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Twenty Dollars

7 March 2007

For all my big talk about living alternatively, I’m as susceptible to the ravages of age as the next person. For example, back in December I went to an actual hair salon rather than one of those “Quick Cuts” type places that I’ve always gone to. Because I wanted to look (as) good (as I could) for the big family Christmas. While there, I cursed once again the two bands of gray I have over my ears. It’s not noticeable until I put my hair up, but those two bands wash out any vivacity I have and make me look, yes, old. Yuck.

The stylist suggested color. I noted my previous bad experience with hair dye (when I first started noticing gray)—the brown faded to red, and I was forced to continue dying so as not to have a bright dye line as it grew out. Implied in all this was the fact that there was no way I could spend the money on a professional dye job, on a regular basis. (I solved the dye dilemma by getting one professional dye back to my original dark brown [which meant that I looked like Elvira until the black faded to brown], and then swearing I would never *ever* dye again. I would just live with the touches of gray [this was before the arrival of the Bands of Doom].)

Then the stylist whispered the word “low-lights”. This is the same thing as highlights, but you foil a darker color, rather than a lighter one. I had never heard of this. I was intrigued. “Only $5 a foil,” she whispered. Then rang up my sale of haircut (twice as much as the Quick Cuts price), fancy-pants shampoo, and conditioner (I was visiting family and wanted to look good, remember?).

Through all of January and all of February, every time I put my hair up before going to the gym (the gym with perky co-eds, remember), I’d see the Bands of Doom and think, “Old!” Followed by the memory of a whisper, “Low-lights…”

Today, I went and, as well as getting another non-Quick-Cuts haircut (the salon sent me a discount coupon for my birthday, the sneaky bastards), I got four foils of low-lights (two for each band). The stylist suggested a few foils along my part to cover the gray there, but I stood firm. It’s not gray in general that bothers me, in fact I like my gray. It’s those Bands of Doom that I hate. So “we” only did those four.

It looks terrific! I love it. I am hooked and I’m not looking back. The gray is still there over my ears, but it doesn’t call attention to itself.

But I suddenly have the strong urge to sew up a couple of dirndls out of recycled fabric to make up for this…

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