Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

I think I need extra conditioner.

I'm just not be conditioned enough to keep this up.

Feeling down about hair in general, blogging in particular.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Hair Today, Gone...Already?

A disclaimer:

I know I'm not all that important.

And that writing about my hair-brained schemes can be considered a luxury among those who have none (for reasons too serious to trivialize herewith).

And that our country is in a mess far more distressing than my distressed curls.

And that many readers may find this excessive interrogation of self...excessive.

And that I do, too!

But I do believe that there are many of us women (and men) out there who are enlightened enough to realize that beauty is relative, fleeting, even boring -- and that American standards of beauty are often as undesirable as they are unreachable --yet are drawn to the judgment of the mirror, mirror on the wall.

If I had but world enough and time, and more academic badges of honor, I'd wax (gel?) poetic about beauty myths, bra-burning, and Body Dysmorphic Disorder...and comb through the various complexities and paradoxes.

But!

I'm just a blogger.

Are you still with me?

Wed Locks

Even though my husband and I were married by the State of NY in May, we have a wedding celebration coming up on Labor Day weekend. And no matter how much, which is to say little, we wish to buy into the business that is the American wedding, a girl's still gotta put on pretty clothes and make the mammas happy.

What this means is:

Groom -- Blue-and-white pinstripe seersucker suit.

Bride -- Yellow dress, blue shoes, and?

The wedding is 2 weeks away and there is still a big X factor in what to do about, zzzzzzz, of course, the hair. Up for sure. But how much up? I've let 2 stylists play with my hair for ideas. One gave me huge bottle curls, which she suggested I pin to the back of my head. But since the tangled-Slinkie look really wasn't what I had in mind for my casual, Brooklyn wedding, I met with another stylist who suggested I dangle a mass of ringlets on both sides of my face...which, by the way, I was told must be made-up with foundation, foundation powder, and a sprinkle of light foundation powder on top of that. Help!

As of today I am planning on doing my hair, and my make-up, myself. I'll amp up the mascara and blush, and maybe let a soft ringlet drop by my brow. But enough is enough! Shouldn't I just, like, be myself among my nearest and dearest? I mean, it's just a wedding. It's not like I'm getting married or anything....


Straightening Things Out ("Wranting," cont.)

So this is blogging?

Getting up at 6, pouring a cup of coffee from the new coffee maker (a wedding registry gift -- it self-times!), and sitting down to write.

About hair?

I don't know how long this wranting can last.

Ditto for my flat-ironed hair, now two days old.

And this morning it's raining -- krptonite for hibernating curls -- and frankly, dear reader, I'm ready to give up the goat. I always feel like I'm cheating, wearing a curtain of blown-out hair. Like someone is going to expose me for the wild, frizzy Jewish girl I really am. Then again, as YOU, dear husband know, there is something uniquely Jewish (textbook self-loathing aside) about all this hair nonsense indeed. Remember when you told me that my "straight" hair makes me look like I'm wearing a "sheitel," like our neighbors right here on the Lower East Side? Well, you and I have joked about my shaving my head after our wedding and Going Orthodox on you...just like your brother, G-d forbid!

But as you know, on a different, utterly godless and perhaps cosmetically inappropriate level, the head-shaving, minus the wig, idea appeals to me. Imagine my coworkers' faces when, post-honeymoon, they are greeted by Curl-Shorn Copy Director! Documenting their & others' reactions would make great storytelling on this very blog, hmm?

Or not.

To be continued.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

"Bad Hair and Other Excuses for Being Single"

Dear husband,

Once upon a time I wrote an essay for a publication I shall not name -- under a name I also will not name (this was during the time I was involved with, and often writing about, the Man Who Shall Remain Nameless) -- sorry! -- where was I? -- ah yes, so: I wrote this little ditty about going on a blind date, when of course all I wanted to do was be with the Man, and rather than write a flavorful dissertation about the fear and loathing that is dating itself, I endend up writing about my own loathsome hair. It's a cliché of the worst order:

Can't control life (love) = can't control hair (hate)

Anyway, I digress. Here's a portion of the essay which, I am the first one to admit, is lousy! But seeing how being single used to be the singularly most important part of my identity for so, so long, I guess that's to be expected, right? Did I mention how much I love you?

