No, I’m not doing another installment of my Obligatory Travelogue.  Well, I might, eventually.  Maybe.  We’ll see.  Every time I think about it, I just get so bored.  I know, not as bored as you probably get when you have to look at pictures of someone else’s vacation, but nobody’s forcing you to read, are they?  That sentence didn’t sound right–probably because it isn’t, technically, right.  But I’m deeply committed to the campaign to make singular “they” an acceptable English usage.  I haven’t completely lost my feminist sensibilities.  But I digress.  Where was I?  Not traveloguing, that’s where.

I am having some difficulties getting back into the swing of my regular, non-“vacation” life.  For one thing, I have to cook my own food again.  That was a problem before I went on vacation, and taking a month off from my culinary obligations did nothing to rejuvenate my enthusiasm for feeding my family.  Personally, I could get by with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a really long time.  I don’t understand why other people can’t do the same, particularly when they’re related to me.  Why has no one in my family inherited this awesome ability?  Well, whatever.  Part of the problem is that eating so much restaurant food sort of killed my taste buds generally.  So what do I feel like eating?  I don’t even know.  How can you prepare food that is unknowable?  I am cooking blind.  Not that blind people can’t cook perfectly well.  I meant it like I’m flying blind, only I’m not flying, I’m cooking.  Get it?  Yeah, I might need to eat lunch before I write any more non-metaphorical metaphors.

I only had one nervous breakdown while I was on “vacation”–which was way better than I thought I’d do.  Technically, I might have had one and a half nervous breakdowns, but I can’t remember if that half-breakdown was in front of other people or not.  I tend not to count private nervous breakdowns, because who has time to count that high?  Well, in any case, one and a half nervous breakdowns in four weeks is not too shabby, when you’re living out of suitcases and sleeping six people to a room–especially when you’re not used to those conditions.  I’m sure third-world nomads have a more favorable nervous breakdown rate than I have, but they’ve probably been practicing their whole lives.  Apples to apples, people!  So, yes, only one nervous breakdown while I was on vacation, but I hadn’t been home two weeks before I had another one–brought on, of course, by the impending housekeeping visit.  Twice a month I am compelled to confront my complete failure as a parent and home manager and human being in general (NORMAL PEOPLE DON’T LIVE LIKE THIS!), and the result is not pretty.  But we’ve been over that, haven’t we, gentle readers?  I don’t know, darlings, I don’t know.  Tuesday night I was 99.9% convinced that it was no longer worth it–that I was born a slob, I married a slob, and I gave birth to slobs, and why not just embrace it?  Why not just be who we are?  Well, because who we are is disgusting, of course.  But besides that, why not?

I don’t know.  I eventually pulled it together and the house is reasonably clean right now.  We’ll revisit this question in another fortnight.  With uncontrollable sobbing, most likely

Here’s another thing:  You may recall–if you have no life and nothing has interfered with your desire to memorize every aspect of mine–that I got my hair cut right before I went on vacation.  I don’t get my hair cut very often because…I just don’t.  I’m lazy.  So I let it grow until I get sick of how it looks, and I go somewhere to cut it all off and start over again.  When I say “cut it all off,” I mean cut it above my shoulders, somewhere near-but-not-quite chin level.  I do this every eight months or so.  Every time I do it, people who have known me for years suddenly are like OMG, YOU CUT YOUR HAIR! IT’S SO CUTE!  DO YOU LOVE IT?  WERE YOU JUST READY FOR A CHANGE? like I’m Rapunzel and Oprah just gave me a free makeover.  I do this every eight months.  It is the same haircut I always get, that I’ve been getting for the last…fifteen years, at least.  But it never fails to take the world by storm.  Anyway.  This time I was not too terribly pleased with the short hair because something I forgot about the short hair is that when you’re having a bad hair day, there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.  There’s no pulling it back or putting it up.  There’s only wearing a hat or going around in public with your crappy hair.  I am dissatisfied with those options.  (Although I do look good in hats.)

Well, anyway, I went on “vacation,” and in addition to my naturally-dry-and-frizzy problems, I now had the southeastern United States humidity to contend with.  My short hair, which looked cute enough on a good day in Oregon, was looking more and more like I had my finger perpetually stuck in a light socket.  Not attractive.  And I didn’t have a hat.

