Not Ashley Judd

On Monday, I posted this on Facebook:

Ashley Judd Haircut Facebook Post.jpg

I do not – nor will I ever – look like Ashley Judd.

There are many other ways I am not like Ashley Judd:

  1. I do not have a make-up artist.
  2. Actually, I don't wear make-up at all.
  3. I do not have a hair-sylist.
  4. Actually, I don't style my hair at all.
  5. I don't even wash my hair that often.
  6. I don't have any kind of stylist.
  7. I am not married to a race-car driver.
  8. I have not considered running for congress.
  9. I could go on, but I won't.

People have said I remind them of her, like Tommy, the older gentleman who used to bag my groceries, but then he couldn't remember her name, so he'd say "Hey there, Sheila!" every time he saw me. I've also had people say I look like Natalie Portman, Winona Ryder, and Helena Bonham Carter. Countless people have also told me I look like their friend, "so-and-so". I once had a boyfriend who said I reminded him of a humpback whale. (I forcefully told him that it didn't matter how he meant it, that sort of analogy was never appropriate. He wasn't my boyfriend for very much longer after that.) The point is, I think I just have one of those doppelgänger faces. For some reason it reminds people of people.

I do like a short hairstyle Ashley Judd used to have, so I brought a bunch of pictures of her with me to my hair cut appointment. I joked with the stylist that I wanted him to "make me look like Ashley Judd". After a little nervous laughter from him, I assured him that the pictures were just for reference to the style, length and layers of the type of hair cut I wanted. No miracles were expected. I even threw in a few pictures of myself in short hair to prove what I wanted was within the realm of possibility.

Two of these people are not Ashley Judd.

Two of these people are not Ashley Judd.

He then talked about the unrealistic expectations of some of his clients and how he has to remind them that these celebreties have hair-stylists that do their hair for them. [hint, hint] Coincidentally, Curtis had the same thought when I showed these pictures.

"You look great in short hair or long hair," my very, very wise husband began, "but don't get a hair cut that you have to 'style' everyday."

This was a not so subtle reference to difference number four between Ashley and me. I assured both Curtis and the man about to cut my hair that I was going into this haircut with realistic expectations. I am not, nor will I ever be, Ashley Judd. And I am okay with that.

By now you might be wondering how my haircut turned out. It is easy to post a picture of a celebrity on your Facebook page with a pithy comment about how you want to look like her. It is an entirely different thing to post a picture of yourself in a haircut that you've already compared to said celebrity, especially when you consider the aforementioned differences one through six. Even if  I hadn't inadvertently compared myself to a celebrity, posting a self-portrait is not an easy thing to do. Maybe if you are sixteen it is no big deal, but I am not sixteen.

I am not usually overly critical of the way I look. I am satisfied. But a part of the secret to my happiness with my appearance is not spending too much time looking at myself in the mirror or looking at pictures of myself. If I look at myself too long, any perceived flaw suddenly appears to be my most prominent feature.

Many were asking to see my new haircut and growing impatient. So I began to take self-portraits. I tried to find a flattering angle: looking up. looking down, looking off into the middle-distance, scowling, smirking, smiling, squinting, looking puzzled, and eventually looking annoyed.

I was becoming sick of myself, my face, and I even started hating my new hair-cut, which I had been perfectly happy with before my photo-session began.

This was my final self-portrait which just about sums up how I felt about the whole process:

I bet Ashley Judd has "people" following her around with lip balm, so that she never has chapped lips.

I bet Ashley Judd has "people" following her around with lip balm, so that she never has chapped lips.

Then came the editing. I tried different filters and different brightnesses. I even tried to erase the dark circles under my eyes.

Haircut 3.jpg

Then I tried lightening my whole face to remove all wrinkles and blemishes.

Haircut 6.jpg

Hey, why not blot out my face entirely? It was the hair everyone wanted to see anyway, right?

Haircut Face Flare 2.jpg

Are you sick of me, yet? Curtis certainly was. I was flipping through pictures of myself for him like an ophthalmologist flipping through lenses. "Which wife do you like better? This one or this one? How about this one? Is this one better? Or this one? I think he answered yes to all of the above. Did I mention he is very wise?

Enough of that. Here is my new haircut. And my old face. And some guy walking by behind me.

