For Better or For Worse…


I mentioned it earlier this week…I got my hair butchered cut…and I’m not happy about it.

In my first blog post in January 2012, I wrote “I wore my “new” sassy green boots on Saturday – an incredible find- and was feeling fabulous, when it dawned on me – I need a new hair style too, edgy with colour? Hmm…” Well, the blog continues, my mid-life crisis is happening, and I’m still feeling fabulous in my sassy green boots…but the haircut didn’t happen.

I’ve almost always had long hair. I grew up with a twisted notion that guys like to get their hands tangled up in a thick mane of lustrous locks. I have always thought that scene in the gag-me-with-a-dump-truck until-I-vomit-my-insides-out movies where a guy gently traces a girl’s face and sweeps a lock of hair off before uttering some nonsense that makes her melt, was romantic. I’ve been married 18 years; if those moments haven’t happened now, they’re not going to happen. I’m over 40 now. It’s time to grow up and move on.

I booked the appointment. I researched the requirements for donating hair to the Cancer Society and medium-length haircuts. I washed it and asked my Mom to snap a “before” picture…

Long Hair

I thought I was prepared. It was only hair after all. It would grow back. I had already confirmed that the stylist couldn’t do the colour as well, but I could add it later. I only had to lose 8”.

I thought I had been clear; I had a picture after all…

But hair is never just hair. It’s a woman’s nemesis and her definition. It’s sexuality and beauty, a “crowning glory”. It’s not just hair…

She cut off 12”.

“Once upon a time there was light in my life, but now there’s only love in the dark…nothing I can say, a total eclipse of the heart” - Bonnie Tyler/Jim Steinman, Total Eclipse of the Heart

My mother thought it was “cute”. She kept saying it over and over again, as if that somehow made it all better. I hate the word “cute”…have always hated it. Kittens are cute. Little girls with curls are cute. 40 year old women are not “cute”.

I looked like a used Q-tip. I looked like I was wearing a brown helmet. Where’s that dump truck?

Hubby first saw my new haircut Saturday evening. He never said he didn’t like it…but what he did say built upon my rapidly diminishing ability to keep a stiff upper lip, and his words haunted me until bedtime…that hour when all reason slips away quietly, just like the setting sun. And faced with my reflection in the glare of the fluorescent bathroom lights, I could see the truth.

First, came the gentle weeping, the slow trickle of tears from the corners of my eyes. But like a summer storm, the heavens opened with a torrential outpouring of unreasonable sorrow. I breathlessly sobbed a cacophony of unintelligible words behind my hands. I knew Hubby was probably panicking, grasping for something to say while knowing fully that nothing was going to stem this flow. His wife had turned into a monstrous behemoth of volatile emotions, and he may or may not be partly responsible. (I’m pretty sure he was amused as well, so don’t feel too sorry for him). Like a banshee, I cried , “I just wanted to be pretty…this is where you’re supposed to say ‘you are pretty’…even if (repeating Hubby’s humiliating statement)”, which succeeded in making us both laugh, even as I was hiccupping into my damp pillow. I fell asleep hoping my pillow didn’t grow mould in the humid room as I slept.

I wanted to stay in bed the next day but I had to help lead worship. I had to start facing my world again…So, here I am world. Smiling on the outside…while still dying a little inside.
Short Hair

It’ll grow back, right?

I should have reminded Hubby he married me for better or for worse…

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette


A silhouette, is the outline of someone or something against a lighter background. Their contrasting forms or shadows can create dramatic pictures.

I think some of the most beautiful silhouette photographs I’ve seen have been taken on a beach at sunset…but I don’t live near a beach. Or a lake. Or water of any kind unless you count the water in my wheelbarrow, the rusty one with the flat tire… And then one overcast day, as I was getting in the car, I saw this little fellow taking a moment to just enjoy the view.

Bird Silhouette

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops – at all -

 And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

- Emily Dickinson

To see more Silhouette photos, click here.

The Bath Mat


It wasn’t about the bath mat. In fact, it was never really about the bath mat. It was about wanting to “feather my nest” on a tight budget. It was about getting something new and pretty. It was about having warm toes on the floor after a hot shower…ok, it was mostly about the “nest”.  Every now and then the desire takes over and I feel a “need” to make my home more than just a place to eat and sleep, and hang out on weekends.

So I bought a bath mat…on sale…in a colour that I thought would look good in our bathroom. Finding a colour that goes in our bathroom is a challenge because our bathroom was built in 1959…with salmon & sea foam green tiles. It’s “retro”, but not in a good way! I proudly laid out my new bath, (after rubbing my face on it a few times – I certainly wasn’t going to do that after tender tootsies had snuggled into it, no matter how clean they might be). Hubby was the first to point out that the pale blue mat did not match. Sadly, he was right (and putting that in print will haunt me), and rather than fight with him, I took it personally, removed the mat and gave it a new home in the basement (the place where things go to die). You have to pick your battles after all.

