I was just kidding.
But now I will be serious. [Insert serious-looking emoticon here] I will be honest with myself, and with you. I am blogging today, right now. I will not try to blog tomorrow or the day after that or the day after that, because on Friday at 3:45 a.m. we are dragging the kids out of bed and going to the airport and starting our month-long “vacation.” While I am on “vacation,” I will not try to blog. When I come back from “vacation,” I expect that I will purposely avoid blogging for a while because I will feel obligated to tell you all about my “vacation,” and by then I will be so thoroughly sick of my “vacation” that I will want to forget I ever went on it, and I will certainly not want to talk about it. Also, I will be volunteering at cub scout day camp that week, so I won’t really have time anyway. Or rather, I will not be inclined to make time. Really, the earliest you can expect to hear from me again is September, after everyone goes back to school. And by then you will either have forgotten all about me or you will be in the “anger” stage of grief and not want to hear from me anyway. It’s hard to say, but in any case, there won’t be much point in blogging by then, but I’m sure I won’t let that stop me.
Now that we know that, what do we do?
Here’s how much I want to talk to you about my upcoming “vacation”:
[That blank space was supposed to represent “not at all.”]
This morning I have been making a packing list and a list of things to do today. One of the things I’m supposed to do is cancel the newspaper. Not put the newspaper on hold, but cancel the newspaper. Technically, I was supposed to do this a couple weeks ago. It’s been a long time coming. No offense to the newspaper, but our relationship just isn’t working anymore. We don’t read the newspaper. We went to Sunday-only a few months ago, or maybe it was a year ago–I don’t really remember because the newspaper is in denial and keeps delivering weekday papers to us even though we’re supposed to be Sunday-only. Actually, now that I glance at my bill, it would appear that they no longer offer a Sunday-only option, but only a weekend-only option. So that’s fine. That might account for some of the extra, non-Sunday papers that I see, but I also know that the newspaper occasionally calls and leaves us messages about how they’re giving us a free trial of the weekday delivery even though we don’t want it and have, in fact, explicitly requested that they not do that. I’ve been trying to call subscriber services this morning, but all I get is a busy signal. Of course there is no option to cancel one’s newspaper online; that would be suicide. I understand. They want me to tell them to their face. Or at least confront that poor sap who answers the phone, who will probably be out of a job soon because people like me keep cancelling their subscriptions. People like me, a former newspaper woman herself, are killing the newspaper industry. Do you think I don’t feel guilty about this? DON’T START WITH ME. This is not something I do casually, believe me. I mean, I can’t even get them to take my phone call; it’s like they know what’s going to happen, poor bastards. I suppose I could write them a letter. Send it certified mail. They will probably respond by giving me another free trial. Would it be better to place a vacation hold, then cancel the paper for real when I get back? Am I going to have to get a restraining order on my newspaper?
There are a lot of things to be done for this “vacation.” It’s no wonder I’ve put them off for so long.
The other thing I’m going to do is get my hair cut. I’m just going to walk into one of those cheap salons that only little kids and heterosexual men get their hair cut at. I always feel a little cheap and silly doing that, being too old and female to pass for a little kid or heterosexual man, but the sad fact of the matter is that I can’t bring myself to spend $40 on getting my hair cut. It’s not because I feel guilty about it, or I don’t think I’m worth it. I tried it a couple times, and it just wasn’t for me. For one thing, they always style my hair in a way that a) doesn’t suit me, and b) I couldn’t possibly maintain myself, even if it did suit me. And when all is said and done, my hair looks just as good as when I spend $20 on getting it cut. I’m not saying that the cheap-salon ladies are as talented or conscientious as the decent-salon ladies. I have no idea whether they are or not. I know they are quicker and more readily available than the decent-salon ladies, and that counts for a lot with me when the only other thing I have to go by is how good my hair looks afterwards, and I’ve just told you that I can’t tell the difference. It might be that I have no taste. It wouldn’t be the first time. But I really think it’s just my hair. Putting a $40 haircut on my hair is like putting lipstick on a pig, or something similarly proverbial. It just isn’t worth the trouble.
I would like to do something different, i.e. good, with my hair, but I have to be realistic. This is my hair we’re talking about, not theoretical hair or someone else’s hair. It is the hair I’ve lived with for forty years now, and I know this hair. This is what I want to tell the ladies who cut my hair: I know my own hair. You don’t know my hair. You see how bad my hair looks and feel sorry for me–you want to do something about it, and I understand, I do–but I know my hair, and you cannot change it. My hair is curly. Not curly in the good way, but curly nonetheless. Half of it is like wire, and the other half is what you would probably call “flyaways.” “Flyaways” are those random stray hairs that you try to tame with the hair product for taming flyaways. Those hairs in my case make up half of the hair on my head. They will not be tamed. They have minds of their own. The wire-hairs have minds of their own also, although they are a bit more pliable and tend to hang out together more. You think you can straighten out the wires or make them curl in a particular way, but I’m here to tell you, No, you can’t make them. You can’t make any of the hairs on my head do anything they don’t want to do. And they don’t want to curl in any one way. They want to go in all kinds of ways and reserve the right to change their minds about which ways they might want to go at any time. They shun commitment; they are like the Hugh Hefner of hair, and yes, it does look just as pathetic and sad on me as it does on Hef, but I have learned to accept it. The best I can do with my hair is to go along with what it does naturally and make like it was my idea. It may not be pretty, but it works for me.
And that’s why I won’t pay $40 (plus a tip) to get my hair cut.
One thing I can’t avoid at any hair salon, however, is the lecture about what kind of shampoo I use and the crappy dye job I perform on myself. I will have to steel myself for that again. But it grows late. Gentle readers, adieu.