Bra-misery

I found myself at the mall just the other day. I rarely go… but it’s Christmas after all. So, in order to pump some jolly Christmas Ho-Ho-Ho spirit into my melancholy soul I decided to embrace the traffic and crowds. Most of my gift shopping is complete save for a few odds and ends. The Poodle is off to the groomer so I have the entire morning to peruse the stores at my leisure.  Christmas music, babies on Santa’s lap, and twinkling lights make me smile as I make my way through the mall.

And then I got sidetracked, through no fault but my own.

I have no idea what possessed me …but I found myself in the lingerie department at Dillard’s. I happened to pass a rack of sports bras and thought one looked particularly pretty.

Hmm. I’m in desperate need of a good sports bra. On a whim I stop and decide to try on a couple of different styles.

Slap myself silly on the forehead. What was I thinking?

Excuse me! shouts a voice in my head. You are supposed to be tying up loose ends for Christmas!  (Oh…and by the way, you do know how this is going to go!)

Instead, here I am in a tiny dressing room with thoroughly unflattering fluorescent lighting, contorting my body this way and that, trying to stuff my aging “girls” into a sports bra.

Though Rocket-man loves my ampleness, I vociferously beg to differ. After all, he doesn’t have to carry them around…or deal with their annoying interference when practicing yoga or jumping rope or exercising in general…not to mention suffering through twenty-five years of distance running, having to wear not one, but two, sports bras for proper support!

Sigh.

Yes, I’d much rather have a root canal than try on bras. And yet…here I am!  I’ve got eight different bras to try on.  Let the torture begin.

cone-bra-2

 

 

So, I’ve decided that trying on sports bras should be considered an aerobic sport. I consider myself reasonably fit for my nearly sixty years. Still, I am out of breath after trying on four bras. Each one is a terrible disappointment. One makes me look like I am wearing construction cones, à la Madonna.  Another leaves me horrified at the spillage while the next offers no support despite its high impact claim.  And then there is the zip front bra that looks easy to get into but its sharp zipper pricks a finger, drawing a tiny drop of blood.  Seriously?  Argh!  Without a tissue handy, I lick the drop of blood and resolve to try on only one more bra.   The last one I try on makes me look unnaturally…um…perky.  Rocket-man would probably like this one.

Sigh. I want a natural, comfortable, MINIMIZING look.  I am near tears.

As I am struggling mightily to get out of my last bra selection, I hear strange, almost in-human, sounds coming from two dressing rooms down. Heavy breathing and groans…followed by a string of whispered expletives that would make a sailor blush.

Ah…yes. Someone else is in the same boat…trying on bras!  I had seen her go in to the dressing room. A woman of quite considerable girth…

Instead of the sport variety, she had an armful of pretty, lacy bras.

I feel an immediate sisterhood connection. As the heaving grunts and groans continue I almost call out to her in commiseration, but stop myself. I can hear that her friend has just arrived with another armful of bras to try on.

After all is said and done I settle on one bra (emphasis on the word settle). It is still not perfect and the price tag for this Le Mystere sports bra nearly made me faint.  I am now exhausted from the hour-long ordeal and am in need of pick-me-up reward…or an afternoon nap.  Forget about any more shopping since I’ve spent a small fortune on one bra!

How I’d love more than anything to be able to let my “girls” go free. That may have worked say, forty years ago!  So, in case you are reading this dear husband of mine, believe it when I say, even though it seems that going sans bra is a hot new fashion trend once again…. unfortunately with me, it’s just never going to happen.

Though Rocket-man would disagree, I’m emphatic when I say that there would be no bliss for the folks that would have to witness that picture!

Feeling VAN-tastic!

I’m not a vain person (at least I don’t think I am). I aim to strike a good balance; not spending inordinate amounts of time or money on my appearance.   I don’t leave the house without first applying a bit of mascara and lipstick. My attire, though perhaps too heavy on the casual (read REI) and not enough high heels and dresses, is on-trend. I keep regular hair salon appointments and I’m in the gym at least four days a week fighting to keep the pounds at bay in these post-menopausal years.

