Once upon a time, when I was in high school, I was hanging out at a friend’s house. Said friend had been growing out her bangs for a number of months, and they now reached to about her chin and she commented that she should really get a haircut and just get it all cut off to that length so it wouldn’t look weird anymore.
I don’t remember if I volunteered or if it was her idea, but we decided I’d cut her hair. She got a pair of scissors and… I cut it. I didn’t do too bad of a job, though that didn’t stop her mother from being absolutely furious with me when she got home.
I cut another friend’s hair about a year later, and that was my first experience with “it’s a little longer here, I’ll just even that up… now it’s longer here, I’ll just even THAT up….” Her hair ended up a bit shorter than we’d planned, but she was cool about it.
Thus began my less-than-illustrious foray into my side career as a hair stylist.
Many years have passed since those early, bumbling trims. I have since—somehow, I don’t know—become relatively adept at cutting hair. I cut everyone’s hair in the family (except my own) and haven’t had an “evening it up” hair catastrophe since my teens. Monkey will tell you (in great detail) about the time I supposedly lopped his ear off, but at last count HE STILL HAD BOTH EARS, so I shall leave it to you to determine whether or not the story has been embellished. (And no, that’s not the reason he decided to grow his hair out.)
What I’m beginning to realize is that the “evening it up” phenomenon happens in many other life areas. And while it’s nice that we can face those with relatively acceptable haircuts, it’s still annoying.
Take, for example, yesterday’s dinner. We have been AWASH in Thanksgiving leftovers for days. And it’s not that I don’t enjoy it—because LORD KNOWS I do—but I would like to be able to fit back into my pants sometime this year. As I am genetically incapable of throwing food away, the surest path towards making it disappear is TO EAT IT. Duh.
So. Yesterday. The kids are tiring of turkey. I got the BRILLIANT idea to make shepherd’s pie for dinner, as that would at least use up the remainder of the 25% fat mashed potatoes and remove the temptation to stick a straw in the container of leftover gravy. And yesterday was a busy day, too, what with it being my first WHOLE work day since the holiday, and I reasoned that shepherd’s pie when the taters were already made would be a snap, so it had the added bonus of being quick and easy.
This is because I forgot that I AM ME.
I am the only person on the planet who could decide to make shepherd’s pie to use up the leftover mashed potatoes and have an easy meal who would then:
1) Discover we are out of onions,
2) realize we have no corn,
3) beg my husband to please pick up said veggies on his way home,
4) find that the ground beef is still frozen solid, even in the fridge,
5) sautÃ©e onions for ten minutes, dump the block of frozen meat in, take out the container of potatoes and discover THERE ISN’T ENOUGH,
6) make more goddamned mashed potatoes.
At some point during this I also checked a recipe online for reference and discovered that if you make it with beef it should more properly be called cottage pie, and by the time I read that I was so annoyed by the whole process that I found this knowledge enraging. Not only was my simple dinner turning out to be a gigantic, mutiple-pan-using pain in the ass, but I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT I WAS COOKING.
Dinner was prepared with a great sense of foreboding.
Lucky for me (and the family!) it came out great. And while I still don’t know what I should call it, I felt strangely compelled to go buy one of these afterwards. Mmmmmm.
And then, this morning, I took out a new pair of shoes for Monkey. They’re slip-on suede moc type shoes, you know the kind. I bought them a while ago but found them in his closet when I was putting laundry away yesterday. Anyway, his sneakers are looking a little worse for wear, so I figured I could extend their life a bit by giving him another pair of school shoes. (Plus? If you have smallish feet in your house you perhaps know that having a couple of pairs of shoes is a good idea, because otherwise those small shoes have a tendency to STINK LARGE after being worn every single day.)
He put on his new shoes and was quite pleased with them. And then it started.
“I want new shoes,” Chickadee said, all hopefulness.
“You HAVE shoes,” I said.
“No, I only have my sneakers.”
“You have that pair of slides in there,” I pointed out. (Chickadee used to get hand-me-downs from a friend of ours, and she recently pulled a pair of glittery silver Skechers slides out of the “Emily bag” and put them with the other shoes by the door.)
“My heels get cold in those,” she complained.
And I realized that yes, it’s true; I used to have both kids alternate between sandals and sneakers, and then it got too cold for sandals, and then I got lazy and just had them wear their sneakers, and she’s really only worn those slides a couple of times because probably her heels DO get cold in them, and I should probably buy her another pair of shoes as well.
So I spent some time this morning finding her a similar pair of shoes. Okay, that’s fine. Then I got an email from the eBay seller who’s shipping us some pants I bought for Chickadee, and I realized I still haven’t bought pants for Monkey, and so then I went to go look for those….
I don’t know that I can make it all come out even, but I certainly intend to drive myself insane in the process.