Lately, I’ve been obsessing about Jodi Arias.
When they show clips of the trial on my favorite news channel, HLN, I stand in front of the television, transfixed, and ask myself, “Why? Why? Why?”
Why does her hair look so friggin’ good while she is in prison?
I’m serious. This is driving me crazy. I mean, I know her hair isn’t all that glamorous right now, and people are claiming she’s deliberately looking mousy to deceive the jury. But, look carefully.
No split ends. No frizz. PERFECTly straight.
Do they let her wield a straight-iron in jail? Does she even have permission to possess a comb? What kind of shampoo is she allowed to use? How does she get those locks to look so shiny and thick? Isn’t stress supposed to have a negative impact on your hair? Is she one of those people who shakes her head when you say, “You are so lucky to have such straight hair,” and responds, “I’ve always wanted it curly”?
I hate those people.
I really need for this trial to be over. I keep going to the store and loitering in the hair product aisle, trying to reconstruct the crime of Jodi Arias’ flawless tresses. I wake up in the morning, and eye all of the bottles and appliances lined up in my bathroom and debate who I can put on trial for deceiving me with false promises of frizz-free hair and ends that will reconcile with each other and refuse to split after all.
I know. I know. I’m missing the whole point of this unbelievably long, drawn-out courtroom drama. Jodi Arias has a lot more important things to worry about besides her unbelievably healthy hair.
Like how to score a facial before her next mugshot.
Or, during her next mugshot…
So, I Knoxed my hair tonight; what have you done for your daughter lately?
Here was our conversation in the car today:
“The coach says we need to be at the pool by 7:15 am. Knoxed.”
“Hmm. I guess I’m going to have to Knox your hair then.”
“But you’ve never done it before!!!!” Complete panic.
“We’ll, I’ve got to learn some time.”
“But not now!”
“What’s wrong? Don’t you trust me?”
Full confession, My daughter has been involved in synchronized swimming for three years, and I have never Knoxed her hair. Oh, it’s been Knoxed – just not by me. And if you don’t know what I mean by “Knoxing”, it’s the wonderful secret of waterproof synchronized swimming hair. Mix hot water with Knox gelatin (unflavored, though we’ve all secretly been yearning to experiment with cherry because it could taste good and give your hair a nice tint) and paint it on wet. Then it hardens into a nice plastic helmet.
Ask 100 Synchro moms about their Knoxing technique, and they will tell you a hundred different ways to do it. The variables aren’t just the water and the unflavored gelatin packets. You can do the hair several ways, and use a variety of utensils to do the mixing and painting – including, but not limited to, a paint brush or a basting brush.
I didn’t want to fight with my daughter at 5:30 in the morning, so I thought I better settle the issue tonight. I decided to prove to her that I could mix the concoction to the right consistency since she seemed pretty doubtful that I could even do this, much less paint it on her hair. (She is right to doubt me. My sister, Crash, once tried to make Jello. It sat in the fridge for a week and never jelloed. I used to tease her relentlessly about this, and I have a feeling there is such a thing as Knoxing Karma.)
As I was mixing, it suddenly occurred to me that I should paint it on my own hair to put everyone’s doubt to rest. (I have a feeling that it is no coincidence that my medication usually wears off about the exact time of night that I had that genius idea.)
It worked, though. My daughter couldn’t believe I was doing it.
“I bet no one else’s mom can say she’s done that,” she said, proudly.
Okay, I said it. But she agreed with me.
The only problem with this great plan was that I then had to get in the shower to wash it off. That is when I realized that my daughter is not exaggerating when she complains about what a pain it is to get that glop out of her hair. I rinsed 5 times, got out to dry my hair, and realized there was still an entire section over my ear to which the goop had stubbornly clung.
So, tomorrow, if you see a 40 year old woman with hair sticking straight out of her head over her left ear, don’t point and laugh. Bend over to your child’s ear and reverently whisper, “Now there goes a great mom!”
My hair; don’t worry, I got better on the other half of my head.
“Are you channeling Michael Jackson?” Cap’n Firepants asked me this morning.
Those of you who know me well would agree on the hilarity of that suggestion – since I am, first of all, a 44-year-old chubby white girl and, more importantly, have about as much rhythm as a washing machine on the spin cycle. The Cap’n was not hallucinating, however.
