Saturday, October 13, 2012

The "Mane" Event

A recent visit to the beauty shop got me wondering, "Do women really have the right to choose?"  In light of the upcoming election, you may be thinking I'm referring to a woman's right to choose regarding the topic of abortion.  No, I'm not talking about the issue of pro life vs. pro choice.  We talk about things far more shallow than that on this blog.  The issue that I'm referring to involves a woman's hairstyle.  You know--the mane event.  Notice it's not called the man event.  So why do men dictate or influence how we choose to wear our hair? 

Please don't for a second think of me as a liberal feminist for posing this question.  In fact, I'm far from it.  I just feel a little perplexed at my boyfriend's negative reaction to the news that I had, once again, decided to chop off my hair.  We all know that most men love women with long, flowing locks, but let's face it--not all of us were blessed like Rapunzel or you know, Jennifer Aniston!  We have to do best with the hand (or more appropriately in this instance) the hair we've been dealt.  Men just don't seem to understand that not every woman can grow her hair halfway down her back and have it look as though she stepped out of Glamour Magazine. 

Besides my awful nose, I've inherited baby-fine, limp hair from the gene pool of my family.  It's okay--I've learned to live with it, and I'm forever on a quest to locate the "holy grail" of volumizing hair products.  They must exist--glossy magazine ads indicate that other women have stumbled upon them.  Thus far, I'll I've been able to successfully do is disappoint myself, lighten my wallet, and amass a stockpile of useless products that go under my bathroom sink to die.  As I've gotten older, I've determined that some of us (myself included) just weren't blessed with enviable heads of hair...but by golly, I'm going to cut and style my tresses in a way that best suits the hair I was given.

Though I've often had dreams where I've been the central character in a Pantene Pro V ad, I have always woken up to reality that I'm just a short-haired kind of girl.  I have a long face and an almost giraffe-like long neck, and short hair just looks better on me, and it happens to suit my personality.  Though my style has varied a little over the past decade, I always seem to return to the reverse-angled bob, which I must confess, I believe Victoria Beckham stole from me as I was rocking that style long before she had even shed the pseudonym of Posh Spice.

Though people have often asked me in the past who cuts my hair and my mom has reassured me countless times that it's always been her favorite cut on me, I have tried to grow it out---if nothing more than to please Jeremy.  While he prefers me tan and blonde, God created me a pale brunette.  When I pulled into his driveway yesterday, he reaffirmed his position that he had always hated my short hair.  I reminded him that the repeated bleachings last summer had taken a toll on my hair that I had been trying to grow out for nearly a year.  I really did give it the good old beauty college try.  I avoided the salon (save for the occasional trim) and even took biotin to help it grow.  It just didn't work for me.  Maybe had I forgone the bleach in favor of my natural brunette coloring, I wouldn't have needed to chop it off and start the growing-out process (yet AGAIN). 

While I may never fully admit it to Jeremy, I just may never have long hair again.  My high school days are over, and my hair is half as full as it was back then anyway.  Besides, in addition to the fact that I don't have the type of hair it takes to make men swoon, I also don't have the time it takes to achieve the look.  And it does take time.  We all know it's true--Truvy said so in Steel Magnolias:  "There is no such thing as natural beauty."  Women have to work at it.  Only celebrities have the luxury of carting around a personal hairstylist as though he was a chihuhua in her Louis Vuitton.  Us "regular folks" have to do it ourselves.  And until a magical hair genie pops out of a shampoo bottle and grants me fuller, thicker hair, I'm just gonna have to continue with the hairstyling ritual I've developed over the years.  Backcomb the $#*+ out of it and spray, spray, spray!  After all, every true Texas girl (despite her hair type) longs to have BIG hair.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

I HATE the Gym

I have finally come to the conclusion that I can no longer eat junk food like a college student and process it with the metabolic rate of a 5-year-old.  After growing a tad bit soft around the middle (despite the scale readout, which remains the same as the day I graduated high school), I have reluctantly decided it's time to re-join the gym.  Yes, I said "re-join" in, I was a member for a month or two before, but I quit.  It was much easier for me to "quit the gym" than for Chandler Bing in one of my favorite episodes of "Friends."  Poor Chandler ended up going to the bank to cut them off at the source and ended up with a joint checking account with Ross.  (See, everything in life really does related to an episode of "Friends!")  In order for me to quit, I just have to quit going.  Maybe there's something to be said for that monthly fee automatically deducted from your paycheck.

The gym downstairs in the basement at work really is a nice, state-of-the-art gym, and it's located right by the exit to the garage, so there really is no excuse to skip.  Although forgetting my gym bag and workout clothes has lately been my most-used "excuse."  Whenever I pass the gym for the exit to the parking lot, I sometimes feel a small pang of guilt--but it's usually silenced by a detour to Tappy's Frozen Yogurt on my way home.  Then the guilt that returns is two-fold.

Well, I finally committed to another membership and have gone a grand total of three times in the past two weeks.  I tried yoga and discovered it was far more difficult that I expected.  I'm not flexible AT ALL, so the instructor's direction to bend over and touch my toes left my arms hanging awkwardly in the air far above my bare feet.  I did enjoy the 10-minute rest period at the end of the workout where we laid in the dark and focused on relaxing.  In fact, I thought I might be unable to drive home immediately after the class for fear I would fall asleep at the wheel!

When it comes to going to the gym, it is my belief that there are two types of people in the world: 1) those who admit their hatred for the gym and only go out of necessity and 2) those who declare their love for the gym (and who are coincidentally what I believe to be full of $#!%).  Let's face it--no one likes to go to the gym. Anyone who says otherwise is either showing off or is clearly in denial.  I feel like a hamster on a treadmill, and all those weight machines give me sore muscles the following day that I didn't even know I had!  Now every time I unwrap a candy bar, I'm left looking at the wrapper wondering, is this Snickers REALLY worth 40 minutes on the treadmill?! 

The fact remains that I love to eat.  It's seriously one of my favorite past times.  While I've been blessed with a high metabolism, I'm kidding myself if I think it will last forever.  The day it slows down is the day I'm in trouble if I don't jump start some healthy habits now.  That's why I decided to re-join the gym.  Like I said, I'm still just starting out, but hopefully, I can ultimately view it as a necessary life change that I will need to maintain forever--unlike a yo-yo dieter who tries Weight Watchers to lose 30 lb. for a high school reunion then falls off the ice cream wagon and returns to old habits soon thereafter.

I'm in this for the long haul.  So until they invent a pill that allows women to eat WHATEVER THEY WANT WITHOUT GETTING FAT, (which, ironically, is every woman's biggest wish), I'll be that hamster on the treadmill, sweating to stay in my current-size jeans.  I can still most likely be persuaded to meet you for frozen yogurt afterward, though!