. "hey, maybe the reason i haven't taken a good photo since age five is because i need a haircut!"
so, i settled into my stylist's chair, and we made pleasant chit-chat, and everything was going along just fine...and, then…well, then she said it.
“i was thinking we’d try something different.”
it was like ice water through my veins. different. why? what's wrong with this hair? and what’s this we stuff? i’m the one who will have different on her head, my friend. me and me alone.
hair is a tricky thing. you find something that works for you. after years of trying. and then, you keep on keepin’ on. and then…well, then you look in the mirror one day and realize that not even jennifer aniston is wearing the “rachel” cut anymore. and so, the process begins again.
let’s take a quick stroll down memory lane, shall we, stopping along the way to visit the highlights (if you will) and the lowlights of one gal’s hair:
"in the beginning" hair: hair, beautiful hair! i’m talking ‘bout 10-year-old hair. you know the hair: long, dark, silky, shiny hair. perfect. pristine. i tear up just looking at the photos.
the dorothy hamill: that perky little ice skating bitch. she came along with that perky little wedge thing, and next thing you know i’m crying that i want to get all of my “in the beginning hair” cut off. and my mom lets me. no, i’m still not over it.
the farrah fawcett flip: so, i never had this one. i was still growing out the dorothy hamill wedge (a painfully long process), so i aimed instead for the kate-jackson-as-the-smart-angel hair. but, i think i actually ended up with the immeasurably unfortunate leif garret hair instead. either way, i'm pretty sure that my inability to achieve the farrah flip was the beginning of my lifelong career as the “smart angel” instead of the “angel that every teenage boy has masturbatory fantasies about.”
the bi-level: you know the one...short on top, long in back. also known as a mullet. i was assured it was all the rage. yeah, if you’re on the girls’ basketball team.
the first perm: given to me by my first gay hairdresser. unfortunately, in the midst of perming my fragile virgin hair, he and his partner got into a huge fight about swags and valances and he completely forgot all about me. and my hair. the words “brillo” and “pad” come to mind.
the first color experience: they were supposed to be highlights. they were supposed to be “auburn.” evidently, my hairdresser was french, confusing “auburn” with the french “aubergine,” which, of course, means eggplant. as in purple. i remember leaving the salon and going into a store. i caught sight of myself in a mirror, backlit. i had a fucking aura. my hair glowed. my dad, always knowing the right thing to say to me during those fragile teenage years, said, “jesus! your hair is purple. did you mean for it to be purple?!” i didn’t leave my room for two days.
the princess diana tribute: i had the misfortune of having a hair appointment the day after princess diana died. when i arrived at the salon, my hairdresser’s eyes were swollen and red. i should have turned back then. or when, while washing my hair, all my hairdresser could mutter was, “she was the people’s princess. it’s all too much. too, too much.” but, no, i sat right down in that chair anyway. in retrospect, all the warning signs were there. i should have seen it coming.
the rachel: you, me, everyone had this haircut. you didn’t even have to tell your hairdresser what you wanted, you just sat down, and they started cutting. it was like an assembly line. you’d be sitting there, getting your “rachel” and, on either side of you were two other chicks getting their "rachel"s. and, sometimes, a guy. hey, it was a very flattering cut.
and, so, knowing all of this. knowing my heinous track record in the coiffure department, what did i say when my stylist said “different”? did i say, “you know, this seems to be working for me, i think i’ll just stick with what i know?” did i say, “you know, i think it’s a bad idea to try something ‘different’ right before a holiday photo op?”
no. i say, “sure. different is good, right? change is good, right? i mean…it’s just hair…right?”
oh. my. god.
it is just hair. right?
please say ‘right.’
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