I’m no stranger to making sacrifices. After all, I drove a used mini-van for more than a decade. So, when my husband decided that our family needed to economize (again) I was all for it. Sure, I could cut my trips to Target. I could even buy a cheaper boxed wine for my husband. But, I think if I go any lower than Franzia by the gallon he might as well just start drinking Listerine on the rocks. Bring on the generics – I have no fear of off brand toilet paper. Well, no fear for the rest of my family to use it. I hid contraband rolls of Charmin Sensitive Ultra Soft under my bathroom sink for my personal needs. A serious tactical error though was made in my husband’s budget reduction campaign when he dared to venture into the sacred hair waxing and hair replenishing fund.
It’s not really his fault. The grooming needs and requirements of females fly way under his radar. He was raised by hyper-active, angry wolves. Well, not really but he was raised in a family of all boys. Yes, he has a mother but the family was all about the boys. It was Y chromosomes all the Y time. My husband was the last-ditch effort by his mom to have a girl. When that didn’t work out she kind of raised him like the daughter she never had. Which, if you know my husband explains so, so, much. Because of this very male dominated household my husband entered into marriage with very little knowledge of what’s it’s like to room with a girl. I’m talking, he had never actually seen a box of tampons up close and personal before. To prove his love to me before we got married I required him to go to the grocery store during prime time and buy an economy size, 100 count, super absorbency box of Tampax. Because any dude can spend money on jewelry but it takes a real man to go into the “girly aisle,” take the box off the shelf, proudly walk through the store clutching the tampons, go to the check out station, make eye contact with the clerk and pay for the “lady product.”
Although, one foray into the land of feminine hygiene is not a true education into the wonders of women’s grooming. He is clueless about the love hate relationship all XY chromosome carbon based life forms have with their hair. I, being a good and dutiful wife sat my husband down for a beauty lesson – Topic: Hair and Why There Will Be No Economizing. (Contact me if you would like to view the Powerpoint.) My lesson was broken down into three categories. Category one: Facial follicle removal – the waxing of unwanted hair. Category two: Hair replenishing – the keeping of hair on the head and Category three: Hair beautification – coloring and/or highlighting.
Let’s start with the most painful category first – Facial Follicle Removal. Hair waxing is not a choice it’s a basic human right. A painful human right that has us scalding our faces and violently ripping away at it, but a right never the less. Waxing is also a mental health issue. Tell a woman she can’t wax and you may as well get her a pitcher of antidepressant cocktails with a side of Nair. I’m aware not all hair removal requires a visit to a salon. In an effort to save money some hair removal can be done at home. For example, nose hairs. Yes, I know they can be waxed but until there’s a nasal epidural I will continue using my electric “As Seen on TV” turbo charged snout scissors.
Category Two is what I like call the Rapunzel Doctrine. The need to keep the hair on our head flourishing. Sadly, some of us, over time, experience hair loss and by some of us, I mean me. In my late 20’s I noticed, with the help of a 10X magnifying mirror I glanced in while cruising the aisles of Bed, Bath and Beyond, that I had some visible signs of thinning at the very tippy top of my part. Aghast, I couldn’t decide who to call first my doctor of hair stylist. Since my hair stylist, at the time, Monsieur Jean Jacque Charles, took six weeks to get an appointment I called my doctor and got in that afternoon. His diagnosis – Pony Tail Part. Yes, it is an actual pattern of balding attributed to women who always wear their hair in a pony tail. His prescription – no more pony tails. I was devastated. The pony tail was my signature look. When my hair looked like crap I put it back in a pony tail which meant pretty much everyday my hair was in a ponytail. I, taking a break from intense sobbing and snoting, grabbed another fistful of kleenex and asked him if there is an alternative course of action. There was – women’s Rogaine. I started squirting my lazy follicles everyday with that magic hair growth juice. Now, many years later my husband is suggesting I go generic on my Rogaine. Not just everyday generic (which is the Target brand) but bottom barrel generic – Walmart. I asked him what happens when after using the Walmart “Rogaine” I grow horns. Is he going to file my horns down for me when they start protruding from my scalp or make me go to a random 4 H or Future Farmers of America club meeting and have it done for free? I will make a lot of sacrifices for the good of my family but I will not go bald to help us better balance our budget.
Category Three is the uber important art of Hair Beautification. It would take a very aggressive 12 step program and maybe a little shock therapy for me to give up highlighting my hair. Hair highlighting is my crack. Yes, I get high on highlights. I’m addicted and I can’t give it up. There’s nothing like getting out of the salon chair and seeing selected tresses freshly coated in gold. It camouflages all your other sins. Your jowls gone, flabby arms and cankles – who cares? Your blonde, blonde, blonde! (Technically, I’m brown, brown with little strands of blonde but baby it feels all blonde to me.) Sure, I’ve tried to give up my highlights. I’ve gone cold turkey telling select stylists, “Hey let’s take my hair back to it’s natural color.” That, in itself, poses a problem because you would probably have to use carbon dating to determine just what my natural color is. Now, highlighting is no longer is a “want to” it’s a “have to.” It’s what covers up my silver hair. (Note to all women say silver instead of gray. It sounds much more glamorous.) I don’t see any possible way I can even begin doing my highlighting at home to save money. I am not a self-highlighter.I don’t even color well. I could go longer between highlights and rock the ombre (shudder) but I don’t have the bone structure to pull it off. This is also another mental health issue. Without my little strands of gold I would have to go on a regimen of Zoloft and Paxil and with our prescription drug deductible it’s probably cheaper just to keep on salon highlighting.
Lesson concluded and I ask if there are any questions. My husband stares at me, sighs, and goes “unbelievable.”That was his version of surrendering. No white flag, just that tell-tale sigh, that says, “I give up.” It really was never a fair fight. No man has what it takes to separate a woman from her grooming. Well, make that no man who wants to live.