Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Going back to my roots

I'M NOT a person who generally handles change well. I like to find something I like and stick with it.

I guess that is the reason I'm still wearing worn out house slippers and tatty old pyjamas. They mightn't look good, but they are the comfiest things in my wardrobe.
Likewise, the big man to whom I am married has been trying to persuade me to up sticks and move to a bigger house- one that actually has a garden instead of the lovely plot of concrete outside the front door that we currently sport.
But I'm comfy in my current surroundings. Yes, I would love a shiny new kitchen and a plumbing system from the 21st century. I would like the wee man to have a patch of grass to kick his football around on, but the one thing I can't escape from is that I like that my house feels like a home.
It always did feel like home- from the first time we viewed it- so, for now, it is going to stay home for a few years yet. I'm much too comfortable in it to think about trying to find somewhere else with a similar feel good factor. And if I'm honest, I couldn't be bothered with the whole house hunting/ making offers/ packing/ unpacking nonsense- it would be enough to earn me a one way ticket to Gransha.
But prone as I am to sticking my head in the mud and denying any inevitable changes in my life, there are times when even I get fed up with the status quo and decide to add a little excitement into my life.
So last week, armed with my copy of "Tik a Brik" (Take a Break to the uninitiated) I sauntered into my local hairdressers and announced in a falsely confident voice that I wanted a change.
"Get rid of the blonde," I said, "Turn me back into the brunette I really am."
I suppose if I'm honest I half expected the hairdresser to laugh me out of the place. After all, it's not really the done thing to be 29 in Derry and not have blondey bits streaked through your hair. It's an unwritten rule we should all adhere too- right up there with drinking WKD and wearing pointy boots.
But I knew I had to feel the fear and do it anyway. My hair was a split-ended, dried out, rat's nest mess of multi-tonal streaks and highlights (see, I know the hair dressing lingo) and I longed for a sleak, glossy look to see me through the winter months. (Anyone who suggests I would have been better fixed eating a couple of meals of Pedigree Chum should prepare to feel my wrath!).
I know it sounds hopelessly vain to admit that changing a hair style can have an effect on how you feel about yourself, but the change back to my natural hue has been quite an experience.

Gentlemen prefer blondes?
I'm not sure I've ever been a big believer in the adage that "Blondes have more fun", but I had got used to dealing with the golden tones over the last three years. At times, they made me look glam and sun-kissed. At other times they made me look like a weird combination of Vanessa Feltz and Miss Piggy- but for the most part I had gotten used to my lighter hues. I even bought a slogan T-shirt in the summer emblazoned with "Blondes are Best".
But then I realised I didn't actually really like my hair any more. I was just staying blonde because it saved the hassle of growing it out or trying to find a colour that suited. I had fallen into a comfort zone with my hair and just like my tatty old pyjamas or ramshackle house I was letting myself carry on as things were just because, quite frankly, I couldn't have been footered to change.
So I let my hairdresser decide what to do with my bonce. And she whacked on the dye quicker than I could read all my True Life Tales and Tightwad Tips in Tik a Brik.
She then lopped huge great chunks off, leaving me sitting in a semi-gibbering state wondering if it was now inevitable I would leave the salon looking like the fat one with the bowl haircut out of "Birds of a Feather".
In all honesty though, it looks ok. I need to adjust my make up and ditch the 'Blondes Are Best' T-shirt but apart from that I'm adjusting to my new serious grown up look. The wee man took a wee while to adjust to mammy's new hair and my niece informed me she wanted me to go back to being a "blondey bear" like her- but generally the response has been positive.
But what has impacted on me more than all the comments and strange looks has been how I've felt in my self. You see I'm not a vain person. I'm not a person who usually spends time thinking, let alone writing, about my appearance. (Well occasionally, to go on and on and on about how mind blowingly fat I am- but that is another column!)
So to realise the thing that has consumed most of my waking thoughts this week has been the fact that my new shampoo (just for brunette hair, how fancy!) smells like chocolate and that I have had to reacquaint myself with my straighteners and fancy dan serums is a bit worrying.
Sadly I've become a hair twiddler- running my fingers through my shorter locks and thinking about nice wee clips i could buy it dress it up a bit. I have refused to go the shop because it was raining and I didn't want to ruin the do and I've even spent an inordinate amount of time wandering round the town looking at new clothes which match my new colours.
Dare I say it, I am embracing the change and looking to do more to improve myself. I'm still pretty sure I won't be buying any new houses in the near future though. After all, the song does say "One dye at a time...."

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