Friday Drivel, Nonchalantly

Work this week was wild. Every now and then, one of our consultants who works remotely flies in and we have company meetings. Even though I’m in a department all by myself (which is the best and worst thing ever), I still find myself distracted and unproductive during these weeks, regardless of whether I’m attending every single meeting or not. Now that it’s Friday, I’m finding myself able to settle down and focus on setting my schedule for the week ahead.

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In Kaiser-related news: I passed my drug test with an A (for amphetamines, which we entirely anticipated since I take them most days. I had a good shock when I saw that on the results list, but quickly realized that it meant Adderall and stopped wondering where I might have accidentally come into contact with meth or something related).This is the best news. (Not that I was worried.)

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I have been trying to curb my internet shopping habit. Having to slowly purchase a new wardrobe is so much easier when it can just come to your office, but it’s also expensive and annoying as all hell when you have to return something. But when I saw boots on sale on one of my web sites, I had to buy them.

Every year, I try to buy a pair of boots that I like. Every single year, I go for black riding boots. Every single year, I am disappointed. Last year, I bought a pair to try at Target and ended up wearing them all year. The only problem? They didn’t last and I won’t be able to stretch their life through this winter. So after Christmas, I treated myself to a pair of wonderful boots. They arrived, via mail, at which point I discovered that they looked worse than the Target boots, so they were sent back.

I got the new boots today. I get so excited to get mail, particularly when it’s a package. I tore it open, and tried them on. And they did exactly what I knew they’d do: they gaped around my calves. Gaped. They looked like rain boots, which I hate more than any other kind of boots for the simple reason that they’re just so large. The boots have been returned to their packaging and will find themselves back in the mail tomorrow. I’m dejected, but determined. There must be a pair of tall black boots that isn’t going to cost me tons of money that will fit my calves (or at least not swallow them into a dark abyss). I will find it, although I’m starting to give up hope that I’ll ever find a pair of black riding boots with a small enough calf circumference to suit my chicken calves. Instead, I might go nuts and get some Doc Martens, something I’ve wanted since I was like 13.

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I wore a white shirt to work today, which means that within five minutes of making coffee (I can make coffee now! I realize that seems stupid, but I learned this week and I’m incredibly proud of this), I had a coffee stain on my shirt. Of course.

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I pride myself on being very even keel. I’m not usually girlish or overly emotional (although lately, I’ve been questioning whether or not this is true. Last night, I cried at the end of one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.) I’m usually pretty consistent when it comes to assessing my own emotional needs and doing what I need to do to ensure my own happiness and well-being.

But I’ve been uncharacteristically moody this week. I should have realized what was happening since my skin started to get grumpy, but I was hit with an assault of hormones that threw me into an irrationally angry and pathetic state. Like, “WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME?” needy, which is a very rough place to be, especially when that’s the last place you want to find yourself.

Trying to explain to Britt why I need to be reassured and snuggled was like trying to speak Esperanto to deaf penguins in Antarctica. It went like this:

“Since we started hanging out, you haven’t once told me that you care. I realize that even if you said it now, it’d be under duress, but I just need some reassurance from time to time that you don’t hate this.”

He laughed. “I spend time with you! I see you all the time! Do you think I’m a masochist who would spend so much time hanging out with someone I hated?”

“I just need some reassurance sometimes. You’re always so sarcastic about everything.”

“So if I don’t ever see you but tell you that you’re pretty and that I like you, that’ll be enough?”

“NO!”

“That’s exactly what you just said you wanted.”

Men are very frustrating creatures, particularly when they don’t speak your love language. Especially when they aren’t aware of the concept of love languages. I think everyone should have to grow up with sisters, so they’re prepared to enter adulthood with a good idea of how things work.

I was complaining to Mike last night (while he was kind enough to make me a turkey and avocado panini on his beloved panini maker), and he said, “You always jump into things without realizing what you’re getting yourself into.” He’s not wrong, but I’m too stubborn to give up until it’s beyond saving. Based on my pushing and his non-response, it may be sooner rather than later. Ah, well, such is life.

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If you’re a pet owner, you will love (or at least appreciate) these two sites:

Dog Shaming | Cat Shaming

The beast would get a shaming picture because when we play, he loves to attack my hands instead of his toy. Or because he always runs into our Saw basement (think of the movie Saw. Then you’ll know what our basement looks like. Dark and full of crazy rooms and clutter.) the minute I open the door and has to be coaxed out by shaking a bag of wet food. Or for once attacking a dog.

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Happy Friday!

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On my Hair. A photo essay, sort of.

My hair has been a constant source of dismay for me.