“Oh, you mean this black glove on my hand?”
“Yes, that is what I mean.”
“That is my special heat-resistant glove, designed to protect me from burning my sensitive skin while I create a masterpiece of a hairdo with my new, super-duper curling wand.”
“O.K.” He bent his head to study the remote control in his hand – or to hide his smirk of doubt.
I waved my special heat-resistant hand at him in what I assumed to be a gesture akin to telling him to “Beat It”, and prepared to give myself lovely spiral curls that would be the envy of anyone addicted to the Home Shopping Network Hair Care website.
You actually don’t have to know me well to be aware of the fact that I am hopeless at doing hair – mine or anyone else’s. This is probably why I am obsessed with Donald Trump; I secretly identify with him. I have had one successful hair triumph in the last year, and that resulted in a different kind of disaster, so I haven’t even attempted to repeat that event.
But I stupidly walked into Ulta yesterday to get some lipstick and ended up walking out with a large stick for curling my hair. Since today was Sunday, and my presence in public was not required, I decided it was the perfect day to experiment.
I would like to give you a few words of advice if you attempt to curl your own hair using a special heat-resistant glove. Firstly, it helps if you put the glove on the hand that is actually going to be making contact with the hot end of the curling wand – instead of the hand that is clutching the barrel, safely out of harm’s way.
I learned that when I did my first curl.
Hint Numero Deux: “heat-resistant” does not mean “heat-proof“. If it takes you ten minutes to wrap a tendril of hair around the wand, then you will probably start feeling the heat through the glove. And you might then drop the wand on your foot, which does not happen to be wearing a heat-resistant glove, and then you might say some words that will amuse your husband, who is surreptitiously spying on you from the bedroom as he pretends to be watching football.
And the third hint: just because it is called a curling “wand” does not mean you are suddenly a wizard at Hogwarts. Unless you are Ron Weasley trying to to wield his useless, broken wand. So, don’t point it at yourself unless you want to start vomiting slugs.
Surprisingly, I made it around my head with relatively few third-degree burns and no slug-inducing mis-spells. I examined “The Woman in the Mirror”, and I limped out into the bedroom to model for Cap’n Firepants.
“I like it,” he said.
I narrowed my eyes suspiciously, and almost asked, “Do You Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’?” But Cap’n Firepants does not tell me he likes something unless he means it. It can be devastating when we are about to go somewhere, and he says that my hair style is “not my favorite”, but at least I know his rare compliments are heartfelt.
So, now that the Cap’n thinks that I look like a “Pretty Young Thing”, I have given the heat-resistant glove and its Miraculous Wand a place of honor on our bathroom counter.
This may be the start of something “Dangerous”.
A woman’s hopes are woven of sunbeams; a shadow annihilates them. George Eliot (1819 – 1880) English novelist
I have this absolutely wonderful blogging buddy at This Sydney Life who has decided to pass a baton to me. Let me tell you about the last time I was in a relay. I was in 5th grade, and I had never done a spot of running in my entire life. Apparently, the members of my team did something horrible in their past lives because they got stuck with me. I was the last runner. As soon as I got the baton, I burst out onto the scene. I was way ahead of everyone else. I could hear everyone cheering. By the time I was halfway around the track, I realized I was going to die. I’m pretty sure I didn’t make it to the finish line until the next day. But I can’t remember. Because oxygen could not get to my brain. And I don’t think it really has ever since.
Fortunately, this is a virtual baton that I’ve been given. And the relay is a Blog about Hope relay. When I first got this gig, I was a little worried. I haven’t had a lot of hope lately. I was going to cheat, and reblog a post I did about my dogs, and their amazing capacity to hope.
But then I ended up watching an infomercial, and realized that there is one thing that I am hopeful about – even though I have had absolutely no success in this area. Zilch. Nada. Null. Hair. I buy every single ding-dang-dong product that’s touted to give you beautiful hair. I follow my hair stylist’s directions. I watch videos. I STUDY the videos. Failure. Every time. Except for once, but then I failed in other ways, so that doesn’t count.