Honestly folks, up until about five years ago, I considered myself a “moderately attractive” woman. I suppose I based this in part on being able to turn a head or two in my twenties, thirties and even into my forties. But on the heels of sixty, heads aren’t turning.   I will admit here and now that, on occasion, it feels rather nice to turn a head…or two. Come on ladies…be honest…it feels good, right?!  And yes…I am keenly aware that our existence is but a blip on the radar screen in this universe; lamenting on one’s fading looks is supremely frivolous given the insanity that is going on around the world.  Still, it’s what’s in my head at this given minute….so there it is.  I’m human.

So, it’s not surprising that I’ve been feeling mighty invisible lately.  I might even go so far to say….irrelevant.   I’ll opine on something– or share a feeling–and I may as well be talking to a brick wall.   It could just be me, but I don’t think so.  Rocket-man disagrees with my assessment but he is hardly objective when it comes to the subject of moi. He says I’m as beautiful as the day he met me and he does value my opinions.

Ahem…really?  I say to the man who needs every light on in the house to read the newspaper. Clearly his vision isn’t what it used to be (nor of course is mine to be fair).

“My queen, this invisibility feeling is just your imagination,” he says as he dons a shirt that he absolutely knows I don’t like.   I remain resolute in my feelings. Case in point, on this recent trip to Europe I didn’t get so much as a glance from man or woman. No chatty attempts during long flights nor train rides. Not half a wink nor even a hint of a body scan.  You know what I’m talking about: that fraction of a second of eyeing a person up and down…checking out attire, hair, jewelry, gams… and well, everything.  I got nothing.

Sigh.  In 2008 when I was in Italy I turned a head and got one whistle. Or at least I think that whistle was for me. It could very well have been for my sister who was with me at the time. By the way, my sis is still turning heads today with her long blonde locks, beautiful blue eyes, and her porcelain-pretty skin.

So, I know why this feeling of being invisible is happening.  It’s the age thing.  It is not even the elephant-in-the room anymore.   It’s a well-known phenomenon as we get older, from say our 50’s, on.  We become invisible, and irrelevant, to the more youthful world around us.  Naturally, it seems to hit women harder than men.  For instance, today Mick Jagger is definitely not feeling invisible.  He’s becoming a father for the eighth time at the age of 72!  His girlfriend is 29.  Someone should break the news to her.  Her visibility days are numbered.

In an effort to keep this phenomenon from sending me over a cliff, I’ve been doing what I can as I get older to keep my mind from turning to mush.  Though my Christmas card list is shrinking I am striving to maintain (and develop) connections.  I consider myself fairly adept with keeping in tune with the times via social media and, even though I’m not employed, I get out of the house and out into the world everyday.  In other words, though I struggle to maintain a state of grace with this aging thing, I am still doing what I can to make certain life adjustments, checking off as many boxes as possible to slow the inevitable….that fade into the deep, dark abyss.

So imagine my glee when not once but twice in the last month I’ve been on the receiving end of a split second of attention. The first time I had to look right and left and over my shoulder.  Hmm.  Is this person actually talking to me?  And then it happened again, just yesterday, while standing in line at the grocery store, of all places.

What could be making me visible you ask? Well it isn’t my fading good looks. It’s my shoes.

Yes. Shoes.

Here I am standing in line with a basket of odds and ends for purchase when the fellow behind me taps me on my shoulder: “Cool shoes,” he says with a smile.

Vans-My hipster-cool Skater Shoes

Vans-My hipster-cool Skater Shoes

I fully turn to face the guy, a clean-cut young man who looks to be in his late twenties.  I’m sure I had a very perplexed look on my face.   “Oh…OK…thank-you,” I reply as I look down at my feet. “Um, they’re just regular old tennis shoes.”

He chuckles saying “Well, ma’am, you know they’re Vans. Vans are hipster-cool.  They’re skater shoes.”

