There we were, just this New Year’s Eve morning, sitting upon the couch watching “Razzle to Dazzle: Hair”, a fashion segment on the Today Show. One of those trendy hairstyles, adorned by some starlet or other, to top off one’s New Year’s Eve “do”, was being fashioned. This was a braided assembly that looked rather like the one pictured here in Vilhelm Hammershoi’s painting; a braided crown all squished and tousled and Pippi Longstocking-ish – until the icing on the hairball, er hairdo, which was a spritz (or two or three) of spray glitter.
Actually, the glitter looked like a bit of fun, which I said aloud, and my dear husband countered, “Yeah, like Tan . . . “! and I took the rest of the words right out of his mouth.
Dear reader, by now you must know that there is always another story in my apron pocket. A story to amaze, astonish, astound. A Perils of Penelope sort of December tale.
So, it begins, as many fairy tales begin, with . . .
Once upon a time, a frazzled young mother of two was breathlessly primping. She had endured a full day of Saturday chores; Christmas preparations, ballet class for one, a new pair of shoes for the other (or some such scenario), along with finding a present for a holiday Rotary gift exchange at the annual party that evening.
Those Rotary Christmas parties were fun, though we often huffed and puffed to get there. Tom’s Rotary Club was small, but, they did amazing things to provide scholarship and local community support, as well as contribute to the bigger Rotarian agenda across the globe. Their annual Christmas party was usually held at a member’s home and was filled with good cheer, good food, lively conversation, and fellowship.
After my hectic day, I took a shower and went through the rituals of getting all “dolled up” for the party. My holiday shoes, which are depicted here, were waiting for me to slip my tired toes into, as well as a glittery accoutrement of some sort to dazzle my ears or my neckline. Is this beginning to sound Cinderalla – ish?
All clean and scented, I dried and curled my hair in that ‘pouf of a do” that was popular in the Dallas decade of fashion. Our daughters, so young, marched in and out with questions and pleas and the sort of interruptions that youngsters are apt to bring when mothers are in their own frenzied moments. Finally, all gussied up, I sprayed my locks in place and went to our room to get dressed.
I did wonder an aside to myself about why the hair spray had a different fragrance – and why my hair was still a bit wet.
I wondered, but carried on, all dressed up with somewhere to go, when Tom came in, holding a spray can, wondering, innocently, aloud “Was someone using this?”.
He saw the look of panic on my face, the unnatural sheen on my crown of flagging curls, and smelled the encroaching scent of a stable.
With no time to lose, we needed to get out the door, for we were bringing appetizers. Near tears, I thought of employing the hair drier, but, really, would my hair dry or catch on fire? I determinedly combed down my mane, now sleek and shiny, and out the door we trotted.
My friends, I smelled like a manger. My hair shone like never before. I glowed.
While no one cared to sit next to me, they relished the tale as I told it. Tom kept his distance, knowing he would have to take his old mare home, hoping she wasn’t combustible. As we all ate and imbibed and participated in the gift grab bag game, a few women quietly queried where they could buy Tan Your Hide* – which was originally purchased to clean a leather purse, but, ended up not on some hide but in my hair. Really, friends, this is how fast celebrity status happens.
Antler Man and My Pretty Pony on a carpet of snow.
So, dear ones, as I turn my back on 2014, it is with the wishes of a happy and healthy New Year to you, and that may you always find a reason to laugh.
*(Tan Your Hide was an aerosol product used for cleaning leather products.)