But I don’t care. As soon as I saw the ad for the Sarah Potempa Beachwaver Rotating Curling Iron, I knew that I must get it. I am absolutely, positively, without-a-doubt convinced that this is the solution to ALL of my hair styling problems. This curling iron CURLS ITSELF, PEOPLE! And, for those of you who are stupid like me, you can even tell it which side of your head it’s on by pressing a handy-dandy button, so it will CURL THE CORRECT WAY!
Hope? Of course I have Hope!!!! I even have a GOOD FEELING. THIS IS IT! My frizzy, fried head is going to to look fabulous in 6-10 working days. Just in time for school to start. Just in time for my new job at a new school with new people to impress with my lovely, beach-waved mane.
And, if, by some remote chance, I end up having to shave my head because I got a friggin’ appliance permanently entangled in my locks, then at least I will have the following quote to keep me from losing hope. It’s pretty much the only thing that keeps me going most days, to tell you the truth.
“A humorist tells himself every morning, ‘I hope it’s going to be a rough day.’ When things are going well, it’s much harder to make the right jokes.” Alan Coren (1938 – ____) British “writer, satirist” “In “”Quotations to Cheer You Up When the World is Getting You Down,”” by Allen Klein, 1991.”
(Oh gosh, I almost forgot. Now I must pass the baton to some other lucky people. I’m giving this to my top 4 commenters. Here ya go – Aja at Writing and Recovering, Julie at JMGoyder, Audrey at Dangerously Daydreaming, and Chuck at Collies of the Meadow. Go, my friends, and run like the wind!)
I got a blow-out at the hair salon the other day. Loved it. (Blow-out, dirty-minded people.)
So, I decided to replicate the procedure at home. 45 minutes later, I finished, and marched out into the living room to show my blown-out bombshell self to the family.
Cap’n Firepants smiled that “I love you so much, you sexy lady” smile and came up and kissed me.
“So, you decided to go with the frizzy look today?” he whispered in my ear.
And this is where I am going to give you the Secret to a Good Marriage – The Not Large Caucasian Exaggeration (the politically correct version of The Little White Lie).
Novices might think that Cap’n Firepants should never have said that my hair looked frizzy. BUT THAT WOULD BE WRONG.
Novices might think I should be mad at Cap’n Firepants for calling my hair frizzy. AND THAT WOULD BE RIGHT.
Novices might think I should tell Cap’n Firepants off for calling my hair frizzy. AND THAT WOULD BE RIGHT – BUT NOT RIGHT NOW.
“No, I’m not finished with it yet. Just heating up the flat iron,” I said, sweetly. (Not Large Caucasian Exaggeration – I was heating up, just not heating up the flat iron.)
Here’s why this carefully chosen Exaggeration was important: Because I like Cap’n Firepants telling me the truth so I don’t look like an idiot when I go out in public. And if I get hopping’ mad at Cap’n Firepants for telling me the truth, then he will stop telling me the truth. So, I act like I appreciate his candidness, and suck up my hurt feelings until later.
“For crying out loud, Cap’n Firepants, how many times do I have to ask you to STOP EATING ALL OF THE ICE CREAM? IS THIS YOUR WAY OF SAYING YOU WANT A DIVORCE?!!!”
This has two positive results – I get to finally release my anger about the frizzy hair comment, and he will buy more ice cream the next time he goes to the store.
It’s a win/win situation.
The Not Large Caucasian Exaggeration – no marriage can survive without it.
A spray on Knox gelatin for synchronized swimming competitors. That is my next invention.
When we first got our 9 year old daughter involved in synchronized swimming, we had absolutely no idea what we were getting into. The first time one of the parents mentioned “knoxing” to me, I thought it was her way of hazing the gullible new mom. Since then, though, I have found she was not making this story up. Knoxing is only done for shows or competitions – not for practices. Which meant that Dimples had two months to fall in love with synchronized swimming before she encountered one of its major drawbacks. And, by then, it was pretty much too late.
Painting Knox gelatin into the hair keeps it in place during performances. It does not easily wash out in the pool water, and it’s not harsh on the hair (like the petroleum jelly swimmers used in the Ester Williams days). With some finesse, it washes out with warm water and shampoo (and a bit of elbow grease).