Ahh. Skater shoes.  Clearly I’m not as nearly in-tune with the times as I thought I was.

“Well, obviously I’m not a skater-gal but I do like the casual vibe of these shoes,” I tell him.  Pathetic as it may seem, his words made my day.  I smiled from ear to ear as I floated back to my car.

Who says you need Manolo Blahniks to get noticed.  Affordable, comfortable skater shoes made me visible!    I think I need to make a beeline back to the store and deplete their stock of Vans.  And while I am at it I’ll need to check my favorite on-line shoe source, Zappos.

A pair in every color!  VAN-tastic! I’m feeling an extra pep in my step just thinking about it.

Bliss.

Shopping Envy

Nothing much happening in “middle earth” folks. Halloween has come and gone. We had one doorbell ring with five kids on Halloween night. Weather could have been a factor in the abysmal turnout (it was cold and windy with occasional bursts of rain). Still, if you ask me, that doesn’t explain one doorbell ring!  I can remember many a Halloween night spent following my kids door to door in less than desirable weather conditions. Naturally we have plenty of candy left in the bowl as well as two large unopened bags. Before the lights went out that night I had picked out a small handful of my favorites from the bowl (Mounds-sometimes-feel-like-a-nut, and a few Snickers bars) and the rest, before I was tempted to open them, went into Rocket-man’s car to take to the office.

So after spending more than a week in California I feel like I’m back in Green Acre’s-ville…sort of.  I’m Lisa Douglas on Green Acres pining away for the city life. I’m glad I’m not alone. I just met a gal via a former colleague from my Northern Virginia days. This gal also got dragged to “middle earth” in much the same fashion that I did. She used to live in Washington D.C. and her husband’s job took them here. She, like me, laments the lack of good restaurants, fabulous museums and entertainment venues, and shopping.

“I miss shopping the most. I have to buy everything on-line,” she said just the other day while we worked out together in punch bag class. “It’s just so annoying,” she said as she gave the heavy bag a strong jab-cross punch.

“Did you work outside of the home in D.C.,” I asked breathily as I delivered a series of switch kicks to my heavy bag.

“Yes, but here I cannot find a job in my field. Can you believe there are no investment banks here? I’m working in a traditional bank getting paid far less than my previous job.”

I feel her pain, although to be truthful, as a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none type I didn’t leave a high-paying job.  But I totally concur about shopping here.

In my humble opinion, shopping in this town leaves a lot to be desired. It’s definitely not exciting, lacking in too many ways to count. Sure, there are two traditional malls (and you know what those are like!) as well as two Barnes & Noble’s, one Costco, several Targets and way too many Wal-Marts.  No offense intended to Wal-Mart lovers but I’m fairly certain that if Armageddon happened tomorrow and a Wal-Mart was all that was left standing, I would not step foot inside.   I will confess to going to a Wal-Mart several years ago but only because I love Rocket-man and he needed help: We had to pick up party-food items that had been ordered for his mother’s eightieth birthday party.  With two grocery carts piled high with enough Hoagies to feed two armies, I all but ran out of the store.  I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.  Rocket-man was supremely grateful and promised I’d never have to do it again!

“Damn straight,” I say in my sweetest voice.

Wal-Marts aside, imagine my surprise when my new neighbor needed to go dress shopping. Specifically, evening dress attire.  I honestly stifled a laugh as the first thought that came to mind was that this would be an exercise in futility.

I had received a text message on Wednesday evening of last week from my neighbor Tonia:

Tonia: Are you going to the Saint Barbara’s ball this weekend?

Me: I hadn’t heard about it.

Tonia went on to explain that it was an event Rocket-man would know about and indeed, it turns out Rocket-man knew about the ball but in his predictable absent-minded-professor kind of way forget about mentioning it. To be fair, he was literally drowning in a sea of work emails.

“Rocket-man knew about the ball,” I told Tonia early the next morning while out walking The Poodle.  “In fact, I’m sure he’s quite relieved that it’s too late to get tickets since I’d have to go shopping for a gown,” I added.

