Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Family Reunion, The End

"Hair brings one's self-image into focus;
it is vanity's proving ground.
Hair is terribly personal,
a tangle of mysterious prejudices."
Shana Alexander

Last night Sweetie asked me when I was going to write about something other than our recent family reunion. What, too much estrogen for him? Maybe living through it was less a monumental event for him than it was for me. Maybe he's right.

The thing about these kind of get togethers is that I tend to compare myself against the rest. I've always been the tallest. Check out most any picture of the group and I'm in the back, with a small portion of the top of my head out of the range of the camera. And as my dad has been known to point out, I'm a big girl. This time he followed that truism with "just like my mother (meaning his mother) who was in fact not small. Indeed his side of the family was built bigger than my mom's side, though some of her people were taller than average. Guess you had to be "big" to cross over the mountains and fight Indians. In recent years my sisters have all managed to lose weight and add exercise to their routines so my size in our group pictures was especially noticeable to me.

And what about that hair? I made peace with my grayness a long time ago, but I am still looking for the perfect style. Long, short, in between. I realized today the perfect style is the one I don't have. Long hair is an oddity for me. I thought this time I was going to be able to make it work. Then the temperatures began to rise. Outside temperatures and body temperatures. Even if I spend time in front of a mirror with a blow dryer, brush and spray, when the heat wave starts up the back of my neck, there is nothing to do but grab the whole mess of hair and clip it in some kind of knot. All that styling for nought.

For me there is an unwritten but proven law of hair science. Let's say I buy myself a package of barrettes or scrunchies. This is a sure sign that I'm going to have my hair cut within the next few weeks, probably days. I've done this so many times you'd think when I find myself checking out the latest clip selection that I would just walk on by and not buy. In fact just yesterday I did just that.

There I was in the store looking for something when I was overcome by a wave of heat that must have come straight from the devil's backyard. I grabbed my hair in one hand and twisted it onto the top of my head. Then started fanning myself with the Vitamin brochure I was reading. Had there been a row of fans blowing I might have placed myself in front of one of them, or dropped an ice cube into my brassiere. But all I could think of to do was buy a new clip. It was in my hand. A pretty tortoise shell clampy thing that looked like something from the movie Jaws (da dump da dump). With sweat dripping down my hairline I made a decision to forget about donating my ponytail which still had about 8 inches to grow to Locks of Love and offer instead whatever lay on the floor after I shaved my head to the BP oil company to aid in cleaning up the oil spill. I put the clip back on the rack and picked up the phone to call my hairdresser, Charles.

Charles is more than a stylist. He's a hairdresser, psychologist, travel guide, and friend all rolled into one. He's been with me through thick and thin - or short and long as the case may be. He's accompanied me through both my Jamie Lee Curtis and mountain woman with braids phase and everything in between. He's sold me "product" to boost my unruly hair into submission. He makes me smile and lets me cry on his shoulder. He never laughs. Okay, he laughs. But with me, not at me. He reminds me of the styles I tried but didn't like. He gently forgets that I rarely if ever follow his instructions.

Heat happens, he told me when I whined about "all this hair". Come on in and let's see what we can do about it. Now I know that Charles has years of education and experience under his belt, but I prefer to think he works magic. Snip. Snip. Comb. Spray. And voila I feel like a new person. It is not uncommon for me to drag my moody butt into the salon and leave with a bit of a lilt in my step, singing "I feel pretty, oh so pretty" to no one but myself.

Right now this very minute I feel like a new person. Charles didn't have to shave my whole head. All he had to do was wave his wand, add a spritz of magic dust and away I went thinking I am now in my Diane Sawyer phase! Ooh la la!

Wishing for you a bit of magic and a cool breeze,
Merry ME


Tracey Catarozoli a.k.a Sally Sunshine said...

What?! No picture? How can you leave us hanging like that?! Don't make us beg!!

Molly said...

i am laughing in recognition! in fact, i noticed gray today and knew it was time for a visit to Mary Beth...and after a few years of long hair, I'm thinking it may be time for a short bob. Humidity is not my friend.

Pamela Jones said...

Okay, Diane...where's the head shot? As for being a "big girl," remember that we trolls can't reach the top shelf of anything. Hope sweetie recovers soon from his infusions of hormones.

And, by the way, all the curl in my hair is courtesy of Mother Nature -- and she keeps twisting it ever tighter as I age.

AkasaWolfSong said...

A Picture is worth a thousand words as they say...ahem!

I loved the way your hair looked but I certainly understand the wanting a haircut...I just had mine done not too long ago as well. Humidity is not my friend at all...so I'm with you kiddo!

What is so nice is that even if they don't take off much, a time well spent in the care of your hairdresser is worth their weight in gold just because we feel pampered and our energy is lighter when we leave...

I'd love you if your were bald Mary!

Anonymous said...

Funny thing happened to me yesterday. I went to Adele and said I couldn't do anything with my hair - it was in her hands. I now have a short bob, much shorter than Diane's, but so far after one day of mowing and pulling weeds in the rain, manageable. I'd love to compare head shots! lg

PS I have always envied your tallness - never have I called it bigness.