Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Keeping Up Appearances...

The other day, I realized that all of my shorts and jeans were way too big. So, I went shopping again. The cheapest place in my city that I have found to buy name brand paints in my size is in the big and tall section at Burlington Coat Factory. My wife is also "plus sized." While I like Burlington's men's clothes, I think that the women's plus size department sucks. But back to me. I went there to buy clothes because all of mine were getting too baggy again. Instinctively I went to the plus sized department, as usual. But when I started looked through the clothes, I realized that they start at size 44. I'm now down to a 40. Woohoo, I thought, I'm too skinny for fat clothes. But then, I went to the "normal" section and found that the brands I liked only went up to 38. Crap. I'm in the middle.... too fat for the normal clothes and too thin for the fat clothes. I guess I should be happy regardless.

Along the lines of appearance, I had been thinking of lightening my hair. I told the lady who cuts my hair. She said that she thought it'd look good but that she'd be a bit concerned that it might turn yellow. She said that if it did, not to worry, just bleach it again and the yellow would go away. So, Sunday night, the day before I left for a business trip, I decided to go ahead and do it. My wife helped spread the bleach through my hair. We waited the 30 minutes and washed it out. My hair was a bright clown yellow. I was a bit nervous as I didn't want yellow hair when I met up with my co-workers in Nashville the next morning. So, we decided to bleach it again. But because we feared it might go too light, we only left it in only 10 minutes. I washed and it looked exactly the same. So then we did it a third time. This time, the bleach was burning my scalp. We left it in another 30 minutes then rinsed. Now, it was much lighter but still yellow. My head looked like a cute little fluffy baby chicken. This was not at all the look I was going for... I told my wife that I looked like a gay rave-rat. My 13 month old son was laughing at me while patting his own head! Even he thought it was comical.

By this time, I was starting to freak out a little. My wife recommended that we simply dye it back. So we went to the drug store and bought a box of "ash blond" dye. Remember that this is the night before my business trip. When we put the dye on my head and it burned like hell. I wondered if all this bleaching and dying might make my hair simply fall out. But, I had gone too far to give up, so I gritted my teeth, determined to cover up the yellow! So, now we had to wait another half hour.... Toward the end of the waiting period, the un-rinsed dye on my head had turned purple. I was thinking, "Oh shit! I can't go to work with purple hair!"

I had visions of myself having to shave my head. If it wasn't for my work, I'd love to have a funky colored hair. But, I just don't think that the executives I work with would understand or tolerate anything too far out of the norm. I work with corporate directors and vice presidents for God's sake. Within two days there would probably be a new dress code implemented that forbid purple hair and they'd likely start looking for reasons to get rid of me. Or at least my chances of a future promotion would be nil.

Anyways, I finally rinsed and conditioned, AGAIN. When my hair was dry, I was relieved to see that it wasn't purple after all. But it wasn't any darker either. It was still almost white but at least the dye had successfully killed most of the yellow! It was lighter than I had intended but didn't look that bad. So.... here's my new look:

Of course, upon entering the office Monday morning I was accosted with tons of blond jokes.

There is one older gentleman I work with who I had been suspecting was dying his hair. Each month when I see him, it looks a little more brown and a little less gray. This month, it looked all brown with no gray. I finally was convinced that he was dying it. Nobody else in the office had noticed. He walked up and stood directly in front of me and said with a smirk, "you look different." To which I replied, "So do you." Not knowing how to reply, he awkwardly mumbled, turned, and quickly walked away. Later, he confided in me that he was using "Just for men." And, he said that his wife hadn't even noticed yet... I guess because it's been a gradual transition and she sees him frequently that it was easier for me to notice having only seen him every few weeks. It's kind of the same with losing weight... those who see you daily tend not to notice. But those who you see only occasionally always comment on how much weight you have lost.

One lady at work told me that she liked my hair because it matched my eyebrows. Another told me that it made me look much younger. The women all seem cool with it. Most of the men just think it's funny that a man would bother to bleach his hair. But, you know what, I like it anyway.

Its a good look. It makes me look a little less conservative. I think I've been looking too conservative for too long. I think that looking boring makes it difficult to make the kind of friends that I like to have. The people who want to get to know me better are usually the kind of people that bore me to death. Also, when mundane people get to know me and start realizing that I'm actually a little out there, they're often uncertain how to react. On the flip side, eccentric and interesting people often superficially assume that we'd have little in common. At heart, I too am eccentric and open minded. I might be a business man, but I'm also a closet artist and philosopher.... I just don't make that impression... until now that is.


Sparky's Girl said...

I think your new do looks great! But let this be a lesson for you.. never try anything new unless you are on vacation or it's a weekend! LOL

PJ said...

I like it!

But anybody who would dye their hair the night before a business trip is INSANE, I hope you know that! ;-)

Your hairdresser recommended *bleach*?! Holy cow! You know, there are a lot of DECENT hair products that will lighten your hair, without burning your scalp, making it fall out, etc.

It does reduce the conservative effect, I agree.

I have the same issue, that in person (well aside from my weight being profoundly uncool) I come off as vastly more normal than I am, which mean the weirder people I'd really bond with never know I'm a sister soul. ;-)