“Speaking of gowns, I’m heading out later today to shop for a dress,” says Tonia.

“Oh, would you like company? I ask.

“Sure thing,” she says.

We made plans to meet at the local mall in early afternoon. As I walk The Poodle back home I’m thinking that my neighbor is going to be in one serious pickle. First, she is shopping for a ball down in this small town and secondly, she’s shopping for it on Thursday afternoon…literally a day and a few hours before the event. Nuts!

We meet later that afternoon at Dillard’s. I make my way to the second floor where the women’s dresses are located and in two minutes, as I scan the racks, I can see that there is not one thing that calls my name.  It’s a darned good thing I am not going to this ball,  I think to myself.  Mind you, I’ve been to this mall a total of three times since moving to this town just over two years ago. It’s barely twelve miles from my house so distance is not the issue. With the exception that it has the one and only Williams-Sonoma in town it’s just a thoroughly b-o-r-i-n-g place to shop. I’d rather floss my teeth than go shopping here. I’m positive that this makes Rocket-man’s heart sing.

I find my friend pouring over one of the racks of evening gowns. She’s decided that she doesn’t want anything floor-length since her husband won’t be wearing a tux for this event. Still, she realizes the pickings for cocktail length dresses are mighty slim. Honestly, I’m amazed that she seems so calm. I’d be absolutely frantic by now.

“What if you cannot find something?” I nonchalantly ask.

“Oh, I could get by with some older items in my closet,” she says.

It’s just about then that a sales associate asks if she can be of assistance. Tonia fills her in on what she’s shopping for and a few minutes later the associate returns with an armful of dresses. We “absolutely no” several of them and then talk over the remaining three that are potentials. Ten minutes after arriving Tonia retreats to the dressing room with dresses in hand to try on.

Amazingly she finds the dress, and it’s the one left in her size. I’m shocked frankly. Some people are lucky this way.   Oh me of little faith was sure that she’d come up empty-handed. Such a find, that fast,  would not have happened to me, even in a good shopping town.   I’m happy for her…and the dress looks absolutely terrific on her.  We shop for twenty minutes more before going our separate ways.  This doesn’t change my mind about shopping in this town, at least not yet.  And, as I drive home I think about my sis.  I’ve got shopping envy because I know she’s got a plethora of places to choose from.  I think about how we could spend hours–making nearly an entire day of it– shopping together in Northern Virginia and downtown, in Washington D.C. Half the time we don’t buy a thing as simple window shopping is an entertaining treat for us.

I need to get some sister-shopping time before the year is out.

 

Tonia got lucky with this find!

Lucky find! This is not Tonia but it’s the dress and it looks fabulous on her.

Bad Hair Day…Times Two

Kahlil Gibran said “Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”

How romantic.  Sure…it’s easy for a poet and a guy to say that!  I’m sure those words would fall from my husbands lips too… if he read poetry that is.  Believe me…I am not so vain that I only see beauty in terms of something pleasurable to look at;  beauty is so much more than a pretty face. It’s more than skin deep.  And, philosophically speaking, the nature of beauty isn’t necessarily easy to define, at least not in my opinion.  There are a myriad of elements to the definition of beauty.  I get it….

Still, for this gal, who is none too pleased lately with her aging process, it’s not even a “light in the heart” but a monster in the mirror.

From my last post, you know that It’s been a really bad hair week for me.  Turns out, it’s not been great for my sis either.   Yep, it’s true.  Sis, with her thick beautiful blonde locks that fall just past her shoulders.  She too is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the out, by the way.  To me, she is always a vision of loveliness every time I see her even when she’s down for the count with a terrible respiratory infection.   Her bad hair day happened last weekend.  Sis was spending an evening cuddled with hubby and Alexandre-the-Greatest watching the Saints game.  They were loosing so sis decided to take a bubble bath to soothe her disappointment.  I happened to text message her saying sorry that the game was going so poorly.  She texted back:  “Never mind the game.  My hair is on fire.”

