Sunday, January 28, 2007

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?

5 comments:

DC Celine said...

So strange...and scarves are a perfectly reasonable travel accessory. Did you pair w/ oversizezd sunglasses? Maybe that would work - and make people think you're a starlet instead of a patient...so strange

natalie@theliquidmuse.com said...

Considering how tired / stressed I looked, probably not so strange...

Yes, sunglasses and gold hoop earrings would have surely helped... but, in an airplane, at that time of the am, sunglasses would have made me look more cheesy than sickly. I choose sickly.

Joy from the Beach said...

Pretty darn funny - I have had some really bad hair days but never thought of hiding it in a scarf. Well, if you look like a chemo patient to the stewards, I'd say girl that you and I need to join the gym as well as get some more rest!

natalie@theliquidmuse.com said...

Yes, indeed! Rest being the number one priority to me right this moment!

Kristine said...

That sounds a lot like my 2006, apart from the roots problem. Gaining weight, looking more haggard, but then again, can never really fix that until I've met this or that deadline, or finished this or that work trip/project - in the end, u just gotta get that work done, looks have to wait. Not good, but at least my workouts keep me sane:-)