Yesterday, I got my hair cut. Well, let's put that another way: I got my hair FIXED, which involved highlights, lowlights, trimming, consultations, a spell under a rotating space age dryer thingie and FIVE HOURS of work by several dedicated professionals. Also the going price for a small condo in Manhattan, but we won't go into that because, you know, who needs to buy heating oil or food when she is beautiful? The reasoning behind this extravaganza was that it will allow my hair to grow out into it's long neglected natural color (tactfully referred to as "dark blonde with some red" or, more accurately, brown) and let the gray go ahead and do it's thing, thus enabling me to, gulp, "age gracefully" without too much awful trauma in there and meanwhile maintaining a glamourous yet professional appearance. One hopes. Sheesh. The upshot of all this was that I sat for a long long time (do you know how long, boys and girls? Yes, that's right! FIVE hours!) in front of a mirror. I don't think I've ever contemplated my own visage for so long, not even when I was in the throes of adolescent zits and melancholy. It's hard to look at yourself for a protracted period of time when you're as old as I am: you keep hearing The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald playing in the background. Either that, or, if you share with me the tragic glory that is the Celtic heritage, you realize that you're starting to look like an early documentary photograph of some fun event like the potato famine or a weeping mother from the Gangs of New York era. I look like I should be clutching my worldly goods on a cart while the British beat my family with sticks and let the cattle graze over my cottage. Yes, my cheekbones are getting more Irish by the moment, as are my giant eyebrows and, thanks Dad, sideburns. Ah the joy that is sideburns. The hairdresser was sympathetic but firm: there's nothing you can do except put pomade on them and hope for the best. Prayer, perhaps. To St. Brigid of the bushy eyebrows and gray sideburns that make us Irish women of a certain age so resemble muppets.
I reeled out into the daylight to discover that I had fabulous hair and a whole bunch of guests from Baltimore waiting impatiently for me at home. There were people here I hadn't seen for many many years; one in particular since she was seven, and now she's thirteen and looks like a particularly stunning twenty two. I commiserated with her mother. All these young teenage children seem to have more self possession, maturity, good looks and fashion sense than I ever have had or ever will, and I include my own son in this daunting category, even if he does spend hours standing in front of the open refrigerator door whining about the lack of food therein. So we all went off to the Brew N' View, which, as I have mentioned I think about a thousand times, is where I always take out of towners. We let the kids pick the table, which meant that we sat next to the Dance Dance Revolution machine, which is why there are approximately a thousand blurry photos of the Dance Dance Revolution machine on my Flickr photostream. Including MOI, since I got up there and, I thought, did not too badly for being a)elderly, b) somewhat intoxicated, c) fat and d) unable to read instructions in Japanese. I got up to Level 2 and the other adults thought that was great but the kids shook their heads pityingly and gently escorted me back to my seat. I'll probably die of some mysterious disease now anyway: I was barefoot at Asheville Pizza. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
It was great to see everyone if somewhat disconcerting to discover that they were not, after all, frozen in time six years ago but have kept right on growing up. A & her boyfriend and I drove up to Bat Cave this morning with muffins for the crew and then slowly made our way home through the apple corridor that is 64, stopping to ooh and ahh over chainsaw bears, a chainsaw wizard and even a remarkably wonderful chainsaw rhinocerous. Yes, a rhinocerous, a beautiful carved thing who was light years better than your usual run of the mill chainsaw bears, raccoons holding signs that say Howdy, and, inexplicably, a life size chainsaw cowboy with two guns drawn. Alas I had forgotten my camera. We bought dusty apples from a creepy old farmstand that had decaying possum and raccoon hides stapled all over it (turns out old WNC hasn't completely disappeared just yet) and somewhat nicer apples from a bright and shiny farmstand that apparently laces their cider with sugar. It's been a nice weekend. And I look fabulous. Right? Right?