I’m almost ashamed to say that I chuckled reading the text. HA! I think.  Sis is such a jokester.  A couple of minutes pass.  Sis does not follow-up with another text.

Hmm.

Naturally intrigued, I decide to call her. I’m still laughing at her text as she picks up.

She answers in an instant but she puts the call on Face-time.  And then I see that the text she’d just sent is not a funny HA-HA text.  She is in her robe, her hair wrapped in a towel, turban style.  She is sobbing.

“Sis…what’s wrong?!” I asked, immediately concerned.

“My hair caught on fire,” she sobbed.  “I was in the bathtub.  I had a candle behind me and must have leaned back too far.  I didn’t smell a thing because of my bad cold.”

OH MY GODseriously?  Seriously!

“I’m OK, I’m OK…just shaken up,” she adds.

Her husband is at her side and confirms she is OK.  He found her just in time.  He had to have happened upon her just in the nick of time…in fact, just as it happened.  Hair is highly flammable.  Hair burns really fast!

By the end of the call we are all laughing.  I know. It is NOT funny. The outcome could have been tragic!  The visual aspect of the call; watching and listening to my sis as she detailed the events of the evening through tears and moments of laughter made it easy (as odd as it may sound) to crack a joke or two.  Even though sis was so upset (rightfully so) we simply had to find levity in the midst of the trauma in order to get past the moment and ensure that little ears in the room (that would be Alexandre-the-Greatest) wouldn’t be traumatized as well.

Pointing fingers here….I have to say, Rocket-man started it.  He’s on the sofa listening to the Face-time conversation.  “Well,” he interjects at one point. “If there is any place to have your hair on fire, its while sitting in a tub full of water.”  I couldn’t help but laugh.  At first, sis was not amused.  I would not have been either if the shoe would have been on my foot.  Still…we were all trying to calm sis down.

As the Face-Time call winds down I tell sis that this just proves what I have known all along.  “You’re one hot mama.” I say.   Her hubby says nearly the same thing at the same time.  We’re all laughing again…sis too…

It was a good way to end a bad situation.  And, fortunately sis happened to have an appointment already scheduled on Tuesday with her wonderful stylist.  I know that sis will look as beautiful as ever in the hands of Farrah the stylist.

As for moi?

I’ve spent the better part of last week wearing my favorite baseball cap…my military green Telluride, Colorado hat with 8,750 feet (Telluride’s elevation) emblazoned on the front.  I’ve been wearing it because “colorist number 5” gave me an awful vibrant red color which was deep fuchsia at the roots and virtually a dark brown at the ends.  As you recall from an earlier post, this was the same colorist who provided the “brilliant” advice that highlights are typically only done in the spring and summer.  Naturally the bad color job and the stupid advice (not to mention having to wear a baseball cap to hide my hair for a week) sent me on quest to find colorist number six.

Sigh.  I’m seriously about ready to abandon this hair-coloring business at this point.  I’ve been coloring my hair for seven years now and, with the exception of Farrah, the colorist in Northern Virginia, I’ve yet to find someone who understands curly red hair.  I suppose I should embrace the yellow-gray that frames my face and the mousey gray color that extends from the crown of my head to halfway down the length of my hair before becoming a pale orange.  Perhaps my husband would like this look–which, by the way makes me look far older than my 56 years.  We could surely allocate the money spent every five weeks to something else (our retirement account or cases of a good Cabernet, for example).

Nah….not yet!  The fight continues!

So on to colorist number six.

Ironically enough, sis and I were in a salon getting our bad hair issues fixed on the same day, at the same time, although of course in different states.

The outcome?  Infinitely better… although still not quite perfect.

A better hair day...but still not quite perfect.

A better hair day…but still not quite perfect.

