Thursday, December 24, 2009

Permanent Wedgie: Life Between the Cracks

A Christmas Story for You

Wow! It's cold out today. Thirty degrees, I think.

I don't go out in it any more, but because of my up-bringing in the north woods of Minnesota, I just know that if I donned a pair of boots and walked outside and down the sidewalk, every step would cause the snow to squeak. That is how we Minnesotans measure the cold. Not in namby-pamby temperatures but, rather, by sound. If it doesn't squeak then it isn't cold enough for a hat or mittens. However, if it does squeak you should probably wear a hat and keep mittens close by at all times.

Not wearing mittens but keeping them accessible is accomplished with special clips attached to long measures of strong yarn that are strung through your jacket and down each sleeve. A mitten is then clipped in place and permanently dangles from the end of the sleeve, near your wrist, where it stretches out as it gathers snow and freezes into a firm and irritating appendage. They really have one purpose and one purpose only: To serve as an ice pack to your broken nose after the four children who, when you started down Mount Death on the old and forgotten ski slope, were evenly placed and spaced behind you on the re-furbished toboggan ( the one Dad found at the dump three weeks earlier ) but, who end up line-driving you into that beautifully curled yet somewhat jagged front end of the narrow and newly waxed ( really Dad, was that necessary? ) sleigh to hell. Yep, that's when these frozen, multi-colored, snow sacks on strings finally come in handy. And you always need two, so don't try to skimp and just clip on one at the beginning of your day.

When that nose starts to bleed, the first frozen mitt applied tends to melt rather quickly BUT it is at this point it will absorb most of the blood flow keeping it from pooling and freezing in the surrounding snow, reducing the horror and lessening the screams of the four children behind you who have come away unscathed because you took the blow for the whole freakin' lot of them. The stark sight of blood in snow can cause a life time of issues, and this is where the second mitten comes in. Once the first mitten has reached blood capacity, it is easy to switch to the second mitten dangling just below your other wrist, where it has served to cause a bit of frost bite, but I digress.

Dad merely un-clips the first blood soaked mitt and tosses it into the bushes that unceremoniously stopped you in the first place and to which none of the five adults with you thought you could even get. Otherwise, I am certain, they never would have launched you off the cliff with such vigor. Of course, none of the five fathers realized how much the waxing would add to the over all ease with which the projectile would skim over the icy surface as they all put their backs into blast off. But, I digress, again.

After having tossed the first mitten away and out of sight of the other four, now merely blubbering, bombardiers, Dad unclips the second frozen block of tightly knit yarn from your frost bitten wrist and as you lay limply in his lap and he gently applies the wooly, scratchy ice pack to your swollen nose he looks up at the four other children and their dads and says with swelling pride….”I knew that damn toboggan still had some life in her!” And though it hurts to do so, you laugh so hard you nearly cry. Miraculously, you are ready to try again.

And that’s life, really…..between the cracks. To me, that’s a Christmas story! I hope you can find your own message hidden in there somewhere! I pray you do, anyway. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

$15.00 Hair

It is amazing to me that so many people know so much about hair conditioning! It's a wonder that we all don't have heads of thick, shiny and perfectly hydrated hair!

I just wish that all the advice I have gotten would actually work on my dreaded locks!

I have tried every type of shampoo. I have tried every type of conditioner, frizz ease....frizz control...shining serum...the list is endless.

I did discover, however, there are some products that I have never tried before because it seemed so, so, well...I don't know...kind of out of my league.

I discovered that there is a section in Wal-mart, in the hair care area of the store where the hair care products are marketed mostly to black American women.

Now I must admit I have wandered, inadvertently, past this section once or twice in the past. I always wanted to stop and browse because my hair has given me cause to want to do so. But I always felt if I did some big black woman looking something like Eddie Murphy dressed up as Rasputia in 'Norbit' would come around the corner chastising me with...." what you think your lily white a** gonna do with a whole lotta olive oil based hair mayonnaise that straightens as it conditions and shines, girl?" "Who do you think you are, wanderin' out of your aisle to our aisle....ain't nobody tol' you that you got to get youself some Suave?" "Child, get over here an let me take a good look at that mees on yo' head 'for I ...WOOOOOO EEeeee! That is one bad head of white girl hair, take this olive oil shampoo, here's the conditioner to go with it.....a jar of hair mayo...yep and a pack of intense replenishing oil..wait! take two packs, yo' gonna need it!"