Haircut Original 3.jpg

Mio Peloso Italiano

 
My hairy Italian

My hairy Italian

 

I am married to a swarthy Sicilian. He is dark and handsome and.... hairy. All his hairs look the same: short, dark, coarse, and curly.

The other day I opened the camera on my phone while it was pointed down at some vintage Fire King coffee mugs that my mom gave me. I liked the way it looked, so I snapped the picture.

Later, I took a closer look.

 
Fire King Mugs with Beard Hair

Fire King Mugs with Beard Hair

 

Aren't they awesome mugs? Let's just ignore what I'm going to assume is a beard hair on the kitchen table. Okay?

Jackpot!

I have started calling Curtis the human slot-machine. I find coins all over the house: pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. I find them in the usual places, like on the bedside table, in the bottom of the washing machine and in the couch. I also find them on the floor of every room of the house. I even find them on the floor of the shower. Now, think about that for a minute. Where exactly are they coming from that they could wind up there?

Tradition!

Thanksgiving Day this year didn't go quite as I had planned. Curtis had to work until 3pm (shame on all who fly on holidays). It was also King's dad's year to "have" him for Thanksgiving, but he and his wife had graciously invited us over to their house for Thanksgiving dinner. Not exactly a "traditional" arrangement, but Curtis and I would be able to spend the holiday with both of our children: a complete family (and then some).

The only truly traditional happening was that our family was playing that old holiday favorite: "Pass-the-Virus". Curtis and Mike had cought a cold. Mike woke up Thanksgiving morning barking like a bull seal. I was valiantly trying to fight off the bug by downing immune enhancing fizzy vito-mineral cocktails.  My plan was to get as much rest as possible before Curtis got home, then pump Michael full of cough supressant, so that at least he wouldn't be spraying his germs quite so violently around the holiday table.

I woke from my nap to find Curtis home and Michael hacking away, worse than ever. I laid out my "plan" for Curtis, to which he responded:

"What are you talking about? Do you hear Michael coughing? We can't go!"

[SCREACHING TIRES]

[NEEDLE SLIDING OFF RECORD]

I will spare you all the ugly details of my reponse to this proclamation. Let it suffice to say that it culminated with me spitting out the utterly unhelpful question:

"So, what, we just cancel Thanksgiving then?"

Curtis was right, of course. We were invited guests to someone else's celebration - guests that were supposed to bring beer and pie, not a heaping helping of the rhinovirus to share. In my mind, however, Thanksgiving was ruined and I proceeded to make sure it remained ruined, no matter who I took down with me. While Curtis was trying to salvage our day by trekking out to Ruby Tuesdays to pick up some $9.99 Thanksgiving Turkey Specials (no cranberry sauce... grrr) and Double Chocolate Cakes (no pie... grrr), I was plotting to remove the last semblance of Thanksgiving tradition: football. I flipped through the channels and decided upon "The Fiddler on the Roof", which was just starting. In my semi-concious effert to punish the messenger, the bearer of Thanksgiving Day gloom (i.e. Curtis), I had landed upon the perfect weapon... a Jewish Musical!

Poor, Reb Tevye. He had built his life on traditions and they were all crumbling out from underneath him.

"Traditions, traditions. Without our traditions our lives would be as shaky as, as... as a fiddler on the roof!"

Oh, how I could relate. My "traditions" were slipping away from me, too.

"Who should have her children with her on Thanksgiving?

Have some turkey with cranberry sauce and pie?

The Mama! The Mama! Tradition!"

I have learned over the years, that nothing sends me down the drain faster than a special day being treated like any other day. This is why I always make sure I plan something for myself on my birthday. Forget all that coyness, waiting to see if people remember, which only leads to dissapointment. However, considering the current situation, all my efforts to keep special days special can be thwarted easily enough by... well... real life.

So who's really to blame for this Thanksgiving "disaster"? Let's start with the usual suspects: me trying to control things I have no control over and setting my hopes on them. Time to shake off my tiara and stop worrying so much about how I am going to make the holidays sufficiently jolly and focus a bit more on what makes the ordinary days, not quite so ordinary. Traditions are not bad, but they are only worthwhile if they point me to the goodness that can be found in regular time.

