Friday, July 25, 2008

modern maturity

I decided to let my hair color go back to nature about a year and a half ago. I hadn't really seen it in about 10 years and frankly, I was curious. Just what the hell was under those many layers of Preference I had been slapping on?
After years of hair maintenance, I was through. Through with fighting the battle against my arch enemy, Evil Fading Red. Through with trying fluff my hair up so the roots wouldn't show as much when I didn't have time to color. Through with trying to find a new shade when my current favorite was suddenly discontinued.
A.A.R.P. age was looming. It was time.
My decision to dye my hair in the first place came about because of spite, not gray hair (I had been noticing gray hairs since high school - they really didn't bother me). My husband would look at me every so often and say with a sigh, "I wish you were a redhead." When he decided he wanted a divorce because he was in love with another woman, I became a redhead. I also cleaned the toilet with his toothbrush, put it back in the holder and watched him brush his teeth with it the next morning, but that's a story for another day.
I will admit going back to nature wasn't an easy process, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. It started out with getting it cut very short and continuing to cut it until the color was all gone. Almost 2 years later it's still very short and I like it. I like not owning a curling iron, flatiron or blow dryer. I like being able to get ready in under a half hour, start to finish. I like not freaking out about my hair when it rains. And, dammit, I like my grey hair even though it took me a while to get used to it. It's more salt than pepper and getting saltier every day.
For those of you considering going grey, here are some tips based on my vast experience:
1. Try to make it whiter by using diluted laundry bluing as rinse water. I learned this tip on the internet and didn't realize until I went outside that my hair was sort of the color of a robin's egg.
2. Ask your sister why she doesn't have any grey hair and what's wrong with her, or she will smack you in the head.
3. Wear Hello Kitty earrings. There is a fine line between eccentric and just plain crazy.
4. Crack age jokes in a very loud voice when you don't get carded buying liquor. That is what old people do.
1. Flip off Boy Scouts who try to help you cross the street.
2. Pretend like you're deaf and mutter to yourself when asked to do something you really don't feel like doing. It also helps to drool a bit.
3. Put purple and green streaks in your hair whenever possible. The grey makes them show up ever so much better.
4. Always take advantage of "Senior Coffee" discounts. Any old buck you save can always go into buying more liquor that you won't get carded for.
All in all, I think going back to gray was a pretty good decision. Even though it still scares the hell out of my parents.

Friday, July 18, 2008

please help me, I'm fallin'. . .

I fell down again the other day. I do this a lot. I don't really know why - no one I know seems to fall down as much as I do. I have big feet and I'm on the spacey side, but I don't think those can be considered valid excuses.
This time I tripped over the cat. This caused me to fall to my knees and fling my travel mug (full of coffee, of course) at the back door. I needed to mop the kitchen floor anyway, and there's now a crescent-shaped dent in the door which I find strangely attractive in a trailer trash sort of way.
I have fallen down flights of stairs twice in my life - both times sober. The first time ended up involving surgery, several months on Workman's Comp and is the most boring story imaginable. My most recent accidental flight happened about 4 years ago in one of those South St. Louis brick 4-families. The upstairs apartments always seem to have wooden stairs that start at a landing and curve around and down to the entrance. My feet got tangled up on the landing, I slid down head first and ended up with my head against the front door and my purse wrapped around my neck - I can only imagine what it must have sounded like to my neighbors. Being the good corporate dweeb that I was, I got up, took some aspirin and went to work. When the big lump on my head started getting bigger, I asked a hypochondriac coworker if he'd ever gotten a concussion. "Let's look it up on the internet!", he cried happily. Nice guy, but he just loved illness and injury. Three of the major symptoms he came up with - headache, confusion and drowsiness - were sort of everyday occurrences with me. The fourth - uneven sized pupils - had him running into my cubicle every half hour for the rest of the day to stare into my eyes. Couldn't have asked for a more dedicated nurse.
I ended up with perfectly even pupils and an enormous bruise the color of a Tahitian sunset on my ass.
There's really no point to this story, but I guess it could serve as a warning. People, if you're walking with me, look sharp.
I could fall on you at any moment.

Friday, July 11, 2008

god's muzak

I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday, my guilty pleasure.
Most of their merchandise is pretty dumb, the customers all look like my Baptist stepmother, and the chain seems to have this compulsion to shove their good Christian beliefs down your throat every chance they get. They do, however, have a decent jewelry making department. Nothing unusual or ethnic, just good basic stuff at a good price.
I loves to make me some earrings, so off I went.
I was trying to decide between square multicolored glass beads or ceramic leopard print beads when I realized that the Muzak system was playing an instrumental version of a hymn I remembered from my long-forgotten Southern Baptist childhood, the title of which now escapes me.
I knew this was just wrong.
Muzak for the most part turned into the real songs and not orchestral elevator music sometime in the mid-to-late 90's. Not only was the old time Muzak back again, but it had gotten religion.
I did a bit of research. According to Wikipedia (one of my favorite sites) Hobby Lobby creates it's own Muzak system which is beamed via satellite from their headquarters in Oklahoma City to almost 400 stores across the U.S. All Wiki would claim was that a "large percentage" of their single looping playlist was Christian hymns, but after I started really listening it seemed that every single tune reminded me of a boring childhood Sunday morning in church. I had to go.
My next stop was the grocery store. When I walked in, I was paying very close attention to what they had chosen for my Thursday afternoon shopping pleasure. It happened to be the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and that got me thinking. What if every song chosen for grocery store ambient music had some sort of food mentioned in either the band name or the song title? Would it work on me subliminally? Did I feel like buying jalapenos because they were playing Snow (Hey Oh)? If the Presidents of the United States' Peaches were playing, would I head for the fruit aisle? If it was Baby, I'm a Want You, would I make a beeline for the bakery?
Probably not.
I certainly didn't get saved in Hobby Lobby.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

cellar door

I don't remember what movie I was watching, but I do remember one of the characters saying that cellar door is supposedly one of the most attractive sounding combinations of words in the entire English language. That got me thinking.
English is a very confusing language. I've heard that it's one of the hardest to learn because it makes no logical sense. This is compounded by the fact that Americans have no idea of the reasons behind most of the subtleties. All they know is that's the way it is.
I worked for a short while with a girl from Turkey, a real nice lady. Once she got over everybody asking her about her favorite flavor of taffy, how much she must love Thanksgiving dinner and people started pronouncing her name correctly, she became one of the gang. I remember at one point trying to explain to her the difference between refuse on the side of a trash truck and saying no, as in I refuse to buy any more taffy! Now, go back to Turkey, you! Finally all I could give her was the old American standby - I don't know why, it's just that way. Now, leave me alone.
I've been thinking about words and their meanings lately because I'm back on the job market. This involves writing letters to people whose first impression of me will be as an email or a sheet of paper. Does Sincerely sound too stuffy? Is See Ya too casual? Does To Whom It May Concern sound like something along the lines of a lawsuit? Do I sound too eager? Do I sound too desperate? Do I sound like I don't give a shit? The whole process is sort of like asking people out on a blind date over and over again by letter.
Now I remember what my favorite combination of words in the English language is.
Happy Hour.