You ever just look in the mirror and suddenly see yourself? I mean, really see what other people see, and what you mostly have been oblivious to, for whatever reason?
That happened to me, recently.
Actually, it happened a few weeks ago, as my Snapchat account would tell you, but I've been up to my eyeballs with a wildfire and a husband who is up in the thick of it, and between freaking out over my friends' being evacuated, losing homes, worrying about my husband's safety and his job and you know, just generally freaking out as one does when the city your husband lives in for most of the year is swallowed by 483 000 hectares of out of control wild fire, resulting in 90 000 people evacuating out of a city, 1921 houses destroyed, hundreds more damaged, with no signs of the flames dying any time soon, all while your husband keeps getting evacuated and recalled back to work, over and over again like he's on a psychotic merry-go-round.
(That's a run-on sentence even a high school english teacher could appreciate.)
A few weeks ago, I looked in the mirror and was like, 'whoa, who is that old crone with the bad hair staring back at me?' I realized I had just spent a year of my life wandering around looking like a blind pioneer woman had just done my hair. I'd have probably just ignored my reflection and continued to do what I did every day before, which was just pull my hair onto the top of my head in an ugly bun and then look away quickly, but the night before my husband rolled onto my hair and almost scalped me as I slept. Being jerked awake as your husband rips out half of your hair as he snores beside you is not near as romantic as it sounds.
It was time for a change. Life is short and hair grows. Mostly. If you have hair. Which I clearly did, since I choked on it every time it wasn't pulled up.
I felt like I was being swallowed by hair. Of course, it's my own fault since it had been a year since I went for a hair cut. My laziness trumps my vanity. Good to know.
So off I went, with no image in my head, no hair aspirations and no real clue as to what I wanted. Hair stylists love that. (No they don't.) The only thing I was sure of was I no longer wanted it long enough for my husband to yank.
(So many dirty jokes to make, so little time...)
Bless you, snapchat filters.
Of course, it was right about this moment in time, as I sat there, with a bowl full of bleach on my head that the power went out in the salon. Because that is exactly what you WANT to happen when you go to a new salon. You want to sit in the dark and ponder your future as the bleach seeps into your brain and the salon owner makes panicked calls to the power company.
Luckily for me, (and for her,) the power kicked back on just as my stylist was really starting to twitch and my head was starting to tingle.
Oh flash, how you whitewash all my wrinkles. I adore you.
When the towel came off, so did my stylist's poker face. My immediate reaction upon seeing her was to reach up and make sure I still had hair on my head and that it hadn't all burned off.
I'm confident but lumpy headed and multi-chinned. I'm not sure I could pull off a bald patchy look. I'm pretty sure I don't want to try.
My (novice) stylist was just having an extreme reaction to my newly neon hair. (Pro tip for novice stylists: Try to not visibly freak out when you are working on a client's hair, even if the results surprise you. It freaks the clients out.) I won't lie; I was beginning to wonder if maybe this haircut was ill fated.
The yellow really brings out my freckles, no?
It was right at THIS moment, when I was taking snapchat selfies and texting my daughter jokes about looking like an ear of corn that four men from the power company walked in to check on the power box out back. Conveniently located just behind where I was seated.
Four attractive men. Who took one look at my yellow head and all started to giggle. I had two options: I could make a crack about the price of vanity or I could wink at them and freak them out.
I'll let you decide which route I went.
In the end, it only took my husband trying to murder me in my sleep, 12 months of avoiding routine grooming, six hours, four freaked out men, several toners to hide the yellow and one black out to fry everyone's nerves and I walked out of that salon looking like a brand new person.
I still see a crone staring back at me when I look in the mirror. Hitting forty and developing new wrinkles every day will do that to a gal. But at least now my husband will have to try a little harder to kill me while I sleep.