But today I went into that aisle on purpose with one goal and one goal come away with hair products that were gonna work on this white girls curls. I marched myself down that empty aisle and began to read. It was marvelous. I would suggest every white woman with troubled hair do the same. As I stood there several women, black and white meandered by. They all kind of gave me the wide eyed once-over as if to say....this is the wrong aisle for you honey!...

Then I realized I was in a motorcycle jacket and had my very dirty leather chaps on and my hair was a wild mess trying to escape from a pony tail at the back of my neck.
I think now that the looks were ones of pity and had I bothered to make eye contact they would have all stopped to help me find something that would work to ..."de-stress" my hair.

There were so many offerings I couldn't choose, so I did what any one would do...I got more than I really needed, paid and left.

As I sit here I am 40 minutes into a 45 minute intense conditioning and replenishing treatment. In five minutes I will rinse and then clean it with olive oil shampoo and apply a hair mayonnaise for 10 minutes and wash it with olive oil shampoo again and end with a quick olive oil conditioner and then rinse and dry. (you thought I was kidding before, eh? )

With any luck at all I will be able to cancel my salon appointment for the $300.00 Herbal Rainforest Infusion and go riding tomorrow with tamed locks.

Wish me luck

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

$300.00 Hair

When I was young I had blonde hair. Then, as I grew, it darkened to a medium dark brown.

It had the ability, when I was very young, to be brushed around a finger and hold a ringlet. It's funny, really, but I have a vivid memory of someone brushing my hair and doing just that...making ringlets. Over time it became very thick and wavy. It was manageable and held a style with ease.

Now? Now I have hell hair. I am not certain I can actually pinpoint when this happened...BUT....

Several years ago, perhaps five years ago, I decided I would get a perm. ( yes, yes, I can hear you all screaming, "But why???" ) I don't know why. I just know it was one of those moments when hormones rise to head bursting levels and there is nothing for it but to choose between eating many pounds of chocolate, spending vast amounts of cash on exquisite ( yet horribly uncomfortable/stay in the closet ) shoes or changing your hair style. I chose to re-do my do.

The perm went well actually and looked better than I had anticipated it would. Which, when I think about that, makes me wonder why I did it at all if I was not expecting the best result, but I digress.

As time passed I began to tire of it and knew that it would eventually weaken and droop and soon my hair would go back to being relatively straight with a bit of a bend or wave to it.

Like I said, that was about five years ago now and I am still waiting.

I figure what happened was just this: Just about the time the salon beautician stood, poised over my wavy and luxurious head of hair with a small, seemingly insignificant, white plastic bottle of perm solution my biological clock ticked its last fertile tock and thrust my body, and every last damn hair follicle into peri-menopausal hell. And I do mean every last follicle. What once was straight and manageable is now curly and frizzy...what was once curly ( ahem ) is now...well, not so much! The combination of harsh perm solution and raging hormones came together in a perfect cosmic-like storm and left me with really crappy hair.

How does motorcycling enter into this you might ask? Well, I'll tell you!

In order to maintain any semblance of sanity and combat the mental effects of this, this PERI-MENOPAUSE, I ride my motorcycle. A lot! Its not unlike Forrest Gump's running, running, running.

The only, and I do mean ONLY, thing about riding that has any negative aspect to it is that wearing a full faced helmet dries out my hair to the max! Wearing any helmet will do it really. In the world of women's motorcycling it is appropriately known as helmet hair. Combine that with the hormonal hair and you get Hel-monal Hair. It sucks! It is not fun and I am afraid that if I get it cut it will just look like a dandelion gone to seed. It would seem that my only option would be to have the beautician perform a miracle infusion of an exotic herbal concoction that has been flown here from the deepest and most secret places of the rainforest in a hermetically sealed native pouch woven from Sloth fur. (The only animal moving slow enough for Amazonian beauticians to catch, evidently ) This procedure will cost approx. $300.00! REALLY????????!!!!!!!...$300.000?

So, today, as hormone levels approach head busting levels I have to choose...chocolate, shoes or new do. Considering that I just came back from shoe shopping and taking into account that, tho' I have been dieting for the past 12 months, I have gained 13 pounds, I am thinking I should pay a visit to the hair salon...or better yet....I'll hide it under my helmet and go riding!