It’s a Good Hair Day

Hair. It’s one of those crazy subjects like cars that everyone relates to.  Bad hair days.  Thank goodness for the parents who think it’s so cute when their child has a cowlick. Not my reaction to myself walking around all day with my hair whipped up by the wind, the finger-in-the socket effect and no one said anything.

Are there different standards for men and women? We seemed to think that boys and men should have short hair, to be considered to have a promising future, but with the new generation of entrepreneurs, all rules are off.

Image for girls and women on the other hand seem to have intensified.  It’s hair yes, and anti-wrinkle cream, and ideal weight, and being able to dance, sing, and play the piano (I’m all for that, of course).  Having the coolest bag and shoes and jeans and jacket occupies minds and conversation.  The popular girls set the norms. I wonder if popular means they base their looks after celebrities. Externals become the measurement of who we are if we let it. Hair is sometimes that first impression.

The way you wear your hair can be helpful. If you’re into athletics, sports, fitness, even piano recitals having hair that you can pull back out of your face.  My Granddaughter’s dance troop called the Starcatz are so professional.  They all have ponytails, heavy makeup, and have to pass intensive tryouts to show the skills. They meet before school twice a week and have a system of merits and demerits. The whole family showed up yesterday to the 8th grade volleyball game to watch two dance routines done in between the games.  At first it was hard to see which dancer was my Granddaughter.  They all tend to look alike, but her petite size helped me find her and do a short video.  I think Jade liked having her moment of attention and it was fun to hang out with family, too.

Having long hair was my trademark. With short hair, more than once, people would stop me in the street and ask if I was Ann Barry.  For me long hair was just easier to take care. Utilitarian. Although I never looked good in a ponytail.

When I decided to cut my hair, it was like a cutting-off-my-arm decision.  I needed a plan, a goal and luckily my friend and hair stylist, Kay, walked alongside me offering suggestions and commiserating and allowing a trial and error time until I could be okay with shorter hair.  At one time, my son Marc, tried to use persuasion.  “You know, Mom, if you cut your hair, you’d look younger.” But it was because I was spending so much money and putting Kay through so much to color over the grey that I decided to go shorter.

The biggest motivator was for my Granddaughter, Midori, who has alopecia and I had enough length to save it for a future wig if she wanted it.  Both Kay and I nearly had a heart attack as she put the shears to give me my first spike cut. I did that for several years, luckily my hair grows faster than most and I could do an annual cut until the quality of my hair had shown a problem from the over processing with dyes. We graduated to more natural dyes but the gray had become too stubborn and my hair was straw-like.   I decided Midori’s future possible wig had enough hair and I was going to stay short and go white.  Kay knew how to do that but I simply can’t accept it yet and she introduced low lights back in.

During all this I asked Kay to help me with a color accent.  We change it off about every 4 months and she knows how to blend colors to get the best result.

It helps that she is an actual artist, oils, chalk, sketches and makes purses, scarves, blouses, and tapestries from her art through VIDA.  Mainly guys say, “And why do you do that?”  Mainly young girls say, “I love your color.”  Each of my grandkids, grandsons included have experimented with kool-aid type of hair color. I’ve done it for almost 8 years so we don’t really talk about it, but I like it and that’s really what counts.

Bad hair days alluding to when things don’t go as planned, I admire Midori, for so taking on the world and for her acceptance of alopecia. She just asked  for dance lessons.  I know that things are expensive, but the dance rates and policies are what is expected today and my piano studio income doesn’t compare.  I hope to help her wish come true.  She has a birthday next month. 

This is a good hair day.

Getting from here to there

I like to drive my Prius.  When I first owned a 2000 Prius, there was only one other Prius in Cedar Falls, IA. It was also white and the person that owned it was Chinese.  I’m Japanese so my grandkids would say, “I saw you driving over in my part of town, Grandma.”  It wasn’t until we parked next to each other one day that I realized who my double was—actually a friend.  We laughed so hard our sides ached.  We continued to stay in better touch after that.