I believe it started somewhere around birth. I was quite bald. Even as a toddler, people would say, “My, what a cute boy you have!” (Sort of like the Red Riding Hood – Big Bad Wolf exchange: “My, what big teeth you have.” “All the better to eat you with, my dear.” Except not exactly like that.) And finally, after a few years of this gender confusion, I grew hair, cementing my place as a female member of society.
Did my parents ever worry about alopecia? Maybe not, as I’m sure they don’t subscribe to my worst-case-scenario-projecting-is-the-only-way-to-look-at-life philosophy. (For the record, I don’t worry about alopecia. Not yet, at least. And by the time I start to worry, there will be science-miracle cures that I can buy on TV for easy payments of $19.99. Done! Alopecia problem solved! Thanks future hair plugs/miracle creams/sweet interchangeable wigs.)
(trade this dress for a tux, and you’ve got an adorable future George Clooney)
After hair comes bangs.
My mom knew I was going to cut my hair soon. I’d been cutting grass, the dog’s hair, paper. So one day, I came flouncing down the stairs with crooked bangs. They were completely diagonal. I’d cut them with safety scissors and then left the hair behind a chair upstairs, as though no one would ever find it. There was no fixing it, so they just had to grow out.
Any mother’s worst fear is the years and years it’s going to take to grow our a small child’s bangs. It took years. It was a source of stress. When I was in first grade, my mom told me that I wasn’t allowed to have bangs again until I was 18.
So I didn’t.When I was little, my mom would try to put my hair in a ponytail. I was never happy. There were always bump when she’d try to pull it up. I’d reach back and feel it and tell her that there was a bump and so I’d make her redo it. To this day, I still redo my hair when I’m worried that there’s a bump. She’d get exasperated. “There’s no bump!” (Just to be 100% clear, there were bumps. I am not wrong.)
A few months ago, she was walking past a mother doing her daughter’s hair. She said that she was tempted to walk up to the daughter and whisper, “There’s a bump!”

I went through my ugly duckling phase (era, actually – it was like a decade from awkward hell) with no discernible hair style. I really didn’t do anything to it – I don’t even think I had approached a hair dryer at this point. It just lived in a ponytail at the base of my neck. Every day. All day.

There was one day where we tried curlers. Like a 50s housewife, I slept in rollers. When I woke up and took them out (Mom was at work, so Dad may have had a hand in the meltdown that happened immediately after I realized I looked like young Frankenstein), I freaked.
(me, at age 8)
One of my worst memories of 6th grade is the day that I forgot to wash the conditioner out of my hair. All day, I was greasy and gross and miserable. I now triple rinse, without fail. In South Africa, long after the water had gone cold, I’d be under the shower head, rinsing. Triple checking that no traces of conditioner remained.
It gets worse.
Remember high school? (This is still part of the era of awkward.)
The only rule was that I couldn’t dye my hair black. So of course, I dyed it black the first chance I got. Mom has a sixth sense about these things (either that or I’m a terrible liar), and I hadn’t even finished drying it post-coloring when she was on the phone. “What color is your hair?!” she said, in her terrifying phone/teacher voice. (I should add that my mom isn’t really that scary – and I’m grateful that she let me do so much experimentation during those years. I may not have looked great, but I was figuring myself out. I respect her willingness to let me try that, just like when she would let me wear her high heels and my play dresses to church when I was little.)
   (Those were interesting years. I cut my bangs myself. They were always horrifying. Short, uneven. Not really bangs. Not really side bangs. For evidence of this bad bang cutting, see my sophomore year school picture – it’s still on display at Mom’s house. Compounded with my ever-changing hair color, I was not my best self. It’s a good thing that there are still people on this planet (my friends) who value inner beauty.
College. I chopped off all of my hair. I looked like a goon. (That’s not entirely true. It was actually sort of cute.) I spent the next three years in various stages of hair length, usually around my chin. Sometimes adorable, sometimes not at all.
Cut to Africa. Mama P wanted me to have fringe. So I sat on one of her kitchen chairs and her daughter took shears to my hair. Full fringe. I kept that until this spring, when I grew them back out.
So of course, December rolls around and what do I want to do again? (I haven’t gotten any tattoos or piercings in years, so I get the urge to do something drastic every six months or so.) Bangs. My super ego was telling me no, but my stubborn self was saying yes.
But I was waffling. I didn’t know. I looked back through pictures, realized I couldn’t find a single one with bangs that I liked, and then thought, let’s do it again! (That is nothing if not sound logic right there.)
(That’s a lie – I like this picture. Long Street, 2010.)
So I’m back to half-bangs. But I swear, I am growing all of it out and just having hair that’s one length. 2012 is the year of less hair cut, more learning how to style the hair I have. Curling irons? I can master them. Learning to love my curly hair? I can learn that too. I have taken baby steps – I own good hair products. I am open to re-embracing hair spray.
(Imagine if I wasn’t doing the mickey ave – I’d look adorable.)
Moral of this story? Stop messing with your hair. Learn how to style it. Stay away from the scissors. Curling irons are your friend. Your natural hair color is that way for a reason. Listen to your mother, at least when she tells you to stop trying to rock bangs. She might be right.
Other moral? Pick friends who will still love you when you look ridiculous. Or just make sure you pick ridiculous friends.