Wanna know a little secret? My hair isn’t really straight. Yup, I’m a curly girl.
Not just wavy, or frizzy. I’m talking bout full on Shirley Temple ringlets. And no, I don’t have keratin treatments, and I stopped doing the thermal reconditioning that was killing my hair every six months. It’s just curly sue spirals, but no one who met me after 2006 would ever know. Weekly blowouts are my sinful indulgence, and the hour per week I need for that is non-negotiable.
(Bertie, circa 2004)
As a working mom, time is of the essence. Which means to say, there is no time. No time for working out. No time for manicures and pedicures. No time for anything other than keeping my household from becoming buried in paper, managing a schedule for five people, job commitments, and the desperate attempts to spend quality time with my kids whenever I don’t have said commitments.
There are times I am feeling the most overwhelmed, frustrated with my extended family, and physically ill from the state of the mess that was once my kitchen. Times when that drowning sensation makes me simply want to succumb to because it’s so very suffocating. These are the times that I swallow my big girl pride and concede that perhaps I could use a professional to talk to. But guess what? There’s. Just. No. Time.
So, just like any no-nonsense, type A, practical business woman, I multi-task. Those weekly blowouts I mentioned earlier? They ARE my therapy sessions. I know that on Sunday mornings, after the boys have been dropped at religious school, I drive straight to the blow dry salon, and go directly to that sink for not just one, but TWO glorious shampoos. I get offered a glass of champagne or a cup of coffee depending on what I did the night before, and I get to breathe. There’s no couch in this therapist’s office, but in my towel turban, I sit myself gingerly in that clementine tinged chair and dish.
And that’s where it comes out. Everything I am dealing with, all my thoughts, my projects, a whole week’s worth of experiences and observations. I can relish telling disgustingly adorable stories about what Lark said in school. I can talk about the goody bags I am planning for Sparrow’s 6th birthday party. And yes, an occasional complaint, and even a sporadic tear, manage to work their way into the narrative.
And she listens. This 24 year old stylish spritely girl who reminds me of Lindsay Lohan at her peak, with her light weight hair dryer and a mean knack for using a curling wand, listens and empathizes with my every word. She’s always on my side, she’s wise beyond her years. She’s motivated yet kind.
It’s a two way conversation. I ask about her life and it’s not as perfect as you might think. She nudges me when I need to be kept in line, or carefully suggests I might actually sometimes get carried away. She’s not feigning interest, her insight is authentic. She keeps me sane. And she keeps my hair looking fabulous.
So here’s to you Clarissa, or should I say Dr. Feelgood? I may not have room in the schedule for real therapy, but this seems to work just fine (and for $25 bucks, what a steal!). I walk out of that salon feeling a weight lifted from my shoulders and my hair bouncing voluminously above them.