Yesterday I got bangs. As any woman knows, this is clearly a cry for help. Unfortunately I was seized by momentary insanity and my best friend (the one who always tells me the truth) wasn’t there to body block the beautician on the basis of this being A Very Bad Idea (capitalized, as all truly bad ideas should be).
Bangs are one of those things that a woman, in the moment, tells herself are no big deal. “I’ll just add a little bang, it will be fun, flirty, no major change” she says
This is a lie. Bangs are a COMMITMENT. There they sit, smack dab on your forehead, right atop your eyes, just flagging down attention to your face every blasted minute until they grow out again. It’s exhausting.
Bangs are the fashion equivalent of a puppy. “Oh they’re so cute! Can I have them? I promise I’ll comb and condition and straighten them. They’ll behave, I swear!” Then they don’t. Ever.
I’ve worn my thick long hair sans bangs for more than a decade now. Somehow, despite an abysmal bang track record, I was absolutely certain that my life, and hair, would be fuller, better, just more fulfilling, if I had bangs.
Then a hairdresser I otherwise love and trust mistook “wispy, flirty” for “blunt across the brows like that time I cut my own hair with manicure scissors in second grade” and it all went horribly wrong.
Whenever I end up with this kind of thing (because, after all, I never learn) I recall my grandmother’s tale. Years ago she too succumbed to the allure of bangs (proof positive that insanity is genetic). Assessing her new ‘do, my grandfather told her that she looked just like Imogene Coco.
Those of you who got that reference just gasped. Those of you too young to understand should Google Imogene Coco. You will understand immediately why my grandparents aren’t married to each other anymore.
Not too many years ago a bad haircut of the “Imogene” variety would have seemed to me a tragedy of epic proportions. Now, I just fluff a little and think “eh, it’ll grow.”
This is what no one tells you about reaching middle-age. It’s freeing, but you WILL become your grandmother.
There are so many things that I find myself doing and accepting at this age that once seemed outlandish to me.
Take the dishes. I never understood cleaning the kitchen after every meal. Aren’t you just going to use it again in a few hours? Why accomplish NOW what you can happily put off until later?
This need to have the kitchen spotless before bedtime never clicked with me — until a few years ago. Now I am as incapable of dozing off with a dirty dish in the sink as if there were a cat burglar with one foot on the windowsill. My goodness what if he sees our dirty plates?
It is one of the pleasures of my simple life to walk through the darkened house at bedtime seeing that everything is shiny, clean and put away.
Mornings are no different. I now find myself channeling my beloved great grandmother in the early hours as well. As a child I thought it outlandish if not downright demented to make the bed every day. You were just going to mess it up again that night! It seemed a waste of effort.
Still, every morning my great gram would have no more considered leaving her bed unmade than she would have paraded downtown sans girdle. Some things you simply Do Not Do (also capitalized).
As a teenager I had a fairly well defined debate on the merits of the unmade bed. My central argument being that this “aired out” the bedding and wasn’t that fresh come bedtime?
Now, I not only get out of bed early to “grab the shank of the day!” (Darn you Grandma) but I immediately turn and make the bed. It’s as if I’ve been seized by the ghost of grandma’s past. It is futile to resist.
Oh, every once in awhile I try to be devil-may-care about the bed thing but it never works. I can be sitting downstairs happily engrossed in pretending to work and just knowing that unmade bed is lurking up there will bother me. I eventually manufacture a reason to go upstairs for something and while I’m there I might as well tidy up a bit, maybe make that bed.
Not so bad. As mid-life crises go, I’d get off pretty cheap with bangs and making the bed. A sports car would have set me way back. Bangs grow out in a month. A payment book lasts much longer.
As for my newfound acceptance of bad hair and better housekeeping, I think Imogene Coco — and grandma — would be proud. Then they would suggest I wear a hat.