It is not fun to put on, though. I actually haven’t done it myself, yet. I’m afraid I will mix the gelatin and water to the wrong consistency, or burn my daughter, or make it look so horribly gloppy that we will have to start over. And you really don’t have time to start over when you have an hour before a performance.
Fortunately, for novice moms like me, “knoxing stations” are usually set up somewhere around the pool, and experienced knoxers will do the hair of the younger girls. It takes a village to do my daughter’s hair because I am apparently bad at putting it into a ponytail and bun as well. The only thing I don’t screw up too badly is taking pictures. Although that’s happened before, too…
The problem with this whole process – actually, one of many problems, is that, if your child is involved in more than one routine, the Knox starts to get a bit clumpy and gloppy. It eventually begins to wash out – even when I sternly tell it not to – and there is no way anyone is going to go through the whole knowing process more than once in a day.
That is why my Knox hairspray idea is so good. And, if you couple it with my first whatimeant2invent idea, the hair-growth stopping pill, you could have a complete beauty empire with these two products. Come on, Mark Cuban, you know you and your Shark Tank rivals would love to jump on this…
I am going to start doing something really stupid. I know it’s stupid, but this action is to replace an even stupider action – which was actually an inaction.
I am an Idea Person. When I was kid, I used to dream that I would one day operate a tiny store to which people would come to buy my ideas. They would walk in, and I would say, “What kind of idea do you need – a story, a new product, a type of building?” They would tell me, and then I would pull out my index card file and find an idea for them.
I’ve given up the dream of my little Idea Store, but I still think of new ideas constantly. Some of them are story ideas, which I reserve for myself. Some are teaching ideas, which helps a lot to keep my students on their toes. But some are ideas with which I have no, uh, idea, how to do anything.
I’ve floated a few on Quirky, which is a great concept, but some of them don’t really fit into the Quirky format.
Over the years, I have been constantly bombarded with my own ideas being flung in my face by other people who also had them and actually knew what to do with them.
Recently, I was reading an article on CNN that showcased some of the most recent innovations being worked on. One of them was a highway that charges your car.
I had this idea years ago. I know – you don’t believe me.
Which is why I am going to start flinging my ideas out to the web. In my head or on my iPad they do no one any good. So, I am going to release them to the world. If they love me they’ll come back with lots of money. If they don’t, well, someone else will probably find a way to make some money.
Here is Idea Number One: A pill that slows hair growth. (I’m hoping my very wonderful hair stylist is not reading this because I am honestly not trying to put him out of business.)
But, seriously, think about this ladies. Less hair cuts per year. And, even more importantly, less hair coloring to cover the grays that grow out. And, what about shaving/waxing our legs and other unholy parts? Lots of money is spent on trying to make hair grow, but has anyone actually looked into making it grow slower?
Idea #1 has now been released. To those of you who want to use it, it would be nice if you gave me some credit, but I’m pretty sure a blog post is not legally binding. And to those of you who know about a product that already does this, I would be happy if you put me out of my misery and inform me right away.
“So-o-o, how do you feel today?”
These are not the words you want to hear from your husband the morning after your husband’s Christmas party at which you may have had a teensy weensy bit of alcohol to drink.
FYI, I felt fine. No hangover at all. And I remember the whole evening. So, I was not as tipsy as he seemed to think. But that really doesn’t matter if that’s what he thought. Actions speak louder than Blood Alcohol Level.
Apparently, Cap’n Firepants thinks I’m a lot of fun when I have a couple of drinks, but a little worrisome once I cross the line from slightly intoxicated to much less inhibited.
But, let’s start at the beginning.
As regular readers are aware, my biggest concern about the party was my hair. San Antonio has had unseasonable wet and sticky weather for over a week now, and I was experimenting each day before the party to determine a do that would do for the Big Do. This was very productive, as I learned all of the What Not to Hair do’s. In an act of desperation, I did one more test run on the morning of the party, thinking I could just touch it up that evening. When it looked even more disastrous than it had all week (and that’s saying a lot), I plunged my head under the bathroom faucet and drenched my hair. Then I put every hair care product known to
man woman on my follicles, dried this now quite flammable science experiment with my hair dryer, and set to work to do a combination of flat iron and curling iron at the same time.
