if i’ve only one life. . .

if i've only one life, let me live it as a blonde was a cathphrase clairol used in 1960s advertisements

it’s been a long time since i have lived in my natural hair color.  in fact, i’m not sure what it is.  every six weeks or so, i get depressed enough that i go to walgreens and buy a box of feria by l’oreal. i use the same shade that is widely advertised to be used by beyonce–#72 dark golden blonde.  oddly enough, i never end up looking like beyonce. i’m not alone in my endeavors. over seventy percent of american women color their hair and going blonde(r) is THE color.

in addition to coloring my hair, i cut my own hair.  usually on the front lawn so that the little snips of hair don’t get all over the house.  i assume somewhere is a very young squirrel who doesn’t appreciate how his mommy brings home nesting materials made from my hair.  people always know when i have cut my hair.  they get a quizzical look on their face.  it’s not quite a look of approval.   i think it’s that they’re wondering if they can help in some way.  especially since i usually don’t use a mirror.   i don’t like getting my nails done, getting a massage, enduring a facial, suffering through a pedicure.  as bad as i was about the fish pedicure in brighton, i’m even worse if there’s a human touching my toes.

so when f2fb friend #260 bridget greco-cokefair suggested that i come to the taylor reese salon in highland park i was queasy.  don’t get me wrong–bridget is wonderful.  she used to color my sons’ hair when they would get parts in plays or movies that required them to be blondes.  or, in the case of joseph, full on white hair.  she’s been very good to our family.  she said she wanted to make me look like the real me.  just better.

i sat in her chair.  she has two chairs going at one time.  the woman in bridget’s second chair seemed perfectly at ease reading a magazine while she waited for her hair to “proecess”.  bridget asked me what i wanted done with my hair.  i said “whatever you want”, secretly hoping she’d go for pink.

bridget put a cape around my shoulders and began slathering my hair with colorant and then wrapping the hair with foil.  i started turning red.  bright red.  my face, my chest, my arms.  i had trouble breathing. i wondered how ridiculous the paramedics would consider me if i were to have to be transported to the hospital with half my head wrapped in foil.  also, would that half end up frying off my scalp????

“if you need to get up and walk around,” bridget offered.

but i knew if i got up i wouldn’t sit down again and then i would have half my head wrapped in tin foil.  also, everybody in the salon–all of them looking quite soigne and relaxed–would know i was incapable of managing the most simple tasks of the twenty first century life.  i played it cool.

“does anybody else ever. . . ?”

“get nervous in the chair?”  bridget prompted.  “absolutely!  a lot of my customers are that way.  i even get hives sometimes when i’m getting my hair done.  i’ll be done in ten minutes and then you can walk all over the place.”

wow!  that was reassuring.  so i went with it.  i was red.  and redder.  like a maraschino cherry in a turtleneck sweater.  and then, after a bit, i just let go of the feeling.  the hives disappeared.  and here’s what i ended up with–

if i have only one life to live, maybe i should live it as i am? i have lots of flaws and quirks and one of them is that i've always thought that being a blonde was the platonic ideal of womanhood. also, that beyonce is. on the latter point, i'm absolutely right and jay-z says it's so! p.s. i'm still a little red-faced.

bridget was shy about having her picture taken but she was quite happy with the results of her efforts–and i am too.  i think this might be the color God made me with!

if you want an appointment with bridget, just call taylor reese salon in highland park at 847 432 8800 or go to their website at taylor-reese.com!

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