What Can I Say

What can I say, it was raining again, and my hair was too weird, darker than it should be which looks funny with my gradually  disappearing eyebrows.

That’s a family thing with the eyebrows. Some of my family members have no eyebrows at all to speak of.

At least I started out with some ..

Do you doubt me? There they are on that chick in the middle:

planning the prom at Somerville High School

I guess I was in my early twenties when that picture was taken.

When I was 19 they  were  DARKER STILL:

Me at Smith

(I know, I know. All I need is a mustache and I’m Tom Selleck in a wig circa 1980.)

But even my sturdy Irish brows are thinning now and the it seems the roses have  gone my cheeks as well. At the frame shop last month my friend behind the counter said, “Well hello! Your HAIR is so dark I didn’t know you!”

I mumbled something about how I told my  stylist  how I kind of hated the blonde direction he was heading in so he made my hair dark. But In the days just after he colored it even I could tell it was a mite TOO dark; just a mite too Morticia Addams. Plus I could sense small children edging away.

“I thin it looks better to have light hair around the older face,” she said. Whose older face she meant was pretty clear to me.

And so it was that I ducked into the salon last week and showed him my roots.

“So these are basically the color of old snow,” I said pointing to the half-inch of grey sprouting up from my scalp, “and this is, like shoe polish black, practically,” I added, pointing to the other 15 inches of hair. “So what do you think, can we look for something less dark that will diminish the contrast between the real and the dyed as the hair starts to grow in?”

“Sure!” he crowed. He’s waited for years to throw the whole Magician’s Book of Color at me.

And so yesterday with rain one again pelting down on the Ark we’re all bobbing about on in this soggy month of June,  he lightened it a tad, got out the bleach and the  tinfoil and gave me a kind of maple syrup with tones of umber base with streaks of Christina Hendricks Red.

Christina Hendricks: That’s  Joan Harris on Mad Men,  as I’m sure you know. You see the resemblance I’m sure? Uncanny isn’ t it? 😉

christina hendricks as herself

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Shave and a Haircut

When an old 70s guy like Tom Selleck shaves  his mustache he looks so different we hardly know him. When a long-haired girl goes short it’s dramatic too. Remember the cry that went up when  Keri Russel lopped off those curls she had as Felicity?

Great changes in appearance are jarring even for the person walking around with the new look.

I’m jarred myself today, not by anything to do with my hair which, over the years has gone from looking like Janis Joplin’s….

to looking like Demond Wilson’s as Redd Foxx’s boy in that great golden oldie Sanford & Son.  

I am jarred by what’s happening to our house:

It has gone bald. It took 15 years for the ivy to grow, as, inch by inch, it lifted itself to where its tiny green fingers now reach clear to the roof. 

How I have loved it in summer when it’s the bright green of a tree-toad! How I have loved it in autumn when it blushes with the cold and turns to shades of maroon and burgundy:

How I have loved turn the corner  at any time in the growing season and see how it has made the  whole south side of the house shimmer and billow.

But ivy is bad for old shingles – new ones too, they say – and we did need to paint. We knew the men would soon pull it all down to do their work as they would have done if had David not decided he wanted to do the job himself, in the same way you want to be the one holding your beloved pet when the doctor inserts the final needle. He came home from work that day, and without even coming inside, set his things down on the grass and began pulling at the vines. I could hear the ripping sound from inside a closed window, and in no time at all those shiny green leaves lay face down in the dirt.

I have rooted for the ivy, even knowing it causes damage; I applauded it this past summer when for the first time it rounded the corner and began growing outside the bathroom window.

To me it was beautiful.

Anyway here’s how the place looks now: new and ordinary, not old and a-shimmer and it feels like such a loss. 

Still, there is beauty in the new dark-chocolate stain and the bright white trim.

And the ivy, pruned to its roots, is still alive after all, and come spring, like the hair on the head of the vanquished Samson,  will once again be growing, growing, growing…. 

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