Saturday, July 07, 2007

Supervolcanos and where to get your hair advice

I booked my shockingly spendy ticket to England this week. I was trying to use miles, but couldn't get there and back in a week before October. And I only have a week. And I can't wait till October.

The truth is, now that my dad is doing well, I need the vacation. I need to see Maude, my oldest friend in the entire world. I need to hug and kiss on her new little baby.

When Maude and I were both in school and had no money she bought CDs anyway. She said one could always justify the purchase of music. Because you need it for your soul. It's like that.

So I was searching searching for a decent fare. And not finding one.

And so then I thought, ah, screw it. If that Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, which it's supposed to sometime soon, we're all going to be wiped out. I'm not kidding. I saw it on TV and it was one of the most alarming things ever. Seriously. When it erupts, it'll spew enough ash to cover the sun entirely. And there will be acid rain everywhere. It will have a cataclysmic effect on life on the entire planet.

And here's the thing. It erupts something like every three gazillion years. And at this point, we're at three gazillion and 34 or something. In other words, eruption pending.

And so I said to myself, just buy the damn expensive ticket and visit Maude while you can!

Maude is really excited. It's been ages since we've seen each other. She just emailed and said that she has some free moments while her husband and his mother are out with the baby. And so she's decided to highlight her own hair.

I quote her verbatim here: "I have an awkward bob at the moment 'cause my last hairdresser was the opposite of Amber who gave excellent short haircuts but really challenged my self esteem when I started trying to grow it out (contrary to your blog on hairdressers I actually piled the makeup on and spent ages picking out an outfit when I went to her towards the end in a vain attempt to get a non soccer mom do)."

Apparently, all the hairdressers in Norwich give you the same trendy cut and blondify you no matter what you actually want. So she's taking matters into her own hands. As she has encouraged me to do many times.

And then she asked, did I remember the attempts to fix my orange hair after that terrible Halloween hair mishap?

I had come back to the US from my stint in the Peace Corps and happened to be in DC over Halloween - Maude's favorite holiday. She was of course having a party. And somehow I got in my mind that I wanted to be Cleopatra. Rather than doing the sensible thing and buying a wig, I started contemplating hair dye.

Maude had decided to be Pippi Longstocking, and so we went off to Victoria's Secret, which was just down the street, to find over the knee socks.

We wound up discussing temporary hair dye with the Victoria's Secret saleswoman. She told us that one of her sisters, who was blonde, had used a particular brand of black hair dye. And even though it says very clearly on the packaging (because we had inspected all the brands in CVS) not to use it on blonde hair, she assured us it washed out.

And so we traipsed off and bought temporary black hair dye. And stuck it in my long blonde hair. Because this random lingerie-selling chick said it washed out.

It never turned my hair black. Rather, it turned it a deep ruby red. Which, upon washing, faded to, oh, apricot. I washed and washed and washed. Someone said to buy Prell, because that strips your hair. I found some and did. I used dish detergent. I used everything but Brillo pads. And couldn't get lighter than pale apricot. Which brought out all my freckles. I hated it.

And then, because I was only in the US for a brief break, I headed back to South America. To the gay boyfriend, who pretended not to be horrified. And straight to a salon to see if someone could fix this tragedy and put me back to blonde.

In a country where just about everyone has black hair they didn't actually know how to get me back to a natural blonde. And so I wound up with hair that was apricot with almost white streaks. My hair looked like a Creamsicle.

I cried and cried. But I couldn't be mad at anyone but myself.

And so I learned a lesson that most people probably do not need to be taught. Never take hair color advice from a woman who works at Victoria's Secret.


  1. OMG, I can just imagine, LOL!! I've been there myself... when I tried that wash-out black dye and my hair turned Grandma-grey, I cried for a week!

  2. Oh, AF, that makes me feel better. Not for you, but I'm glad I'm not the only blonde who stupidly used the "wash out except if you're blonde" hair color. It's awful!

  3. Creamsicle hair! Now, THAT'S attractive! My ex-hairdresser tried a new dye on my hair. It went from dark red to bright red to orange to pink in the course of several weeks! Hence the "ex" before "hairdresser". Enjoy your trip!!!

  4. Wow. G&D - you had a rainbow couple weeks of hair! Good reason to '"ex" the hairdresser! And thanks! Can't wait!

  5. Life is short. Tickets to see friends and music absolutely fall into the same category. Soul food. So too, the occasional dinner out with someone special, and sexy shoes. And the day I can't somehow justify buying a bottle of wine on the way home from work is the day I die.

    Apricot hair doesn't sound nearly as bad as you make it out. Why be like everyone else?

  6. It took me, like, 32 years to get over my nuclear fears, and now I've just learned about supervolcanos.

    Thanks a bunch, man.

  7. AAAHAHA! I'm with you, RC. I went and researched supervolcanos last night after reading Lisa's post and nearly crapped my pants, LOL!

  8. 2x4 - Yes, life is short, and we have to do the things that feed our souls. The apricot hair, however, was kind of soul squelching for me at the time. I could probably handle it now, even if I wouldn't like it.

    Rich - I'm sorry! I know - it's really grim. But the good thing (in my mind) about this vs. nuclear war is that it's totally and completely out of human control.

    AF - Horrible, no? But now useful as justification for living in the moment.

  9. Wow, I have a really weird fear about dying my hair. Won't be over that anytime soon!

    Enjoy the trip, happy to hear good news regarding your Dad.

    The comment from G&D - "Ex" hairdresser, struck me as really funny.

  10. Rich - Will be sure to stock up.

    HKW - No reason to if you like it. I used to get bored and change my color a lot. Now I just get highlights and am pretty conservative with it.

  11. I had a friend in college who was a constant-blonde-by-dye-job, who then decided one day to borrow her friend's shampoo, one of those that is supposed to wash in light red highlights (it's worth mentioning that her friend was a chestnut-haired brunette). I was never clear on why she wanted to do this.

    The result? A week and a half of hair reminiscent of Jem and the Holograms. We're talking a light cotton-candy pink. She was horrified. The rest of us, naturally, were highly amused. She found the humor, eventually.


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