I truly believe that husbands and wives are meant to be partners, two individuals who honour and respect each other’s responsibilities and expertise. But at the risk of ending up in hot water, I’m going to make this statement: “home-making” tends to be the wife’s God-given domain for womanly authority. It is part of our responsibility, and our place of influence. It is our sanctuary, our domain, and a part of her security. I re-read Proverbs 31 (how often have I despised this woman’s boundless energy!). In addition to running a business and supporting her husband in his affairs, she also runs her household wisely. She “selects wool and flax and works with eager hands…in her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers…she makes coverings for her bed…she watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness”. A wise husband recognizes his wife’s abilities and frees her to decorate and make the house a home. “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value” (Prov. 31:11-12 NIV*).

I’m definitely not saying a wife’s place is in the home, or that she should she get everything her own way, but that we are all uniquely gifted – and we should respect that!

I bided my time (a few months)…I watched sales. And I got my bath mat – 50% off! It’s super thick and off-white (you can easily see Hubby’s black sock fluff). But it’s staying and I’m happy. It’s about more than a bath mat.

* New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® All rights reserved worldwide.

Capture Your 365 (August 1- 10)


I cut my hair last week…I’m not ready to talk about it…

I was also on vacation last week – the last one of the Summer. I packed cotton skirts and t-shirts because it was supposed to be sunny and hot…and then the rains rolled in. It was freezing! I survived watching Little Guy swim one night by wrapping in a blanket and clutching a cup of hot tea. I even borrowed a pair of flannel pjs from my Mom…I’m not ready to talk about it.

Here’s the next installment in my Capture Your 365 project…better late than never. Feel free to click on the photos to see the prompt and the quotes.

Happy Tuesday!

 

 

References:

www.quotegarden.com

www.goodreads.com

www.brainyquote.com

Manifesto: Red Shoes


Every women, at some point in her life, must own (and proudly wear) a pair of red shoes. I don’t care if they are stilettos or sneakers, ballet flats or strappy sandals. Why? Because “Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes can change your life.” – Author Unknown

“Every woman” encompasses every age and stage. Whether she is a girl on the brink of becoming a woman, or a woman on the edge of becoming a grandmother. Whether she is falling in love, or saying farewell to an old one. Whether she is facing a new opportunity or living in mediocrity. Married or single, young or old – it’s important to feel like a woman. It’s important that she allow herself to be expressive and bold because she is worth it.

For years, I secretly coveted a pair of red high heels, but the dull side of me couldn’t justify such a purchase. Every time I passed a pair in a store window, I felt a twinge of guilt for even looking at such an impractical item. And one day I got tired of feeling guilty. My dreams are small and many will be unrealized…what was the big deal about wearing a pair of shoes in a sassy shade? Who decided I was to spend my lifetime in boring, basic black or blah brown? Only me…I bought a pair of shiny red heels. It was one of the first times I felt (dare I say it) sexy. I felt less like a country bumpkin in the big city; I felt “invincible”.  I wear them often!

I was shopping with my Mom yesterday, looking at red shoes and she casually commented that she wondered about getting a pair of red shoes too, but then what would she wear them with…and I immediately answered “everything”. I pair them with sundresses and jeans. I’ve inspired other women to step outside the box they’ve put themselves in to try some fabulous footwear. Ladies, no more excuses…

It’s time to Colour Our World. That little pop of colour can brighten any woman’s day…and make the world a little sunnier for those around her. “Color your world because the world is too simple in black and white.” –  Daniel Long

It’s time to Challenge Our World. “A shoe is not only a design, but it’s a part of your body language, the way you walk. The way you’re going to move is quite dictated by your shoes.” – Christian Louboutin When a woman feels glamorous, she is more likely to realize and to appreciate, what a beauty she is…inside and out. She will realize that it is okay to look and feel beautiful. It’s okay to stand out in a crowd. She will cease to be defined only by her job or her marital status, by the “hats” she wears in the world, and to reclaim her place as a woman in the world. She will re-discover her femininity and embrace it. Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, she will find her way “home”.

It’s time to Conquer Our World. When a woman feels like she looks good, she feels good! She feels confident. She stands taller. She will stand up and speak out for others. She will stand up and speak out for herself. She is more likely to overcome her inhibitions because she realizes that just by wearing ritzy red shoes and shining in the crowd, she already has. She isn’t defined by the “box” she has put herself in, or allowed herself to be put in by others. In the words of Marilyn Monroe, “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.”

What shade of red? “Bright reds – scarlet, pillar-box red, crimson or cherry – are very cheerful and youthful. There is certainly a red for everyone.” – Christian Dior

Did the addition of my red heels mean that I’m more willing to take risks, more willing to stand out in the crowd? Am I embracing a sassier side? Absolutely! A day is coming when I will trade in my red heels for something more comfortable and safe (since heels aren’t good for you). But that day is not today…and you can “bet your bottom dollar” that this Cinderella will wear red forever!

