I have spent the last week with an old acquaintance named anxiety.
What a jerk.
He comes over uninvited, makes himself at home, doesn’t explain the reason for the visit and commences to wreak havoc. I did what I could on my own then threw up my hands and called my good buddy, tequila. We sipped a shot together and my stomach untwisted enough for me to get my shit together and show anxiety the door. The problem is, anxiety has his own key.
And we all know tequila can’t stay forever or he turns from the solution into the problem.
Like I always, eventually do, I started the backtracking inventory, researching and figuring out why my head seems to be so far up my – uh – why I’m anxious. Is it psychological, physiological, work-related, stress-related? Am I not getting to the gym? Am I not saying no enough?
For me, anxiety is almost always self-induced by the mythological I-can-do-it-all syndrome that affects women from 9 to 90. I work full time and have a lot of obligations, just like millions of my sisters around the globe. Is it menopause related? I don’t know. I can’t tell you what point of menopause I’m in because there’s no map supplied by life – thanks God – and we will be discussing this later….. I have a mental picture of me saying these things to God and God sitting at his laptop reading them, eyes going wide, clapping his (we’re going with ‘him’ as no woman would ever do to herself or another female what menopause does) hand over his mouth to smother naughty giggles…….
Yes, I personify The Almighty as a 13-year-old nerd, pranking womankind.
In this case.
It’s a testament to how close to the edge I can get when desperate for answers. I mean, come on. I can’t walk around with my heart in my throat all the time. It makes me grouchy as hell. Neither do I want to be zonked on Benadryl constantly. That stuff makes me cantankerous after a while too.
……….I went to have my hair colored yesterday.
Not cut. Just colored.
I’ve never split my appointments up before, but because I waited until the last minute (read three inches of roots) to schedule them, my colorist and stylist couldn’t be booked on the same day for a month out. I took what I could get, which was a color appointment right before Mr. Smooshy Kissy Cheek’s Kindergarten Moo-sical. I was sure I’d have at least 45 minutes between completion of the appointment and the start of the barn show. Plenty of time.
And I don’t know what my colorist was doing with her time but I felt neglected. She put the foils in my hair, had someone else wash the color out (which is normal). She put toner in, plopped me in a chair and I never saw her again.
I sat, waiting, for long enough that I wondered what the hell was happening. There was a brief moment of fear in which I remembered the girl who does my color was a classmate of one of my daughters and said daughter told me they did not get along – in fact the words “can’t stand,” “mean as hell” and “such a b!#ch” might have been thrown around. However, as that was 10 years past and the “mean as hell” girl is nice to me, does fabulous color, and it’s my hair, #1 agreed sucking it up was in order. But – had my colorist suddenly remembered the animosity between them and decided to take it out on my hair?
I tried not to panic. It wasn’t as if I could just leave. There were mysterious chemicals on my head, of which I was (and am) completely ignorant.
I took deep breaths and watched a girl sweep the hair from three different stations, empty it into the garbage and take the garbage outside. She then came back, introduced herself as Maddy and said she’d been sent to wash and blow dry my hair.
Everything was good. Normal.
The speed at which Maddy moved was neither. It took her five actual minutes to comb out my hair and 32 actual minutes to attempt a blow dry. I knew she was a student and learning and was fine with that – unlike the student in the teaching hospital where Kimberly was born…… I made it clear, at that time, to my doctor that I wanted no residents anywhere near me. Brandon’s birth had been a horrible ordeal, during which we both could have died and I wanted nothing but seasoned professionals around for the birth of my second child. So, when the unfamiliar doctor came in to check my progress during labor I asked if he was a resident. He said yes. I said how happy I was to meet him and that he should take the goddamned glove off because that hand was going nowhere near my cervix…….. But this was just hair.
Seriously. 32 minutes.
At minute 20 I told Maddy how much I appreciated her efforts but was in quite a time crunch.
“Oh, of course,” she said. “I understand schedules.”
At minute 30 I released a sigh that sounded more like a growl. Maddy just continued on with the little, tiny section of hair she was drying.
“May I ask a favor,” I said at minute 32. “Give me the dryer. Just hand me the dryer.”
