My 100th post: It’s All About the Hair

By Mir
June 28, 2004
Category Detritus

How momentous to cross this esteemed barrier on such a scholarly subject! But that’s just who I am… a woman who knows when to hold ’em, knows when to fold ’em… knows when to walk away… knows when to yap about my hair as if it were important. And I do it all for you, dear readers. Yes I do. So let’s get to it, shall we?

I have–I am told–gorgeous hair. It is thick and shiny and silky and curls into perfect corkscrews. And up until recently it was a beautiful mahogany; now it is a beautiful mahogany shot through with rather more silver than a woman of my age should have, but I think it adds character, don’t you? (Plus I used to dye it, and I don’t care what the big wall of hair color at Wallyworld claims, I will not find a perfect match to my color there no matter how long I look.) Just about everyone I have ever met has reached out and traced the path of one of my curls almost as if they couldn’t help themselves, and proclaimed, “People pay all kinds of money to have curls like this! You are so lucky!

I am so lucky, that of course I started chemically straightening my hair the moment I could afford it. I hate my curls. Hate them with a passion! They frizz up in the heat and they dent in bizarre ways when I sleep on them and they tangle something fierce unless I keep it short, at which point I resemble a large poodle. I fought the battle of the curls longer than I could stand it, and then I discovered that I, Too, Could Have Straight Hair.

It’s quite simple, really. I pay an astonishing amount of money every three or four months to have my hair “relaxed” at the salon. This is a long and smelly process during which I read magazines and try not to pass out from the fumes and remind myself that I love having straight hair. After that, I return home. Where every other day I wash and condition and then gloop my hair with expensive straightening products, blow dry it out with my ionic hair dryer and round brush (the former costing about the same as a small boat; the latter running at about a week’s worth of groceries), and proclaim myself pretty! The system works pretty well.

The thing about having my hair relaxed, though, is that if I don’t go through the blow-drying ritual, I am left with… uhhhh… sad hair. My poor hair is now shunned by both the Rebel Curlies and the Cool Kid Straights, stuck in a purgatory of in-between. The corkscrews are gone, but my hair still has significant wave. And thanks the combination of modern chemicals and the fact that most everybody has different types of hair on their head (that accordingly respond more or less to said chemicals), my hair is curlier in the back than in the front, where some rogue locks will actually hang stick straight with no prodding. It’s a look that could only be most generously referred to as interesting.

So by now, you have either wisely stopped reading, or you’re thinking, “Hey Mir? Why are we talking about this? Why now?” And I assure you this is a very timely topic because I have spent an entire week in hair purgatory.

Spending 25 minutes with your arms in the air, drying your hair section by section, isn’t really on the list of Important Priorities after surgery. As you well know from my previous posts, taking painkillers, sleeping, and peeing are pretty much all I’ve been able to juggle this week. But as I have slowly improved I’ve managed a number of showers… after which I have watched my hair twist into some awful configuration and had only enough energy to combat it with a woman’s best friend in times of need: the ponytail elastic.

Well, my friends, I am here to tell you that yesterday I cleared a very important hurdle. I shaved my legs! Yes, I had to sit in the kids’ tub to do it. Yes, it took a long time. Yes, I had a moment of panic afterwards when I realized I wasn’t sure if I could, in fact, get out of the tub again. But by golly, I did it and lived to tell the tale. Now today, my dad and stepmom are arriving, and my children are coming home to stay, and really, the hair was the last obstacle between me and Some Semblance of Normalcy.

When my head isn’t in a bucket, nothing stands between me and my Semblance of Normalcy, dammit.

So, behold! It is Semi-Normal Mir! Fully cleansed! With straight hair! In deep need of a nap, now, but Back To Herself (Kinda)! It’s amazing how one little thing can make you feel so much more in control. And sooooooo exhausted. How many days do you suppose I can go without washing my hair again…?


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