It looked GREAT! I couldn’t believe it, and what’s worse is that I probably can never repeat it. But I had conquered my biggest obstacle and now it was ON!
I met Cap’n Firepants at the hotel where the shindig was being held. He had arrived earlier to play golf. He liked my hair, and REALLY liked my dress and shoes. I felt like a million bucks.
We met everyone at the bar before dinner, and played shuffleboard. I kept to my mental promise of drinking a soft drink or two between each glass of wine. By the time it was dinner time, I had two glasses of wine and about 10 glasses of Diet Coke.
At dinner, the waiter kept refilling my wine glass when I wasn’t looking. I’m pretty sure the rest of the evening can all be blamed on him. Except for maybe the part when I noticed that Cap’n Firepants hadn’t finished his wine and I drained that, too.
After dinner, we all went back to the bar. And this is apparently when I embarrassed Cap’n Firepants. He does not like it when strange men start talking to me and I continue the conversation. Even if we are just talking about the weather or why the Strange Man is visiting San Antonio.
It’s not my fault Strange Man was close to falling off his bar stool. But, apparently I’m not supposed to encourage such behavior.
Strangely enough, I just posted yesterday about how I regret that I don’t thank strangers enough. I guess I decided to remedy this by being a little TOO kind to strangers instead. Apparently with me it’s one extreme or another.
Anyway, when I asked Cap’n Firepants how exactly I had embarrassed him, that was the most he could come up with. So, I think this will probably not go down on the Most Embarrassing Moments at Office Christmas Parties website – if there is such a thing.
The important thing is that my hair looked great.
I have a problem with measurement.
Not an ethical problem. Although you probably shouldn’t get me started on the whole metric versus customary debate. I just really suck at measuring.
I never made the connection before, but pretty much everything I do horribly has to do with the fact that I have never been very precise at measurement:
Yes, hair. I am very bad at doing hair. And, if you think about it, it takes measuring.
Say, for example, your hairdresser says to use a dime-sized drop of mousse. I try, really, to do what he said. But that just can’t be enough. I don’t think he has really looked at a dime lately. So, I end up putting a half dollar size in my hair instead. And then, I look like either a bedraggled or electrified cat, depending on which million dollar product I experimented with that day. And then, it’s time to go to wherever I’m going, so everyone at the event gets to stare at me and wonder if I purposely left the house with two different colored shoes to somehow try to distract everyone from staring at my disastrous coif.
So, after thirty six years of doing my own hair, I have finally come to the realization that I need to do some practice runs before any big event. Like days before – not minutes.
This weekend there will be just such an event. The Office Christmas Party. Not my office. Are you kidding? I’m but a poor, lowly teacher. No, People. We are talking a fancy schmancy Christmas Party thrown by The Office of Cap’n Firepants.
So, I have been trying out do’s all week. Have you ever seen those ladies who wear their rollers out in public and wonder why in the world they are willing for the public to view them looking slightly unattractive for eight hours out of the day so they can impress whoever they plan to astonish with their sudden astonishing beauty for two hours that night? Think of someone doing that for six days. Well, not exactly the rollers, but the unattractive part for sure.
I have been approaching this like a science experiment. Note that one of the things on my list of detriments is chemistry.
Every day, I try one different product in my hair to see if I can achieve the perfect combination. According to everything I learned about the Scientific Method, it is important to make only one change at a time, so one can be certain what has effected the results. The problem is that there is one variable that I can’t control. The weather. The wet, humid, foggy, disgusting weather that we are predicted to have for the rest of this week.
Just in case you are unfamiliar with San Antonio weather, allow me to bring you up to speed. We are in the middle of a drought. It hasn’t rained for sixty-two years, twenty days, 6 hours and twenty one and a half minutes. But the week I need to do some important follicle research? It rains every day.
The good thing is that the weather will be just as damp and gloomy on the day of Cap’n Firepants’ Excellent Extravaganza. So, I have provided myself (and everyone else in my life) with a preview of every possible bad hairdo I could have for that evening. There will be no sudden intake of breath when I walk into the room with Firepants (no doubt at least 30 minutes late), no exclamations of surprise at the horrific frizzy mop surrounding my face. After a barely noticeable pause in conversation, someone will whisper loudly to his or her conversational partner, who is relatively new to the firm, “Oh, that’s just the wife of Cap’n Firepants. She has some sort of measurement disability for which poor Firepants is always having to compensate. Don’t ever to go their house for dinner if she’s cooking. If the recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of pepper, she’ll put in two cups. And if you try to talk about football with her, she will start ranting something about yards and meters and you’ll wish you never brought it up.”