Wearing a Favourite: “To wear dreams on one’s feet is to begin to give reality to one’s dreams.” - Roger Vivier

Wearing a Favourite: “To wear dreams on one’s feet is to begin to give reality to one’s dreams.” – Roger Vivier

To see more Weekly Writing Challenge Manifestos, click here.

*all quotes are from www.brainyquote.com

Yo, Bro’!


It seems few people know that I have a big brother. I’m sure fewer people know that he has a little sister. From the very beginning I was doomed to bear the title, “Little Sister” – and not just as result of birth order. I also inherited the negative connotations associated with the title (i.e., “bratty pest”), even though I didn’t do most of the things that would justify such a name. I didn’t follow him or his friends around incessantly, steal his things, set him up and rat him out to Mom, or generally make a nuisance of myself (at least I’m pretty sure I didn’t)! Sometimes it seemed my very existence was an abomination in his world. He asserts to this day that, when asked if he wanted a little brother or a little sister, he most definitely said “little brother”. I cannot begin to imagine the horror he felt when pink invaded our home…

For the most part, he ignored me. Four years my senior, we had little in common. There were, of course, some usual big brother pranks…he locked me in dark closets and beheaded a few Barbie dolls. He required that I walk a respectful 10 paces behind him. He “punch-buggy-ed me” every time we saw a Volkswagon Beetle (I hated the poster in his room). And he had plenty of affectionate names for me: Stupid, Dipstick, Kitspid (which is dipstick backwards) and so on. He’d tease me by doing things like dancing around in Dad’s work boots like a ballerina. He and his friend would call the house after school when they knew I was home alone and in a gravelly voice, say: “Hi. I’m an axe murderer and I’m coming to kill you”. And we had conversations like:

Me: You’re stupid
Bro: I know you are but what am I
Me: You’re smart and funny and everybody loves you
Bro: I know I am but what are you.

Needless to say, it took me awhile to catch on.

Occasionally we did some things together. We fought over whether we were watching Star Trek or Little House. We fought over who left a “dribble” in the bottom of the milk bag and therefore, needed to change it. We conspired together and dumped my grandmother off her raft at the lake. When he got his license, we enjoyed driving places together with the windows down and the music cranked.

 

One summer he convinced me that sharks could swim up the St. Lawrence into our lake and adapt to the fresh water. I don’t think I went any deeper than my ankles the entire summer because I was afraid of fresh water sharks. He once tried to convince me there were white snow tarantulas too…

There was the time that my bro and his friend, and my friend and I, went to the fairgrounds to play Capture the Flag. My friend and I got bored and headed home. I went to the front door to get the house key (it was under a bag of salt between the two doors), but when I reached down, the door knob started to move…and then the door opened. I shrieked. To this day, I don’t know how he beat us to the house and got inside without being seen. I was still shaking hours later.

But once in awhile, my big brother came through for me. When my Mom had the flu and I was sad, he let me hug his arm…briefly. He saved me from drinking dead “flueggies” in my milk. And he let me borrow his Walkman when I got sent home from school with head lice.

So to my big brother, I’m sorry I wasn’t a little brother. But I’d just like to say, thanks for the memories. I love you and miss you. And finally,

Last week’s writing challenge was a memoir…I’m a bit behind…If you want to read other writers ‘ “memoirs”, you can click here.

The “Super-est” SuperMoon


I braved mosquitoes. I ventured down the road at dusk, praying I didn’t meet any skunks or coyotes out for a stroll. And I balanced precariously on a lawn chair and a wooden bench, knees bent, camera poised, breath held, trying to snap just one cool photo of Sunday’s Supermoon. I tried…

We have one new moon, and one full moon every month. Supermoons occur every 13 months and 18 days. Supermoons are the alignment of a full or new moon with the closest approach the moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit around 31,000 miles or 50,000 km closer to earth than when it is furthest away from the planet. The end result is a moon that is 30% brighter and 14% larger than any other full moon of the year.

I may have to satisfy myself this week with seeing just the moon. It’s the peak time for the perseids meteor shower but, as is usually happens, the clouds are rolling in, and I may be out of luck. I was going to share it with Little Guy this year…just super!

 

“I see the moon, the moon sees me
The moon sees somebody I want to see
So, God bless the moon and God bless me
And God bless the ‘Somebody’ I want to see” – James Merrill Brickman, I See The Moon

 

References:

http://www.timeanddate.com/

http://www.space.com/26779-supermoon-full-moon-august-2014-webcast.html

http://www.commdiginews.com/health-science/super-celestial-show-super-moon-tonight-perseids-this-week-livestream-slideshows-23485/#uAKoeSOArpXjb531.99

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermoon