Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Double J Wedding

Okay, I'm backlogged again.

I guess I'm obliged to mention I went to my friends Jeff & Jill's wedding, huh? Story in a nutshell? Jeff and I went to school together and I guess I'd consider him my best male friend in high school. He was just nerdy enough, but didn't take himself seriously or pretend to be cool and mature. We were admittedly weird and silly and that's how you're supposed to be when you're a teenager. And he was as boringly straight edge as I was. We've tried to keep up our friendship through the years although I admit we kinda suck at it. I think we always have fun hanging out but we lead busy enough lives that we don't want to drive long distances to see one another. Jeff and Jill went to the same college and have been together for 8 years. You can probably guess that this was not as rushy rushy as Kim's wedding. In fact this might be the polar opposite of Kim's situation because people have been tapping their foot waiting for those not-really-crazy kids to get married.

So they had their wedding recently. I was kind of surprised to get an invite but it's an honor to be thought of, so why not go? My getting an invite probably slid someone else into the "not important enough to invite list." It'd be lame and lazy of me not to. I'm already feel like a bad enough friend for missing dull boring normal days. Missing his wedding would be uber bad-friend behavior.

It was gorgeous. Not like I'm surprised. Not like I expected anything less actually. If I was with Trevor for 8 years I think the least I would ask for is a fancy party. They held the ceremony and reception at the same site (which I love. I hate driving around getting lost) in RI. They rented a historic mansion outside of Newport and had their ceremony outside. The wedding itself was nice, and actually smaller than I thought. Less than 80 guests. Inside was the reception. Buffet dinner, live band, flip flop favors on the dancefloor for sore feet, pashminas for women who caught a chill, candy buffet for people who like sweet stuff, old timey photo booth with props so guests could take silly pictures. And oh, did I take silly pictures.

I'm not doing it any justice but I'm not about to pick apart their wedding. I appreciated that they really THOUGHT about their wedding and clearly spent a lot of time plotting each piece. Everything was personalized. No Jordan Almonds for Jeff's big day. Like instead of a guest book they had guests fill out postcards and drop them in a mini postal box. Obviously all weddings are nice because the bride and groom are happy and presumably you like them, but if you're in my age bracket and all your friends are stuffing your mailbox full of bridal shower, baby shower, housewarming, wedding invitations it kind of all blurs together.

I blame television and the internet for taking away my attention span. I need a few flourishes or my mind starts to wander and I begin cracking inappropriate jokes. Thankfully I had a lot of fun with a few pals from high school. Justin taught us a game involving spoons. He tried to bribe the harpist into playing some 80's music. I made friends with Monoito's Austrian date. We had a lot of laughs and I consumed 3 varieties of cocktail shrimp. How can you possibly say that's not a good time? See a few long lost pals. Say Hi to Joey's parents. Share a number of laughs with my husband. Good times.

I love taking my husband to events like this. He's really charming and funny and I think it's great to be reminded of how much I love him. It's nice to take us out of our element and mingle with normal people. We're sort of hermits most of the time. Taking a date to a wedding can be awful. Wedding dates you drag up out of sheer desperation to not be alone can be excruciatingly dull and awkward. Ughhhh. Or weddings you attend when you don't know anyone (even the bride and groom) because someone asked you to be their date? Pretty weird.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Spice up your life

So, I don't know if it'll make my mother happy or just make her more frustrated that the only news I ever have is about my hair and the occasional cooking tip.

Susan recently announced she's expecting her first baby.

Universal "Awww"s can be had from near and far. Not too surprising because this is a deeply (DEEPLY) wanted baby.

If you can imagine this, (and you probably can if you know me well enough) I won one of the shower games we had at Kim's house a few weeks back based on baby gadget knowledge. Considering the room included people who've actually had children it's pretty impressive. Sure I called the nasal aspirator a "snot remover" but hey, if we're being blunt that's what that thing does.

So naturally you're probably wondering when I plan on giving Susan's kid a play-friend. Well, I'm not currently thinking about it. I'm not thinking about it because we're still working on getting another house. And by "working on getting another house" I mean that we're right in the thick of it and I'm anxious about what'll transpire. I will say that we fell in love with different house and the afternoon we were going to fax over the papers to put in our offer it was off the market; someone else snuck in an offer before us. This is all the more amazing because the house was only on the market 2 business days so we really thought we had a good chance.

This isn't even a hot time in the real estate market but we've had this happen a few other times. I'm not terribly surprised though. The Warren Buffets of the world became rich by seeing opportunity where other people saw no value. Overpriced houses might be sitting on the market indefinitely but if you price anything right someone's going to bite.

I know you can raise a kid with little more than a pocket full of hope, but I'd prefer to have a house that has a little room and smidge of privacy. Oh, and maybe some money. That'd make life a lot easier.

What? You're anxious about my hair? Well, I guess that's normal since I've TAUNTED you with the wait. Please ignore my washer/dryer in the background. Although I do love that washer dryer. It's energy star rated and everything. Oh right, my hair. It's really short in the back and a bit longer in the front to cup my face. It's intentional...really. I joke around and say it's my Posh Spice hair.

