In the continuing saga of You Can’t Take Me Anywhere which is, in fact, MY ENTIRE LIFE, I had a bit of a situation here yesterday morning.
And I’m not even talking about the fact that the water in this hotel tastes so horrendous that the coffee I brewed in the little machine they provide tasted like I’d brewed tea using old underpants in place of teabags.
Look; I’ve never had to head straight to a conference after spending a week on a ship, and if you think I didn’t agonize for WEEKS over what and how to pack, given these circumstances, you must be new here. What we finally did was manage to pack my stuff and Otto’s stuff into one large and one small suitcase; although my stuff filled most of the larger suitcase, this would allow me to take just the smaller one with me, post-cruise, when heading off to be all professional while sending Otto home with most of the laundry. I thought it was a brilliant plan.
In fact, it was TOTALLY brilliant because the smaller suitcase is actually small enough to be carried on, and you know how I hate to check luggage. I all but patted myself on the back for working out such a genius solution.
The only problem was that I had brought a full-size bottle of hair product with me on the cruise. Because it doesn’t come in a smaller bottle, and because going to the Caribbean without your magic curl-and-frizz-taming products makes the baby Jesus cry. I had tossed it into the checked luggage on our way out, and totally forgotten I’d have to deal with it on the way back.
Well, given my history of smuggling contraband through the airport, it didn’t take very long for me to decide that I’d go ahead and carry my bag on, anyway, and hope the hair lotion would make it through without getting caught. The good news is that I was indeed successful (again!) and my Curls Rock and I had an uneventful trip to Philly.
The bad news is that while packing up to leave the ship, I realized that I was having several issues with my toiletries. For one thing, I’d brought a small container of my Super Extra Special Tea Tree Oil Face Wash, and the lid had since cracked, which meant the bottle was leaking and now couldn’t be repacked. Oh, well… I could make do with regular soap for a few days, I supposed. For another thing, between my various cleansing liquids and some liquid vitamin supplements I take, my quart-size ziploc bag was turning out to not actually be large enough for all of the liquid things I wanted to take, even when excluding my illegal hair lotion.
What to do, what to do?
The ship we cruised on had thoughtfully provided a small bowl of freebies in the bathroom, and among them was a trio of John Frieda hair products in foil—you know the kind, single-use packages of shampoo, conditioner, and some sort of smoothing lotion. Ah! I could take THAT, and give Otto my little bottles of shampoo and conditioner to take home. That would save some room, and suddenly I could zip my ziploc again. Perfect.
I’m in Philadelphia for two days. Because my hair is finicky I tend to be picky about hair products (but I generally like the John Frieda stuff), which is a minus; but on the plus side, because my hair is dry, I only wash it every other day. Those slender foil packets would be plenty for a two-day trip, as I’d only have to wash my hair once. And this would save me from Mystery Hotel Shampoo.
Yesterday I got up and did some work and eventually took a shower (shocking, I know). I took the foil packets of shampoo and conditioner in with me and washed my hair. The products were pretty nice. I got out and did my post-shower stuff (lotions, deodorant, etc.) and then came to my hair.
I actually use two products on my hair; I mix the Curls Rock with another product that’s meant to be a smoother. The third John Frieda packet was something that was labeled as smoother. Now, I had a small bottle of a second product with me for that purpose, but I had just used two of the three products, so it seemed logical to try the third, right?
I put some of the Curls Rock in my palm. Then I added the John Frieda product and rubbed my hands together the way I always do.
This is the part where I desperately want to tell you that I just didn’t NOTICE what happened. I want the next sentence to be “I failed to see what happened when these two products came into contact with each other.” Because the two products I NORMALLY mix are unremarkable together and I rub the result into my hair and then I have bouncy, shiny curls and really, if I hadn’t noticed, you wouldn’t blame me one bit.
But the truth is that I pulled my palms apart and I saw EXACTLY what had happened. I don’t know what the hell is in that John Frieda smoother stuff, but the mess that was now on my hands was white, sticky balls of… glop. Rather than blending together smoothly, I had somehow combined two liquids to make a truly disgusting, gloppy semi-solid.
And maybe it was the bad coffee, or maybe I just WANTED to wish it away, but I looked at the mess in my hands and I truly thought, “I’m sure this will just dissolve once I put it into my hair.”
Yes. Because my hair is magical that way.
So you already know what happened, right? I put that mess into my hair and I rubbed and rubbed and no matter how I rubbed, it did not dissolve, on account of I’d just made my very own homemade flubber, and then RUBBED IT IN MY HAIR.
No problem, I thought, panic rising. I will just rinse this mess right out. I stuck my head into the tub and ran the water and rubbed my hair and rinsed it all out.
Except, of course, none of it came out. NONE OF IT. My hair was still full of sticky white balls.
No problem, I thought, actually panicking, now. I will just wash my hair again!
Except, of course, I had no more shampoo and conditioner. Fortunately the hotel had thoughtfully provided Mystery Hair Products for my de-glopping pleasure.
So, basically, the hair catastrophe that I had on account of the special little packets of hair products I brought specifically so that I would not have to use the hotel’s Mystery Hair Products were the reason I ended up washing and conditioning my hair with Mystery Hair Products.
It worked fine, and—more to the point—removed the mysterious glop from my hair. It also smelled pretty good.
Needless to say, I did not so much as TOUCH my hair, this morning. I apologize for the wild look I’m sporting, but you have to understand, I was just plain SCARED. Or maybe I mean scarred.