Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Another Day, Another Interview
It is damn lucky that I even made it to this interview, because as of yesterday I was still in the throes of believing that it was happening Thursday, which is to say, tomorrow. I was so convinced that it was happening on Thursday, actually, that I ignored all evidence to the contrary, including the correct date written on the kitchen calendar, the email with the correct date in the subject line and my own memory of the phone conversation setting the interview date and time. I was so convinced of this that I went ahead and scheduled a hair appointment for today at noon so that I would look excellent and professional for the interview tomorrow. This was a serious hair appointment at a real salon, too, not just my usual haphazard wander, hoping for the best, into the salon where it is cheap and they give away free beer . That strategy sometimes works - and sometimes it does not. Yeah, and like the little girl with the little curl, when it is bad it is horrid.
The reason I was so convinced was that I knew it was going to happen on my old friend Ray's birthday. As it turns out, yes, it did: today is his birthday and we can all wish him a happy birthday and point out that after his two months of being two years younger than me he is again now only one year younger than me, so there. How I managed to convince myself that August 4 was on a Thursday, I don't know, but I did it and if Ray had not called me yesterday to taunt me with his youth I probably would have been sitting in a hairdresser's chair this afternoon instead of in the throes of academia talking seriously to a search committee. This would have been bad.
Men, I suspect, can go off to interviews without much preparation. They put on a suit - their good suit, the interview suit that they bought in 1988 that still is in fashion and still fits and maybe pay $20 to get a trim (or, for my peer group, a head wax - I kid because I love) and then there they are, ready to interview. It is maddening. For those of us with the double x chromosomes, it is different. I had to go shopping - three hours at the Dillard's clearance center, oh lord - and buy interview clothes and then make an expensive hair appointment . I had to plan, actually, to spend my entire weekly unemployment stipend on a chance to get a job. Oh well. LIfe is unfair and gender inequities are beyond the scope of this blog. Besides, it is rough to be a guy. I would not trade even for the twenty year old suit and the ability to write my name in the snow. And now I have a couple of pairs of interview pants - neither of which, naturally, I wore today. Although I did wear the shell and jacket.
However. After straightening my calendar out and canceling the hair appointment and indulging in the obligatory freak out, I decided that something had to be done about my hair anyway. Therefore, I talked my daughter into accompanying me to Sally Beauty Supply, a comforting shop of which I am fond. They have styrofoam heads there for $4.99, after all, and black rubber gloves and mysterious hair products and the whole place smells nicely of aesthetic chemicals. Audrey and I debated colors and finally settled on one that we thought might be too edgy but was not insanely boring and yet was close enough to what remained of my last color job so that it would not require complete bleaching of my much abused follicles first. We got the developer - at Sally Beauty you do not get the convenient little box like you do at the drugstore; oh no, you have to buy each bit separate and they assume that you know what you are doing - and the gloves and a couple teeny bottles of nail polish just because and then I came on home to do my hair.
It is not really a good idea to dye your hair a complete new color with a brand new product the night before a job interview.
Particularly when the color your hair turns is purple.
I woke up this morning and went to the mirror and LO! I was rocking me some purple hair. Now, I love purple hair. I often have purple hair. Purple hair is the shizz and it is most excellent and rather becoming if I do say so myself but it is not, perchance, exactly appropriate for interviews unless it is 1989 and you are applying to work at CBGBs or an extremely poor yet intellectual gallery on the Lower East Side. You can get away with purple hair on the job after you've worked somewhere for six months or more, usually, but at an interview? It is kind of the kiss of death. I hied myself back to the shower and shampooed it vigorously and while this did eliminate the fuchsia scalp side effect - unsettling at the part! - it only muted the hair a little bit.
Oh well. When there is nothing you can do there is nothing you can do. I put my purple hair in a ponytail and I put on my Dillard's clearance conservative, classy yet slightly edgy shell and swingy jacket and my favorite striped linen pants for luck and I went off and, oh man, I hope, I dream, I think that I may have aced the hell out of that interview. Purple hair and all.