Bad Hair Day
One silver lining of forced cohabitation with a mouse is that, after it was gone, I mellowed.
I used to get spun up about things that do not go as I plan but really do not matter at all. Examples include 1) forgetting to line up my shoes in the closet, or 2) having to return a movie that I borrowed for free from the library but didn’t get to watch, and yet can easily check out again. Here’s another: 3) needing to restart my computer at a time when all windows and tabs are arranged exactly as I want them. I could go on and on. Really.
But, since the death-by-poisoning of my uninvited houseguest, I had calmed the rage I feel when these things happen by reminding myself, at least it’s not a mouse!
I’d even improved my attitude on things that fall into the kind of matter a small amount category. For example, one morning I opened my yogurt at work to see the rim had broken and was leaking white fuzz and could by then have been infected with all kinds of parasite. I’ll never see that $1.69 again, I thought, as I threw it into the garbage, but then also, no mouse!
I’ve been rodent-free for almost three weeks, and the newfound appreciation for life’s blessings that replaced the focus on its annoying but, ultimately, totally inconsequential irritations has lasted approximately 12.5 days.
This morning, I was attempting to twist my hair into a Spring Braided Flower. As my hair is getting longer and longer – and the temperature is getting hotter and hotter – my warm weather project has been attempting different off-the-neck styles every day.
My co-workers have been all amusement and compliments about my tonsorial experiments. And, actually, I’ve managed few outright failures. Bobby pins and hairspray are essentially duct tape for your hair. (Incidentally, you can make a duct tape headband – but that project is way too supply- and labor-intensive for me.)
However, tragically, my tightly wound self returned (did she ever really leave?) because of – you guessed it – the Rope Braid.
I had done it successfully in one of my prior creations. But I could not do it this morning. I kept twisting my hair into nothing, and it fell away into limp, lank hanks. But I would not give up, even as I was twisting and re-twisting, pulling down the parts I had managed to do right, and angrily grunting about all the time I was wasting.
No mouse! I tried to redirect my attention, but my sunshiny outlook had already begun retreating in the face of such adversity.
I said out loud, “I REFUSE to wear a plain ponytail!” I usually sported a ponytail at least once a week. It was quick, easy, and cute. But this morning, un-styled ponytails meant only failure.
I mentally ran through all the hair tutorials I had watched over the weeks and decided on the Double Messy Bun, in part because I had already set aside two hair bands.
When I finished, half of it looked perfect; the other half was terrible. I jammed bobby pins into my scalp, terrorized my head with hairspray, and ran out the door.
My quest to be prettily and intricately coiffed knocked me off the wagon of mellow. On the ride to work, I considered how quickly I had toppled and with what little provocation. (It would really be stretching it to put my hairdos into even the kind of matter a small amount category, though I think I could make the case.) Still, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t high strung, so it wasn’t a great surprise.
But that evening, after driving home in the scariest rains of recent memory, dodging lightning blots in the parking lot, wading across sidewalk ponds, and collapsing through my front door soaking, I wasn’t angry. I threw my dripping bags and shoes onto some newspaper, and as I peeled off my clothes on the way to the shower, I thought happily, no mouse! no mouse!