“Uh, why are her pants legs different lengths?”
“Well, she probably tried to take them up – she’s actually short despite the foot of hair frizzed out above her head – herself while she was kneeling on the floor. No one really knows why she does the things she does. It’s amazing, really, that Cap’n Firepants hasn’t left her by now.”
“So, uh, why hasn’t he?”
“Well, he has a bit of a handicap himself – have you ever heard of the Dorfenbergerthalamus?”
Well, I’ve made it 84 posts without bringing this up, but I’m afraid my streak is ending.
You know how you avoid mentioning some people in your post, because you don’t want them to recognize themselves, or you just plain don’t want to be one of those people who talks behind others’ backs? Well, those aren’t my reasons for avoiding this topic. I just had a lot of other things to talk about, and now I’m out of ideas.
So, I happen to be very close to an elderly woman. I won’t say what the relationship is, but let’s just call her MILlie. MILlie is the sweetest person in the world, but she’s getting up there in years, and needing a little more help than she used to.
MILlie just moved to the big city to an apartment around the corner from us. After living in a town with two streetlights for 30 years, she is having a hard time finding her way around and negotiating San Antonio traffic. That’s where I come in. Kind of like the slightly less blind leading the blind.
Which is a nice seque into the next paragraph.
For about a year, MILlie has been complaining about her eyeglasses. Finally, I convinced her to visit my own eye doctor, who found her previous prescription to be very wrong, and wrote out a new one for her. This necessitated a visit to the local Eyeglassorama Extraordinaire, who promised her not one, but two new pairs in two weeks. MILlie was delighted at this guarantee of improved sight, and declared she would be throwing those Horrible Old Glasses away as soon as the new ones arrived.
I dutifully took MILlie to the discount people two weeks later, and they patiently fitted her eyeglasses. Afterwards, we went to lunch and celebrated her amazing super-duper vision.
I think you can see where this is going. Pun intended. Since this whole post is in bad taste anyway, I don’t see the problem in sticking a few puns in here and there.
So, a few weeks later, you can imagine my consternation when MILlie appeared to have begun wearing the Horrible Old Glasses again. After some quizzing from me, she admitted that the new ones just didn’t seem right.
Back to Eyeglassorama Extraordinaire we went, and a very nice man tolerantly attempted to get down to the problem MILlie had with her glasses. After determining one pair hadn’t gotten the right lens prescription and the other one needed some frame adjusting, he took them both to send out for repairs.
When they finally came in again, Cap’n Firepants took MILlie to pick them up, presumably going through the same fitting song and dance that had already happened twice now.
MILlie declared herself satisfied.
Today, I took MILlie for her first haircut in the big city. She had been unhappy with her hair for at least a year, and had taken to wearing thin pink plastic headbands in it to keep it out of her face, making her look slightly deranged. It took about 30 minutes for her to negotiate with the stylist about her cut. When a suitable one seemed to be agreed upon, the shearing ensued.
I could not believe the difference. After the cut, MILlie looked at least 10 years younger. I enthusiastically thanked her stylist, and took a bunch of phone photos of MILlie Minus the Headband. We went to lunch and celebrated her new gift of an updated do.
MILlie declared herself satisfied.
Halfway through lunch, I noticed her glasses. Her old pair. The pair she had cursed up and down and wanted to throw out the car window while the car was moving. I had been so focused on her hairstyle, I hadn’t paid attention until then to the glasses she had replaced on her nose after the cut and style. They were curiously slanted on one side farther from her face, but they were definitely the old pair.
When I asked her about it, she said she was still trying to get used to the new ones.
Kind of hard to do if you aren’t wearing them.
MILlie is coming to dinner tonight. If she doesn’t have either the old pair of glasses or the pink headband on, I will delete this post.
If it’s still here tomorrow, well, then, I think it’s safe to assume that MILlie was not satisfied.