Now some 18 years later, I have a 2013 Prius, this time Metallic Silver.  There are three cars just like mine in a three- block area of my neighborhood.  Even four at a four-way stop.  I’ve been known to try to get into the wrong car in the parking lot at the mall.  It seems like my secret is out.  So many Priuses in our town of 41,400 people with my same color.  Where I thought  I was a pioneer and ahead of the curve, the curve is catching up. Friends who thought I had been misguided, have admitted in still hushed tones that they have jumped on the bandwagon and own a Prius.   Not sure if they’re embarrassed or proud.    I tried to form a Prius club in Cedar Falls when once in my chiropractor’s parking lot,  there were 3 other Priuses there.  With internet promotion, flyers on Priuses windshields, that day came and went and the one other person that showed and me dissolved after only one meeting. Prius owners are defiantly independent, not wanting to be identified, or are too busy driving.

I keep driving to CO., Chicago, TX. MN, even though the road is getting a little more congested with my car choice. I could wave and be friendly or I could try to leave them all behind since I do have a heavy foot, or I could ignore them and realize that there are more important things to take up my thoughts.  “How much cleaner is the air because of my car burning less fuel , and how much money does that translate into a savings for me. ” I then start thinking, “How do I get people to care about the environment through saving money for them, because money is a welcome topic for most people.” Some days I ask the question, “How do I get people to care about anything?” So I’m starting with a safe subject to get from here to there.  A car.

Cars are helpful to get us from here to there.  While visiting my son in Texas, we decided only to rent a car on days I needed to have one. The need is because he drives 40 minutes north to work, and Heather drives the other direction 40 minutes. Four teenagers need to get to and from school with after school activities, usually at different times and different schools. They’ve hired  a very responsible college age student who assists with the driving and also getting my two granddaughters to and from their Mom’s house a couple of days a week a half hour away. On the other days without wheels, it caused me to care more, speaking of caring.  “Oh my goodness!” I went through withdrawal, anxiety, and the need to eat snacks to calm myself.  On top of being carless, I wasn’t home and I wasn’t alone.

We can take for granted that we can get a certain amount of work done when there are no other humans in the house.  But it took me 1/2 hr. to find a washcloth to wash my face, and I gave up finding the light switch to the office.   Totally ineffective.  And then there’s the animals.  Pearl is a huge very loving blonde dog who I’ve watched try to be a lapdog for Heather and likes to bark to be let in from the outside.  Tallulah is small, black dog who irritatingly likes to go outside and lets you know with loud barking incessantly….. to just come back in two minutes later. And I know this because Pearl barks to come in.  In and Out may be the name of a burger place here but I’m convinced it is Pearl and Tallulah.

Then there’s Peter, a beautiful calico cat, big for a cat, with attitude. No one messes with Peter. The two very cute kittens, Nugget and Ruby, seem to have made it their mission to mess with Peter.  The hissing, arched backs and paw swipes just seems to be a game. The kittens are the cutest things I have ever seen, and smart.  They know not to get up on the surfaces and know that I am coming for them to help them down, so they’ll be quick to get down themselves and as soon as I’m walking away, they’re back up where they were just helped down from.  Keeping the doors closed has been helpful to keep the hamster in Jade’s room, and the guinea pig in Midori’s room from freaking out.   It’s a lot of watering, food, poop scooping and thanks to my good supplements I have had no allergies! 

From caring about cars to caring about other things may be a big jump. If I can do it, though so can you!

Big jump #1.  I care about animals more than I used to.  It helps to not be sneezing, having itchy eyes and skin.

BJ #2.  I am reminded about teenagers and sometimes one has to cool it on the caring and just pick your battles.  I really really care about family. I just did a mini facial on my almost 15 yr. old Granddaughter, Midori upon her request. Yesterday, I wasn’t sure she and I were going to find anything to talk about!  

BJ #3. Money is my friend.  It’s so pricey to raise a family in today’s society.  As a single Mom of two boys  45 years ago, I taught piano and had a fledgling Shaklee business that earned me 11 cars and all expense paid trips around the world.  In today’s economy people are choosing to be involved in entrepreneur activities.  So I care that they know about Shaklee.

I’m convinced that the biggest motivator for improving oneself is if we can be of service to someone else. What a perfect vehicle we have for that with Shaklee.  I love teaching piano and seeing the growth, and it’s equally gratifying to see people embrace the thinking, the legacy, and self care as well as looking outward and thinking of the other fella as Dr. Shaklee asked us to.

My best to you all. Thanks for reading this, Ann.