Thursday, April 23, 2009

Grandma Goes Grey

Actually, I began going grey long before I was a grandmother. It was really annoying, because the best feature of my fine, limp hair was its shine and color. I called it dark brown. My friend insisted it was black. "No, " I said, "I'll tell you who has black hair. It's your sister, Dodie." "That's what I mean, " she replied. "Your hair is black, just like Dodie's." Whatever.

In my thirties, I started using Clairol's shampoo-in haircolor. By my forties, I was having semi-permanent haircolor applied at a salon. By my sixties, I had become so grey I needed a stronger product. The question was: could my baby-fine hair withstand the harsh chemicals? After two or three months and much breakage, I had my answer. My stylist cut it as short as she could for the growing-out phase. As new silver-grey hair came in during the next six or seven months, the remaining color faded from brown to an ugly orange. I was a sight. My sister took one look at me and laughed. "Now you have hair just like Ginger's," she said. Ginger was Barbara's orange-and-white Brittany spaniel.

Meanwhile, at work, our team had enjoyed a small success. We were invited to brief an important agency official on our project, along with teams from eight other offices. I went first. After my 3-minute talk (with slides!) was over, the Big Chief said, "I have to leave the room for a minute. I need everyone to hold their questions until I get back."

When he returned, he forgot all about the questions and went on to the second briefer. Later, I told my team chief that I was a little disappointed about that. "Oh," replied Kurt, "He just wanted to spare your feelings. He knew the question everyone was dying to ask was, 'What the hell have you done with your hair?' "

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Story of My Life as a Failed Multi-tasker

I was so proud of myself yesterday morning.

The Tree Hugger was away, so I filled the feeders for "his" flock of 500-plus wild birds and threw seeds on the ground for the mourning doves, a passel of obnoxious squirrels, and Mr. and Mrs. Mallard. Fed the indoor fish, the pit bull, and the tuxedo cat. Scooped out her two litter boxes (one's on "her" screened porch), made the bed, got breakfast, cleaned up the kitchen, folded two loads of laundry and managed to get into my churchy clothes for a late-morning funeral before our 6-year-old grandson arrived at 7:30 AM. (His school was still on spring break.) Wrote a couple of letters, paid some bills, read a book about bats with the grandson. Just before leaving for the funeral, I brushed my teeth. Then we set out in the pouring rain. Dropped him off at his other grandmother's, drove to church, found a parking space, found my umbrella in the cargo space (a small miracle in itself), nimbly avoided puddles and streams and arrived at our church with ten minutes to spare.

Took off my coat, settled down to listen to the organ prelude, and noticed dried toothpaste all down the front of my dark, silky blouse.