Colorist number six knows how to do chunky highlights!  She was able to tame the bad color job so I can now be seen sans baseball cap!  I’m thrilled.  I called sis just after the salon visit and texted her a “selfie”.  Thumbs up from sis! All is right with the world!  Of course, the proof in the pudding will come next month when I go back to colorist number six for coloring.

For now, the monster in the mirror has been kicked to the curb.

Smile.

Bad Hair Days….

Eight days into the new year and I am already spitting bullets.  It’s over hair. My hair.  Silly I know, considering that there is a lot more in this world to spit bullets over (ObamaCare and my son’s poor choices in life are two that come to mind).

Titian Red a la Tiziano

Titian Red a la Tiziano

I may be the rare woman who, growing up, loved her hair.  Hair color, that is.  I was born a red-head.  Titian red.  Tiziano, according to my Italian nonno.  Titian Red…the color used in many of the famed 16th century Italian painter Titian’s (Tiziano Vecelli) masterpieces.  And, while I loved my hair color which certainly set me apart from most girls around me, I’ll confess I hated the curls and waves.  I wanted straight hair as a kid.  Now?  I love my curls although not the frizz that occurs as a result of living here in humid “middle earth.”  My hair does best in drier climes….like Arizona.  There my hair is relaxed and easy to care for.  Here in “middle earth,” my hair often needs it’s own zip code.  After a wash it dries into an enormous ball of frizzed curls.  If I would attempt to comb my hair out it would look like I either stuck my finger in a light socket or was struck by a bolt of lightening….which would be why I only wash my hair once a week.

For many years I had very short hair.  I’ll admit to life being much easier (and infinitely less expensive) in the hair department when my hair was very short.  I did not need products or accessories of any kind.  I’ll never forget what a nurse said to me just after going through 20 hours of labor to bring my son into the world.

Nurse, checking my recovery room chart:  “Didn’t you just deliver?”   Me:  “Um, yes, why?”  Nurse: “Your hair looks perfect even after 20 hours of labor and delivery!”  (As a side bar:  Four years later… an entirely different scenario about my short hair during the birth of my daughter.  Suffice it to say It’s just another reason I am no longer married to her father!). 

Smile.

So…In a fit of rebellion to aging I decided to grow my very short locks out when I turned 50.  I was living in Southern California then.  I longed to have a ponytail in the worst way (you know, that whole California Girls thing!).  I decided to do the opposite of what most women do at 50.  Instead of short, go long.  The process wasn’t without a lot of angst and expletives but in a few years I was able to put my hair back into a ponytail …or better still, let it hang freely and enjoy the California ocean breeze running through it.

I’m sure you’re wondering where this is all going?

So this beautiful Titian red hair I had is fast disappearing.  It is no longer a vibrant auburn red but more a Halloween orange in some parts and gray, gray, gray at the roots.   My lovely (and rare) red has been on a slow demise for a good twelve years now.   And it is not a lovely gray.  You know the kind.  It’s not the Helpful Heloise beautiful silver-gray or the Jamie Lee Curtis gray.  It’s a combination of mousey gray and translucent white…a gray that makes me look (and feel) like I’m an ancient woman at 56….a gray that makes my face almost disappear, save for the two pools of blue (that would be my eyes).

For years I swore I’d never color my hair and foolish though it sounds, I thought I could keep that promise.  Unfortunately, I had to eat those words nine years ago.  And so began the downward spiral…from loving to loathing my hair.  Not to mention buckets of money down the drain in the process.  We could practically buy a new car with the money I’ve spent on my hair!

I truly hate spending so much money on my hair but what pains me even more is spending such money and hating the final outcome.  This is more often than not folks and it is making me spit bullets!  It seems that red hair is the most difficult color for colorists to work with.  Red is also the least-lasting of colors which means that every 4 weeks, if I want to maintain color continuity, I have to shell out upwards of $150 or more to keep my color.   I cannot swim either; two sessions in the pool would be enough to bleach the color out. Truly money down the drain!

In California I had a very difficult time finding someone in my neighborhood to cut and color my hair to my liking.  No doubt I would have found someone in Los Angeles to do things right but I would have had to fight horrendous city traffic and shell out beaucoup bucks in the process.

