Last week I had brown hair for two days. I am still in recovery, but I will be okay. I am taking it day by day.
Here is my story:
I never intended to have brown hair. That’s why, when I sat down in the stylist’s chair, I said, “Please give me blonde highlights.” Then I held out an iPhone picture of me with blonde highlights and repeated, “Blonde highlights.”
However, the stylist—let’s call her “Dreamwrecker”—misunderstood the words “blonde highlights.” She instead thought I said, “Turn my hair dirty fish tank brown with large stripes of grey so it looks like 2001 Kelly Clarkson had sex with Pepe Le Pew and my head is their baby girl LaWendi.” I don’t know, it was a little loud in there.
(Sidenote: When I first saw Dreamwrecker, I was a bit worried because she had blue hair and a nose ring. On the one hand, that could mean she’s too edgy for me. But on the other hand, that could mean she’s way into hair and knows the latest looks. After all, the haircut I once got from a guy with “PUNCH” tattooed on the knuckles of his right hand and “DRUNK” tattooed on the knuckles of his left hand was pretty good after the asymmetrical bangs grew out.)
Back to my tragedy.
I thought everything was going according to plan, but when she finished and spun me around in the chair, I stared at myself in the mirror and didn’t think I looked very blonde. “Well, maybe it’s the lighting,” I told myself. “Because surely Dreamwrecker did exactly what I asked her to do.”
Oh, no, no, no. Au contraire, mon frere. Dreamwrecker did whatever the f-ck she wanted to do.
I know this because when I got home, my husband looked and me and said, “What the—where’s my wife? Are you here to do my taxes, lady? I didn’t know CPAs traveled!” (He meant no disrespect to accountants. It’s just that for the first time in my life, I looked like I could do math.)
My son Jack then walked in and stared at my head with fearful wonderment in his eyes. “It’s like, part Grandma, part Teddy, part the bathroom rug in the upstairs bathroom that Sam threw up on that one time, you know that one? and part yellow Starburst after it’s been left in the rain. Can you go in your room when my friends come over?”
If I’d told you that I was skipping town, leaving my family and had just dyed my hair in the Shell Station bathroom with a kit from Dollar General, you would have said, “Need to borrow a tank top and a suitcase?”
The bad news is that the salon was closed for the day, so I couldn’t go back and get it fixed. The even badder news is that the very next morning, my mouse underbelly hair and I left for one of the biggest events of my life: the Listen to Your Mother book signing/reading in Brooklyn. I was very nervous about how I looked, so in the taxi from the airport, I texted my good friend Mariana, who I was staying with, for some words of encouragement. Here’s what I got instead: “Even Kim Kardashian is blonde now.”
Over the two days I was in NYC, I saw at least 100 people I knew. Fortunately, I’m very skilled at social interaction, so I don’t think any of them had any idea that I was going through a personal crisis when I shook their hands/hugged them and said, “Hey! Great to see you! How are your child—I KNOW MY HEAD LOOKS LIKE 50 ENTWINED SEWER RATS ARE TAKING A NAP ON TOP OF A DISCOUNTED BURT REYNOLDS COLLECTION TOUPEE, SO STOP STARING AT ME BECAUSE I CAN’T DO YOUR TAXES AND OH GOD I WANT MY FANCY LADY BLONDE HAIR BACK SO BAD I’M NOT PEPE LE PEW’S LOVE CHILD.”
Then, just when I thought I’d make it back to Austin without any true humiliation, my friend Ann Imig told me we were going to meet at the ABC studios the next day to be taped for a Listen to Your Mother Mother’s Day spot. So, my first time on network TV. With my Dirty Swiffer mop hair. Stephen King wouldn’t even do that shit to an axe murderer character.
Here’s me in the make-up/hair room at ABC getting prepped. The best thing the professionals could say about it was, “Well, it’s not bad.” Yeah, like Charles Manson wasn’t bad, he just had a weird way to team build. Here’s the horror (I’m the pissed off Veronica behind Betty):
I don’t know when/if the segment will air on ABC—I really hope it does for Ann and the other book contributors–but if you do watch it, you may want to put on sunglasses first so you don’t start screaming when you see me looking like someone who’s on the news because she shot her boyfriend in the shower. (Trigger warning!)
The morning after I landed back in Austin, I high-tailed it back to the salon where they promised another stylist would fix my hair for free. Which she did. Exactly two feet away from Dreamwrecker’s chair. Yeah, that wasn’t awkward at all. But to my credit, I played it cool and didn’t glare at her or yell, “WHERE’S YOUR COSMETICIAN LICENSE BECAUSE I WANT TO PEEEEEEE ON IT.” Also, fun fact, she was reblonding yet another victim of hers at the time. She clearly has a problem with us Yellow Hairs. I need to report her to whatever government office handles blonde discrimination and/or the Norwegian Embassy and/or The Playboy Mansion ASAP.
Luckily, the Cleaner Upper Stylist did a fantastic job and returned me to my former self. Much to the relief of everyone on Facebook who kept leaving comments on my brown hair whining posts that said caring things like, “Starting a GoFundMe page for you right now!” and “Can you speak Spanish now?” and “At least now your hair matches the circles under your eyes.”
But, rest easy people because our long national nightmare is over–take this, stupid Dreamwrecker, you anti-Blondite.
So to those of you who mocked/supported/rolled their eyes/sighed at me during this difficult time, thank you. I have been on the brown side of the moon, and made it back to tell the tale. Even though I walked through the darkest valley of brunette, I feared no evil because — ok, I feared a lot of evil, namely not being able to talk my way out of speeding tickets anymore, but you get the idea. I did not go gently into that good night where there are no blonde highlights and the gray streaks glow in the dark.
But the blonde is back, baby. The blonde is back.