I will say that I enjoy the shorter hair. And And surprisingly, unlike long hair I am obliged to style my short hair so it isn't entirely lopsided with a gigantic cow lick in the back. So it forces me to care more than I normally would. Normally? I'd just pull my hair back into a bland ponytail. Now? It's too short to pull into a ponytail. You can actually see the back of my neck all the time now. So I kind of think it's funny when people ask if it's so much easier to do my hair in the morning. In comparison to doing absolutely nothing, yes it takes a lot more time.

And what I find even more surprising? I kept long hair for a long time because I was under the impression long hair gave you more options. This is a gigantic lie when you're a lazy pony-tail maker like myself. I never actively styled my long hair beyond purposefully messing it up so it looked tousled or occasionally flat ironing it. Short hair somehow gives me a lot more creative license...well, as long as I'm willing to plop in a few different kinds of product to manipulate it with. The volume is CRAZY.

It's easy to fall into a rut so I think it's good to test my boundaries now and again and push myself out of my comfort zone. I spent most of my life trying to have long hair because I had short hair in my childhood and felt very...boyish. In direct opposition to that I decided to have long hair. The change is all the better because people have generally been very positive about my hair and haven't made me feel like I look like a 11 year old boy like I had feared.

I know men typically prefer long hair but I'm old and married. What do I care what other guys think? And my husband tends to feel like he got a brand new wife, so it's a win-win. He's so cute. He wasn't sure if he should hug me at first because I didn't look like his wife. It took a few minutes of hair 0rientation before he settled into his "new wife."

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Big Chop

I was thinking about it months ago that I needed a change. I didn't know what. I didn't know how, but I felt like I was in a rut and I needed a small boost to recharge me.

HRD, the local salon that Kim had her bachelorette at will cut your hair for Locks of Love. I stumbled upon this small tidbit of information and it got me thinking. LisaF always seems to do it every few years once hers gets outgrown so clearly it's not a difficult or arduous task. And the more I thought about it (which by the way, equals at least 4 weeks of thinking in real time) I really wanted to do something contributory. I don't feel like I give enough in life. I used to give to charities here and there but Trevor has made me jaded about organized non profits because a good chunk of your donations go into the general business costs of running any business, and not to the actual starving cancer kids you think it's going to. So now I'm freaked out about giving money to people...great.

But giving my hair? Well, I know that hair isn't a tax write off, but as much as I complain about my hair I know a lot of people would envy having long, thick, healthy, non chemically treated, not blow dried everyday, natural hair. If I'm being honest with myself I'd rather have my hair than thin, wimpy, flat, lifeless, stringy stuff any day. But there are people who, by a twist of fate have lost their hair due to chemotherapy treatments and feel alien. Who feel less womanly, less normal, less themselves all because they're balding. And we all associate our physical appearance with who we are. Women in particular don't feel womanly without hair. A guy can be bald and be masculine, but a bald woman does not want to be masculine. She just wants to feel like herself and be able to go to the grocery store without anyone staring at her.

So after a lot (a LOT) of selfishness on my part about wanting to keep my hair, I decided to take the plunge. I started talking about it and the more I talked about it the more courage I got and October is Breast Cancer Awareness month anyway, so that was the last straw. I finally walked into that salon and said "I would like to donate my hair." And that was it.

I gave 10 inches of my own hair. And I won't even lie, I was totally psyched out. My husband was making me nervous by saying "Are you sure you want to do this?" and that was the LAST thing I needed to hear but I still trudged through, even if I was in bed with my blankets over my head just a half hour before the big cut. But knowing I already made this commitment made me keep going. I don't wimp out at the last minute. That is douchey behavior.

I know I can grow mine out again. And it felt stupid because it's just hair, even if it was an awful look on me, it was just hair and I could grow it back. And the person receiving it would love my hair 80 times more than I ever could. I don't even like combing my hair in the morning. I never blow it out. Every rare moon I'll flat iron it. It's a security blanket much more than a fashion statement. I liked it because it represented something to me; it felt secure.

So...you're likely wondering what is left on my head now that I've lopped off such a significant segment. Since I'm mean I'm going to drag it out. HA! No the real story is I'm obliged to show my parents before I show the internets. That someone in Japan gets to see it before my parents who live down 3 streets see it? Yeah, I'd probably get an annoyed look from them like, "gee, that girl. Did we never teach her any decorum?" I'm old enough where I wouldn't be yelled at, but I know they'd be a bit miffed at me.

Where am I donating this? Well, there's a lot of charities out there that'll take it, surprisingly. There's the ubiquitous Locks of Love, but they give hair to kids. No offense to those alopecia kids but considering the tone of my donation I wanted it to go to a woman in need, so I'm giving to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program which specifically targets women who've lost their hair from chemo and who are unable to afford real-hair wigs. Considering real-hair extensions cost like $600 I imagine the cost of a full-on real-hair wig is pretty crazy for someone who's likely spent every penny they've got on medical bills. And I sure hope they have insurance...but anyway, that's a whole other topic.

I forget where I read it (if I find it I'll revise this) but it said something to the effect of long hair being like a black dress. It works on a lot of people and it fits a lot of occasions well, but after five minutes you've forgotten about it. It's unremarkable. No one remembers anything about a bland little black dress. Short hair on the other hand, makes a statement. It's like the red dress in a crowd.

Consider me part of Team Red Dress....with a pink ribbon.