So it happened that while living in California, after a particularly terrible color job I picked up the phone to cry on my sister’s shoulder.  “I can’t be that bad,” she offered in her attempts to console me…..until via Face-time, I showed her.   “Oh my!  You’ve got to go back and have her fix it!” she cried.  No way was I going back.  Sis then said I should schedule an appointment with her stylist, Farrah.  Now sis lives in Northern Virginia and I just happened to be ready for a visit out east.

Long story short….I saw her stylist and was wowed by a great color and a good cut.  Farrah gave me the formula and I thought all was right with the world.

Yet is seems that even with the formula no one else can get it right.  How is that possible?  Even Farrah doesn’t understand this!  While living in California I went to Northern Virginia to have my hair colored four times!  Trust me folks….I’m not wealthy!  I want to visit my sister, not go because of hair issues!

So far I have yet to find a good colorist here in “middle earth.”  I’ve been to four colorists here so far and I’m on to number five. Two colorists ago turned my hair into a brilliant fuchsia!  I kid not.  I was in the salon chair for three hours and the colorist still couldn’t neutralize the color mistake correctly.  To add insult to injury she charged me $220!   I cried the whole way home.  The poodle was confused when I walked in the door and Rocket-man literally jumped back in surprise when he came home that evening (I did not handle that well, I will confess!).   I scrubbed my scalp raw three times that night and even went to that awful swimming pool in town twice during the week in an attempt to wash out the horrid color.  Yes indeed; another trip to Northern Virginia.  My hair was still pink when I arrived!

So yesterday it was time for another salon appointment.  I relayed to colorist number five that her last color was still not quite what I had in mind.  I showed her photos of me when I was younger.  “This is what I want to get closer to,” I said.  “And, I want chunky highlights.”  She looks at the photos.  She says that’s quite a vibrant red.  “Well yes,” I say but tone it just a bit and put the highlights in.  Mind you, this colorist has the formula from Farrah in Northern Virginia.  I cannot fathom why colorist five cannot get it right.

She hands me back the photos and says what she is going to do…and adds that highlights really aren’t done in the winter. “It’s done in the spring and summer,” she says.  “Seriously? “I’ve never heard of that,” I said, trying very hard not to sound like a bitch, because, after all she is going to put scissors to my hair too.  She explains that she’ll pull some of my lighter strands out of the coloring process and those will serve as highlights.  OK.  I’ve had that done before, even in Northern Virginia.  Already making my mind up that I need to find colorist number six, I say “Fine.”

Forty-five minutes later she is washing out the applied color product.  “Wow. Your gray really pulls the color,” she says.  A sense of dread is coloring, literally, ever fiber of my being.  A shampoo assistant walks by and says to my colorist (I kid not), “That’s an interesting color. What color is it?”

Oh no!   “Um…is there a problem?” I ask as I sit with my head pulled back over the shampoo bowl.  “Don’t worry.  I am going to neutralize this,” says the colorist.

Shit.  Here we go again.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand why I’m spitting bullets.

I call my sister again.  Expletives fly.  We Face-Time again.  She gets it.  The color is clearly NOT right.  “You need highlights,” she says.  “That will help soften the severity of the color,”  she adds.  I tell her what the colorist said about highlights.  My sis explodes in disbelief (no expletives though).  She all but screams on my behalf….“You demand highlights!  For heaven’s sake.  YOU are the customer.  If you want PURPLE hair then she’d better give you PURPLE hair!”

Sis is right.  And, this is just another instance I wish I were more like my sister.  She can roar like the Leo-Lion that she is and gets her desires across in no uncertain terms.  Me.  I am a mouse who has great difficulty with confrontations of any kind (which would be why I’m often Doris Doormat).

I’ve got a call in to another salon. I left a message stating my problem and added “I WANT HIGHLIGHTS…please.”  Haven’t heard back yet.

To be continued…..