Friday, December 23, 2005

The Perfect Accessory for the Holidays

The feathered hairdo was in style when I was at the prime age for fussing with hair, i.e., junior high/high school. And it would have been one of the few hairstyles that my fine, limp hair could have sustained. But I am proud to say that I resisted. Partly because I always thought it looked dopey, but mostly because I HATE fussing with hair. I lack the playing-with-hair gene that every other woman seems to have been born with. I find it onerous to have to blow-dry my hair even in the middle of winter. I hate the feeling of styling mousse on my fingers. A visit to the hairdresser is about as appealing to me as a visit to the dentist.

Too bad, then, that my hair is a limp disaster when left to its own devices. I wore a crewcut at the start of college, but even this was too much for me to keep up. So for years and years and years and years I kept my hair in a ponytail. I would corral any handy person to trim it from time to time. This was ok while I was a grad student, a twenty-something editor, and a med student. But finally had to decide whether I really wanted to go into my professional life and my forties with a pathetic little gray-streaked rattail hanging off the back of my head. Because aside from my hair, I do possess some vanity. So I bit the bullet and started seeing a real hairdresser (damn, they're expensive!) and started with the cutting and the coloring and the styling products.

I actually didn't know how to do the most basic things. I tried a curling iron and promptly branded myself on my forehead. I tried the round brush to blow-dry it and got it so tangled up I almost had to cut it free. Eventually I did manage to gain enough proficiency to look reasonably put-together.

But. For some reason known only to the hair gods, whom I've clearly offended, the most recent cut I got — which seemed identical to the cut I've had for the past two years — has been giving me trouble. Specifically, unless I fix it exactly right, it looks feathered. And although I've noticed that this style seems to be having a resurgence, I still find it horryifying.

Yesterday my mother wanted to take me and AngelBaby to a holiday party where there would be people I hadn't seen in years. I was already despondent over the fact that just before our trip I sprouted the biggest, ugliest, This-Is-Spinal-Tap cold sore I've had on my lip in the past twenty years. You simply can't cover up those babies. Concealer just makes them look crusty and malignant. Luckily it's in the corner of my mouth, and if I smirk a little bit, it's thrown into shadow. But then my hair decided I wasn't going to be quiiiite self-conscious enough, and went into a Farrah Fawcett frenzy. I fussed and fussed, and finally my mother said, "We have to get going!" Which really made me feel like I was in seventh grade.

So I went, smirking wildly and repeatedly tucking my traiterous locks behind my ears. But did anyone even make eye contact with me? No, of course not. They only had eyes for AngelBaby, who loves a good party and networked like mad.

I disagree with those who say you shouldn't have a baby just to have a cute accessory. What else are they good for?


Anonymous said...

Bwah ha haaa...I'm bad with hair, too. I keep it at waist-length simply because it's easier to tuck it into a braid or a bun and forget about it than to try and style it. The twice in my life it's been shorter I looked like an idiot until it grew out. You can be almost invisible if you carry a baby on you--it's worked for me for the past four and a half years; I don't do pretty things with my hair or wear makeup or anything, and nobody notices. When the littlest one gets to about three I'm going to have to start wearing a bag over my head :o) said...

Serving as a shield against social interaction is what young 'uns do best! I was thinking of getting J.Q. a specially-printed onesie so I could dispense entirely with the modicum of talking now required ("J.Q. YES, I WAS BORN WITH ALL THAT HAIR. YES, I AM CERTAINLY CUTE. THEY DID NOT LET A SNAKE BITE MY HEAD, IT IS A BIRTHMARK. MY MOMMY WOULD LIKE A RUM AND DIET COKE, PLEASE").

Side note: how did everyone do on presents? J.Q.'s aunts went kind of insane, and he now owns every Peek-A-Block in the Western Hemisphere.

nancy said...

When I was in 7th grade I took in a pic of Farrah Fawcett to my stylist and begged her to cut my hair EXACTLY like that. Oh the shame, the shame.

Mignon said...

I think I was repeatedly warned about getting my hair cut super short when I was pregnant, but did I heed? No. And I looked like a snowman with a ball of mozzerella for a head.
Sorry about the cold sore! I get them on occasion as well and zilactin seems to work pretty well once you feel that annoying tingle. I know exactly what you mean about the smirk/concealer problem, too.