Tag Archives: procrastination

Hair Apparent

cousin itt

I really need a haircut. It’s becoming ridiculous.  This morning, when I was putting my jeans on, my pony tail got caught in the waistband.  And my hair keeps getting involved when I try to eat soup, it just sort of drapes itself into the bowl.  Plus it’s the wrong colour.  I’m supposed to be blonde, but my hair seems to ignore this fact.  Now the wrong-coloured roots have grown past my shoulders.  The wrong colour has taken over.  I try to tell people it’s ‘ombre’ or ‘balayage’, but really it’s the ‘avoiding salon’ effect.

You might think it sounds glamorous, but it’s not.  It was all very well when I was pregnant.  Double-pregnancy hormones made my hair all glossy and full of body (I was full of body everywhere, it would seem).  And, what’s more, I had a legitimate reason for not getting my hair done.  I was far too pregnant.  But once the twins were born, all my pregnancy hair fell out and gathered in tumbleweeds about the house.  My look was no longer “Pregnant Gisele Bundchen On Her Day Off” rather “Drab But Pious Homeschool Mother Sews Aprons For Her Sister Wives”.

I know I would feel better if my hair were shorter and back to its proper colour.  I know all I have to do is work out a time and pick up a phone and make an appointment and turn up, it’s just that…

Hairdressers make me nervous.   There.  I said it.

Most of the time I’m a confident, articulate person and a great conversationalist.  But something about a room full of blow dryers and the smell of Moisture-Lock Colour-Hold Super Salon Treatment Spray sends me spinning all the way back to Grade Five.   My tongue gets all thick.  I don’t know what I’m supposed to say.  

And I already felt like an odd and awkward sort of person when I went to the hairdressers before I had six children and decided to homeschool them.  Now I feel like a total freak.

I’m intimidated by the amount of power the hairdresser has over me.  A hairdresser has the ability to affect how you feel about yourself when you look in the mirror for the next six weeks (or, in my case, two years).  Just how much bleach is she putting in that mix?  What does she mean ‘caramel highlights’?  What if she interprets my request for ‘layered cut’ as ‘Warwick-Capper-Mullet’?

I tried to tell my friend M about my problem a couple of days ago, when she told me I needed a hair cut.

“Is it too expensive?”

“No.” (well, it is expensive, but that’s not the reason)

“Do you need babysitting?”

“No.” (except that I do, but that’s not the reason)

“Do you just want to keep your hair the way that it is?”

“No.” (it’s driving me crazy)

“Well, what’s the problem?  What?  What?  I can’t hear you.  Did you just say you’re frightened of the hairdresser?

Later that day, I got a text from Lovely M.  It was a link to a groupon for 75% off colour and cut at a salon not too far away.  M offered to come with me and I was struck with a lovely vision of the two of us side-by-side with our hair in rollers and our heads underneath those bonnet hair-dryers, discussing that new band from England and whether we preferred Paul or Ringo.  But after a few more texts, it dawned on me that M was not offering to get her hair done at the same time as me: she’d just been to the hairdressers, it’s what had sparked the conversation.  M was offering to come along to hold my hand (her words).

It was at this point I realised I might have a problem.

“I can do this”  I muttered to myself as I clicked my way through the sign-in process and keyed in my credit card details, “I am a GROWN UP.”  And, ignoring the bland stares of the other people in the library, I triumphantly purchased my ticket to several weeks worth of good-hair-days.

It was only when I googled the name of the salon to find out the opening hours that I began to feel some reservations.  The business had quite a lot of online reviews.  There were three gushing five star reviews; the same number of reviews, I imagine, as of staff who work there.  All the rest were scathing one-star reviews.  Reviews that said the hairdressers were ‘rude’ and ‘mean’.  I gulped.

I saw M again today.

“So anyway, I bought that groupon.” I announced, a little smugly.  My tone also said “See?  I’m totally capable.”

“When are you booked in?” she asked (a little knowingly, it must be said)

“Um, well, actually I haven’t booked it yet…”  I stammered.  The smugness was fast evaporating.

“Do you want me to call them for you?  I can do it right now.”

“NO!  No!  I can do it!”  I am capable, dammit!

“What’s their number?”

“No – I just need to check some things before I call them”

“What things?”

“Um, just some, um, things?”

I haven’t been yet.  My hair is still getting snagged on door knobs and looking far too brown.  But I will go.  I figure if it’s a bad experience, it will make a neat sequel to this blog post.  If it’s a good experience, I’ll have nice hair again.  It’s win-win.  So I’ll go.  I’m totally going to book it.  All I have to do is pick up the phone and arrange a time.  And I will, I totally will.

Maybe tomorrow.

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Slump

I’m stuck.  I want to write you a great post, a pithy post, a post that really says something, but I’ve hit a bit of a slump.  I’m all blocked up.

I say it’s all because I have no time to write, and in a way that’s true.  Small people tend to crowd my headspace these days and (while I love them and my vocation fiercely – I’m living the dream, I truly am), I crave an hour or two alone to write as much as a twelve-year-old girl craves a One-Direction poster signed by Harry or Corey or whatever his name is.

But in another way, that’s completely not true.  When I’m stung by a good writing idea, I’ll write when I have no time at all, furiously scribbling on old receipts and the backs of envelopes whilst the house falls into disrepair all around me.

"The Frenzy": a cartoon depicting chaos surrounding an oblivious Kate who is writing furiously.  Annie empties cornflakes onto the table, Harry is watering the television and the other two have kindled a small fire on the table and are roasting marshmallows

Good times.  But I’ve no idea what to do to get stung.  It just happens.

I was talking to my friend Strider today.  He’d brought Merri and Pippin over for a play (Arwen was working and Samwise was at a sleepover).  As we sipped hot beverages and gazed at our children rolling about on the trampoline (“Simon says: take off your pants!”), Strider asked me about my blog: did I have any posts in the works?  And was he ever going to get mentioned? (I promised him a Tolkein-themed pseudonym months ago).

So I told him, here’s what I’m working on at the moment (except that I’m not working on any of them):

  • two short stories for a local competition
  • two articles for Seton Magazine
  • A new whole series of blog posts that I want to make into a linky
  • Another Art in August linky
  • this post

Strider nodded wisely.  “Just pick one, Kate.  You’ve made it too hard for yourself.  Don’t worry about the others until the first one is done.”

He’s right.  I’ve allowed everything to pile up and bottleneck and have become all overwhelmed.  And the more time passes from my last post the greater the pressure to write something really epic to compensate for the long wait.  I get paralysed by perfection.  And this makes me avoid writing even more.

Amidst all this confusion, my Inner Critic saunters in and takes advantage of the situation and insists loudly that none of these ideas are any good anyway and I’m kidding myself if I think I am any sort of writer.  I think guiltily of all the readers I must be losing because they think I don’t write here any more, that Laptop on the Ironing Board is the cyber-equivalent of a ghost town, not worth visiting.  And then my mind crowds with images of creepy abandoned amusement parks and rusty swing sets and tumbleweeds and I feel so sad for my poor neglected blog and I think I should really write ten very special posts to make up for it and then I remember that’s what got me into this mess in the first place.

So, here is a post that’s not so epic but which I hope will act as a sort of brain-Metamucil and get things moving again.

There’s nothing like being regular, after all.