I grabbed it, flipped my head over and had the top of my head, which was literally still wet, dry in about 30 seconds. I mean, Jesus, it’s the desert and I have fine hair. Unless I’m standing out in the 100 degree sun and am in the middle of a frigging hot flash, it takes me, at the very most, 10 minutes to dry and style my locks.
Finally all was well.
Then I saw it.
In the middle of my head there was basically a big blonde mass. A forelock so brightly colored it looked like a bald spot.
“Is everything okay,” Maddy asked nervously. She reached toward my hair.
“Don’t touch me,” I said. “I’m going to use the restroom, then pay and I have to go. I’m late.”
I walked away and reached the bathroom right before I burst into tears because damn it, now I’d have to think about my hair and that’s my one rule. I don’t want to have to think about it. I get it cut and colored three or four times a year and I don’t have to think about it otherwise. But now I would because there’s a big blonde bald-looking spot right in the middle of my face…………
………And it’s a couple of days later…….. I’ve calmed down and had my hair washed and cut and the “spot” is blended and makes sense with the style……. Sort of……..
Maybe I’m just too picky. Maybe it’s wrong of me to insist that my hair look more like my natural color from 25 years ago and less like a photo of Bonnie Raitt.
Does anyone get that reference?
If you want to feel old, make jokes around people in their twenties. One of the guys at work started complaining about his hair the other day. Because it resembled Greg Brady’s from The Brady Bunch I said, “Oh calm down Greg. You’re getting it cut this afternoon, right?” His face was completely blank.
“What? Why’d you call me Greg?”
I had to explain the joke and show him a clip from The Brady Bunch. He’d never heard of it.
And just in case anyone wonders, google photos of Bonnie Raitt.
Later I was on break and scrolling my Facebook feed. Sean Hayes had posted one of his lip sync videos and I was watching it and laughing. Another of the babies who works for me asked what was so funny and I said I was watching a Sean Hayes lip sync video.
He gave me a blank stare.
“Sean Hayes,” I repeated. “You know, Jack, from Will and Grace.”
From somewhere in my brain I heard the words, fire him. Instead I threw him a nasty look and told him to go back to work.
Almost everyone with whom I work is younger than I.
And it’s okay. I don’t mind. Most of the time.
It’s just…… Well, if there’s any levity it almost has to be on their level because it’s one thing for me to stay current but if we have to go back in time, I have to give history lessons and we all know I have no patience for that crap. I mean, I know Will and Grace has been off the air for a while but….
Oh God. I am a dinosaur.
Seriously. I just looked up when Will and Grace was on the air and I can’t believe it’s been OFF longer than it was on.
What about Friends? BRB
12 years off the air!
So my humor, my newest humor, is at least ten years old because, seriously, I don’t think much of what’s on now is funny. I like The Big Bang Theory and Amy Schumer, but Vine and Snapchat? Ugh. Olivia will, every now and then, find me in a weak moment – I’ve just gotten out of bed or the shower and can’t move quickly enough to avoid what I know is coming – and force-feed me six and a half second videos that she swears will simply tear me up with laughter.
I’m sure some are funny. I just haven’t seen those. Yet. Because my daughter insists we keep on trying. And because it puts me in close proximity with my youngest, I agree.
But they’re not funny.
Karen Walker is funny. Lucy and Ethel are still funny. Barney Fife is still funny. That big, dorky guy who does the Chrysler Pacifica commercials – Jim Gaffigan – is hilarious. So I guess, if you count him and Amy Schumer, I like current stuff.
Over 30 stuff.
To each generation their own.
I remember when Mark showed a clip of Robin Williams Live On Broadway to his father and Pops very calmly told us exactly how unfunny Mr. Williams and his crass, profane brand of humor was. Pops hates swear words. Robin Williams used them liberally. Mark and I use them liberally – unless Pops is around. I tone it down then. Mark, not so much.
I’m a lady.
See. That, right there, is funny. If you know me.
And the kids at work are getting there.
They laugh. At me. When I dance. And trip. And am myself. And I laugh back because – because it’s just the best thing and –
……..Anxiety is gone.