The Root (s) of The Matter...
I wasn’t trying to mislead anyone. I wasn’t intentionally exploiting the compassion of strangers. I only wanted to hide my roots.
As reflected in the “comments” section in a couple of my blog posts, people notice hair color! My hairdresser was booked so, a few days ago, I swung by the supermarket and grabbed a box of “dark golden blond,” intending to do it myself. Yes, risky, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
It has been a hectic couple of weeks. We moved into our new apartment on Jan. 14, had a party a week later, then my birthday a few days after that. Not to mention, two articles on deadline and, after a phone meeting with my new Lit Agent, Lilly, a ton of notes to work into the second draft of my cocktail book proposal. I woke up at 4:45, this morning, so as to make my 7:00 am flight to New York. Starring, blurrily, at my tired face in the mirror, I realized what slipped through the cracks…
“Crap!” I thought, “I look like crap! What if I run into the cocktail finalists or other journos on the connecting flight from NY to Helsinki? What kind of Muse has 2-inch long, dishwater-blond roots?” Ack! No time to do it right then. I was already cutting it close to make it to the airport on time.
I braided my bi-colored locks and grabbed a leopard-print scarf, which covers not only my roots, but my whole head. Perfect. I threw the box of Garnier into my suitcase and figured that, after arriving at the hotel on Sunday morning, I should have 7 hours to get some sleep and touch up my hair-color before meeting up with the others.
(I also learned, this morning, that driving 80 miles-an-hour down the 405, without traffic, gets me from our bathroom in Sherman Oaks to the check-in counter at LAX in 20 minutes, flat.)
I did not count on the reaction some people have to seeing a caffeine-deprived, pale-faced woman with bags under her eyes and her head swathed in a scarf. Once on the plane, I noticed that the Steward's soft smiles and extra attention were directed, specifically, to me. At first, I thought he was just doing his job - being nice to the passengers. But then he came over and whispered that if I’d like to lay down, there was a whole empty row I could have to myself. Did he think there was something wrong with me, and that's why I was wearing the scarf on my head? Feeling a wave of horrified guilt, I considered taking off the scarf, so he could see that I have hair, I'm perfectly fine, and he could direct his kindness to someone else on this flight who may be truly unwell, and need to recline.
But, frankly, I don’t want to take off the scarf. In my most vapid self of selves, I’d rather wear it than reveal that my personal appearance has taken a backseat to my work - for months, now. Thank God I’m back in LA so I can re-implement a healthy level of superficiality into my life. While away, I’ve gained 2 pant sizes worth of weight and completely replaced mani / pedis with manu-script rewrites. Time to get some balance in my life. (All work and no play makes The Liquid Muse a little chunky and unkempt.)
So, am I a shameless opportunist if my leopard scarf happens to also get me preferential treatment – or Heaven forbid - upgraded? Isn’t being a savvy traveler the root of the matter?