So anyway, we went to visit my BFF (this was going to go in Obligatory Travelogue Part 2, but it’s going here instead), and while we were there, she converted me to the Curly Girl school of curly hair care, the first rule of which is No More Shampoo.  Now, I’d heard about shampoo being bad for your hair and how you don’t need to shampoo your hair every day, so I’d been shampooing my hair less frequently over the last few months and it hadn’t been making much of a difference–but Lorraine Massey and my BFF convinced me to stop shampooing my hair altogether.  My dears, I have not shampooed since June 20th, and my hair has never been in better shape, except maybe when I was three years old and I still had my baby hair.  I will never shampoo my hair again.  I condition my hair every day and let it air dry, and my hair is curly, not frizzy.  And it feels awesome.  It doesn’t always look awesome.  How it looks is fairly unpredictable because I’ve told you before, my hair is not a ribbon clerk to be ordered about.  But it feels great.

And sometimes it looks great.  Other times…eh.  I keep experimenting with the styling cream because I do not like having crunchy hair.  Some days it starts out crunchy, but once it fully dries, it’s fine.  Some days it just stays crunchy all day.  Yesterday was one of those days.  My hair actually looked pretty good, but it felt gross.  So this morning I skipped the styling cream altogether, but that was a mistake.  My hair felt pretty good, but it looked considerably less good than it felt.  So I wet it down again and started over, and now it still feels crunchy, and it looks…okay, I guess.  I can live with it.  But I am looking forward to when it grows out enough that I can pull it back again because, man, those were the days.

So the other thing about my hair is now that I’ve resolved to stop bad hair-drying habits, I’m going to have to figure out what to do about my color.  My fake hair color, I mean.  I did my roots right before I left on “vacation,” and then I exposed my poor hair to chlorinated water over and over again, and now it’s almost six weeks later and I am in dire need–DIRE NEED–of another color treatment.  But I can’t use the $12.99 color kit from the Target anymore because that is BAD FOR MY HAIR.  Lorraine Massey–whom I don’t actually revere as a prophet or anything, but whom I dare not ignore–agrees with what my professional hairstylist sister (the one without a blog I can link to, sorry) has been telling me for the last couple years, which is that I should use a demi-permanent hair color because it is less harsh.  Also less effective at covering gray, unfortunately, which is the whole reason I started coloring my hair in the first place, but my dears, there is gray coverage and there is non-dry, non-frizzy hair, and I have made my choice.  We’ll see how long the choice lasts once I see how I look with ineffectively-covered gray roots, but for now, I have made my choice.

The trouble is that you can’t buy demi-permanent hair color in a kit made especially for ill-coordinated dummies like myself who have no business coloring their own hair at home but do it anyway because Miss Clairol makes it soooooo easy.  I have been dithering over whether or not to just go to a professional.  Obviously, I should go to a professional because a professional will do it correctly (assuming, of course, that she or he is a qualified professional).  But that’s a wad of cash I had not budgeted for the rest of my life.  Every four weeks for…ever.  I’m not saying it’s not worth it.  I’m saying I’m not sure I’m worth it.  Yes, the old L’Oreal commercials used to tell me I was worth it, but that was when they were trying to talk me into dying my own hair at home, which is sort of funny, don’t you think?  But I digress.

So my husband went to the professional beauty supply store and bought a bottle of demi-permanent hair color in my color, along with the…crap, I’ve forgotten what it is…the developer? the sealant?  Help me out here.  Never mind.  He would really like me to give it a go myself.  But it’s not as easy as just squeezing color from a tube and combing it into your hair.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to mess it up, but I guess that will be okay.  I mean, I can always just go to a professional and get it fixed afterwards, can’t I?  But first I have to find the time to do it and mess it up because that’s the other thing about demi-permanent–it takes three times as long as the other.  Another thing that leaves me skeptical about my ability to continue coloring my own hair, since I found 20 minutes hassle enough.

FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS.  At least I’m not having a nervous breakdown over it.

I do believe I just wrote 900+ words about my hair.  This is worse than a travelogue.  And there weren’t even any pictures!

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