I'll shut up now. Here it is:


The subway is delayed. The subway is always delayed when you’re going a blind date. It’s nature’s way—and by that I mean New York, naturally—of telling you that you need to slow down, take stock of your surroundings, count your loose change, and ask yourself: Why am I going out tonight with my cousin’s girlfriend’s nephew’s best friend? What in my life has led me to this one moment of equal parts dread and expectation? And most important: How do I look?

I look awful, of course. That’s because it’s a hot summer night, I’m standing in an airless tunnel, and I was in a mad rush to get here. I had all day to get ready for tonight’s date. Still, I left my apartment in a rush. Rushing is, as a rule, exhausting and self-defeating. For me, given a recent and nearly inexplicable bout of allergies, and allergy medication, any rapid change in movement not only brings my body temperature to a boil, causing me to soak through whatever wardrobe item I’ve already taken ten minutes to choose, but also triggers my rosacea, leaving my cheeks, upper lip, and neck with bright red stains that take up to an hour to fan out. Which is to say nothing about my hair. It requires time, and when I don’t have time, my long hair falls short of my wearing-my-hair-down requirements.

I have thick, curly, some would argue “beautiful” hair. In a perfect, ph-balanced, low-humidity, environment my hair, worn loose, looks fine. Good, even. The S-shaped curls stay in shape, the top of my head spreads out into smooth ripples, and I feel good. Pretty, even. During these rare moments I might receive a compliment about how, wow, my hair looks so nice when I wear it down, why don’t I wear it down more often? Why the buns and the french twists (with pencil, sharpened) and the head scarves? Most women would die to have my hair. It is beautiful. I am beautiful. And lucky.

What these kind-hearted individuals who offer unasked-for beauty advice do not and never will know is that when I don’t have the three hours it takes to do my hair—one: washing it, towel-drying it, putting on leave-in the conditioner; two: letting the conditioner take hold, beneath a (new, dry) towel; three: blow-drying the molded links to hang in line—it is impossible to control and must be contained in a series of knots, barrettes, or elastic bands. Putting these emergency contraptions to use, however, does not guarantee that my hair will stay in place. Kneading my hair into a tight bun, for example, causes tension on the crown of my head which, in rebellion, ignites into a field of frizz. An extra-hold gel is an effective taming method but for the residue that builds up and falls onto my shoulders. Add my common clothing color-choice of black to the equation and x = I might as well stay home.

Blind dating is based entirely on appearances. In this paradoxical formula chemistry is the missing link (+/- dandruff) and, as any of my high-school laboratory partners can avow, it takes a lot of broken test tubes to produce the right reaction. A scientist, and no doubt my therapist, might argue that the work is its own reward, that experimentation is the celebration of the mystery and magnificence of life. But I’m thirty-two years old, I haven’t had a boyfriend to call my own since I fell in love with my now-married sometimes-lover, and for fuck's sake I’m TIRED of seeking magnificence in everything I do (hairdos included) when all it is that I do is sit around my apartment and curse myself for not doing more with the time I spend sitting around my apartment wondering why I don’t have a boyfriend.

This kind of thinking tends to lead me in one direction: toward the mirror. If I’m feeling inspired, or guilty (though the latter is wont to encourage the former), I might use this opportunity to determine whether I am attractive enough to go outdoors—to meet the friend who I’m supposed to meet in ten minutes ago or, if I don’t have formal plans, take myself and the book I’m reading to a local caf√©—or, as is more often the case, stay the hell home. Especially when time


...I think that's enough writing/ranting (wranting?) for one day, no?

Curls will be Curls

HELLO, husband, I told you I'd get around to writing about what many readers (were I to have any) will surely find the dullest subject in the world:

Hair!

If that weren't enough of a yawn:

MY hair.

Zzzzzz.

So what's so special about me and my hair?

Depends on how you, dear reader, define special.

Please stay tuned.