Things to be thankful for on days other than the fourth Thursday of November:

  • My husband still has a job, even on holidays.
  • My eldest son has two whole families who love him.
  • I have a roof over my head, food on the table, a family to love, and all the wonderful, ordinary things that go along with them.
  • My God loves me enough to tear down my faulty foundations once in awhile in order to turn my heart back to Him.

“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed." Isaiah 28:16

Totally Ridiculous

Big Bavarian.jpgI sat down with King and started watching the cartoon that was on the television. It showed three girls dressed up in Bavarian costumes. What was odd was that one of them was quite over-weight. I was more than a little intrigued, and kept watching, wondering if maybe the creators of this show had actually developed a plus-size heroine. The next scene depicts the large girl rolling down a hallway like a bowling ball, knocking over some bad guys. The scene after that has her wedged in the door of a tram-car. As if that weren't ridiculous enough, one of the skinny girls takes hand lotion from her purse, pours it on her, and she pops out.

Totally Stuck.jpg"King, What IS this?"

He answers, quite matter-of-factly, "Totally Spies."

"Do you want to watch something else?"

"No. I like this."

I really didn't like the idea of him watching and absorbing this crap, but my attempt to get him to change the channel was half-hearted, simply because I was dying to see where the hell they were going with this story line.

It turns out our three heroines are in a cookie factory trying to save the world from an evil cookie maker. The fat spy (named "Clover") keeps slowing them down, because every time she sees a cookie she has to eat it. I notice that the factory workers are huge too and they are being feed cookies while they work. Not only are they grabbing cookies off the production line, but machines are hurling cookies directly into their mouths. Cut to close-up of fat worker's mouth: chomp-chomp-spit-slobber cookie after cookie.

Big Red.jpgThe girls finally escape their fantasy-frau costumes and appear in their regular (I assume) spy outfits, which are made of shiny skin-tight  spandex. As you can imagine, the outfit is not flattering on Clover. It also makes it obvious how unnaturally skinny the other two are.

At this point, I am drop-dead sure this show was created by a man and, as you may have suspected, this is the first and only episode that will feature a plus-size butt-kicking binging spy. In Totally Spies cartoon reality, Clover is just as emaciated as the rest of them. She, along with the factory workers, had gotten fat by eating cookies laced with a highly addictive ass-inflating serum. Thankfully, there is an anecdote. PERFECT!

The final scene shows the girls shopping at the mall. They are back in their "day-clothes" and Clover is back to her "normal" size.

"I'll take this in a large." says Clover.

"What?" The other girls protest, " You said you'd never wear anything but a medium ever again!"

"I've decided it's best just to be happy with who you are."

Never mind that the item she is buying is a HAT! Oh, isn't it great?! Clover learned that it's o.k. to have a big lolly-pop head on top of a stick body. What's really important is that you learn to love your big head for what it is. Way to go, Clover.

The Curse.

When I read the story of "The Fall of Man" in the Bible and the curses God put on man and woman, I really didn't think they were that bad. Pain in childbirth... annoying, but doable. I mean, on average, you'll have to deal with this 2.5 times in your life and once its over, its over. But my new theory is that the entire reproductive cycle of a woman has been cursed. Before the fall, do you think once a month Eve got all psycho-bitch on Adam and all the animals? Not in Paradise, I'm sure.

So, I blame Eve. She just had to eat that apple and now I am stuck with monthly psychotic episodes where I take my family hostage, say the most horrible things to the people I love the most, and turn innocent remarks into attacks on my personhood which must be violently defended. Oh joy. Not to mention all the other lovely "inconveniences" that go along with a healthy female reproductive system.

At least it won't last my entire life. Eventually, the whole system will start to shut down and then I'll enter into a whole new kind of CRAZY. Mmmmm... I love being a girl.

Potty Mouth

I cleaned the bathroom. I cannot fully express to you how disgusting it was. In desperation, I sponged the whole thing down with a bucket of bleach.

The exercise has not left me with much optimism about my future in this area. Living with three males: two independent urinators and one future dribbler, it looks as though the amount of pee that will MISS the toilet and end up on my scrub sponge is only doomed to increase.

I know that my gripe is as old as "why can't you remember to put the toilet seat down?" But I cannot help but ask those of the "member" gender: Considering you've had since age three (I feel I'm being generous here) to hone your skills, why the hell isn't your aim any better?