If decisions I’ve made in my life were sorted into folders, this most recent choice would definitely be filed away under the heading “What Was I Thinking?” It certainly would not be the only item in that file, just the latest. In fact, if I reflect on many of the decisions I’ve made in the past, that would be one chubby file folder!
This most recent questionable decision had its origins in what is for me a religious activity. That is, getting a haircut. Those of you who know me, or who have read my blog about my tumultuous relationship with my crowning glory, know that I have a very short do. I get it cut once a month, without fail, and barely make it into the fourth week, when I swear I start to hear my hair growing.
In any event, on this particular day, which was a little shy of New Year’s Eve, I remarked to the stylist how, although it is trouble-free, I sometimes become bored with my look. There is not much you can do with hair that is less than a quarter-inch long. You can’t curl it. Not that I would want to. A pony tail is out of the question. And hair ornaments don’t stand a chance.
“Have you ever considered applying a glaze?” she asked.
A glaze? I had no idea what that was. The word itself evoked associations with Dunkin’ Donuts, or Benjamin Moore. But nothing to do with hair.
As a graduate of the school of “there are no stupid questions,” I risked asking “What’s that?”
She went on to explain that a glaze is a temporary color, not as intense as a dye or a bleach, and that , in time, would wash out.
Okay, then. This was starting to sound interesting. Maybe this was what I needed to perk up my image. “Bring it on!” I boldly declared.
Without missing a beat, she presented me with a color card. “Which one would you like,” she innocently asked.
I gasped as I look down at my choices. Blue, purple, pink, green. Was I choosing a hair color or an upholstery fabric?
Noting my confusion, bordering on horror, she offered “I think you’d look very good in blue. It would match your eyes.” How could I explain that nowhere in my wildest dreams had I ever considered color-coordinating my hair with my eyes! So maybe I should go with purple?
Regaining my sanity, I told myself that it wasn’t too late to back out. Admitting that I had changed my mind was still an option. The reality was that purple hair did not go all that well with my life style.
“But where is your sense of fun?” said the devil sitting on my left shoulder. “Don’t be an old fart. After all, it’s almost New Year’s Eve. Do something daring!”
Before I knew it, the words were out of my mouth. “Okay, let’s go f or it!”
Fifteen minutes later, for that’s all it took to transform me into something akin to geriatric punk, I was receiving the admiring looks and comments from the other hair dressers. “It’s great,” one of them said, while another one gushed “It looks so-o-o-o-o good on you!”
At this point, my stylist spun my chair 180 degrees so I was finally facing the mirror. OMG! My hair really was purple. Not solid purple, but definitely purple. Please, someone shoot me right now!
Too bad it wasn’t Halloween when my excuse could be that I was appearing as a giant eggplant. Or, it’s almost Purim and I’ve always wanted to dress up as a prune hamantasch.
My first instinct was to reach for the baseball cap I had stowed in my hand bag for just this purpose. Or, I could ask her to shave my head. Or I could spend the next thirty days locked in my shower with a bottle of cheap shampoo that did not promise to keep your chemically altered hair color from fading.
Or, maybe I would quit the golf club and go to work in a trendy art gallery. Perhaps even consider adding body piercings and a tattoo to complete the look.
But I did none of these things. I simply went about my business, with my uncovered head on full display, bearing the occasional glances of strangers as the price I had to pay for my indiscretion. Not quite as shameful as the Scarlet Letter, but close.
I have to say my husband was kind. My friends were kind. “It’s definitely purple,” was all they said. No one questioned my testamentary capacity. At least not to my face.
I’m now a little more than two weeks into my little technicolor adventure. The purple has faded somewhat, but not completely. In a certain light, it’s not very noticeable. But a bright, sunny Florida day still remains highly illuminating.
Would I do it again? Probably not. But it hasn’t been all bad. I have had some fun with it. And I’ve even enjoyed the challenge of coordinating my clothing and make-up to accompany a shade that looks like it belongs in a box of Crayolas.
So, to the people who ask why I did it in the first place, I can only respond with the punch line of an old joke, the contents of which I no longer remember:
It was New Year’s Eve, and it seemed like a good idea at the time.