Long tales of a short cut

I do have something smart to say after all, which is that I got my hair colored today. “Lightened,” is the common parlance. Or “dyed,” if you’re my mother. I’m trying to fight the gray while waiting for it to grow and let me tell you it has been a long, sad, demoralizing process that brought me right up to the brink of… I don’t know. Self pity? Madness? No surprise there, as I forded both those streams a long, long time ago. Let’s just drop it in a bucket called “ambivalent aging” and everything that comes along with being female. (Dudes, you are on your own.)

If I could work my way through every decision that brought me to this place, I would end up in 2014 or so, reaching back through a tangle of clips, barrettes, elastics and misguided keratin treatments and—I’m not gonna lie—a lot of ridiculous tears. I stretched and fried it to within an inch of its life with a flatiron and finally I cut it all off and moved through a long series of increasingly hellacious styles and both my head and I were miserable for years. Years. Add to that a gradual switch to wearing glasses full time, gaining X lbs., and then changing my lifestyle wholesale overnight, and it was a recipe for some kind of disaster. I had no idea who I was anymore.

And—no surprise either—disaster came! I can see now how all that misery fed off itself after a while, how I tried to go from A to Z while skipping B through whatever (um…Y, I guess), and thinking I’d never miss the journey or the lessons I would have learned along the way if I had only asked myself what in the hell I was doing. And why I thought it shouldn’t or wouldn’t matter, or that I could outsmart it. How I confused moving back here with letting go of everything and thinking I could somehow stop caring about how I look. How I convinced myself that pride and a little vanity were bad things, when they’re not really, not always, not if they mean taking care of yourself and being good to yourself and understanding, most importantly, how it makes you feel when you don’t.

This won’t make sense to anybody but me, btw, but why should it have to? Sense is overrated, ask anybody who’s alive and capable of watching the news. It’s as useless as wishing for yesterday.

However! I am starting to feel like myself again, and to recognize who I see in the mirror. And even if nobody else notices (does anybody else ever notice? doubtful), it matters to me, just a little but more than I thought. And I’m going to be honest about that, even though this is an embarrassing, bordering-on-narcissistic-asshole thing to type, and I promise this is the last time we will ever talk about the important subject of my hair.

A ha hah hah haha hah ha hah ha! Of course we will always talk about my hair.

++ A random update! The ants finally came back. I battled them on my own for two weeks and when that failed I called in reinforcements (i.e., the management, who called in pest control). Now they are gone again and all is quiet. I mean it’s me vs. millions so I’m not holding out hope, but when you think about it everybody needs a nemesis. It seems the Formicidae family will be mine.

Welcome to the community

I took my first Pilates class today. It seemed like the right thing to do, although the fashion of it irritates me and I have failed at most class-based fitnesses in the past. Aside from my running group, which was more like play than anything, even for me, the lazy-ass slowpoke who always brought up the rear while getting yelled at to pick it up. I did yoga for a while at a studio on my block in New York, until I caught a cold that I continue (probably unfairly) to hold against yoga. We were really packed like hot sardines in there, and one guy kept moaning out loud every time we held a pose, plus in general I don’t like sweating that close to strangers. Also it seemed like a total head game to me: there was just too much down time while you listened to yourself breathe and stared at your own armpits. No thanks.

As for Pilates: I loved it! There’s complicated machinery involved, which lends the whole affair the imaginary risk of medieval limb loss, and it moved at a snappy pace so I did not fall asleep. In other words, say hello to the new Kari! Exactly the same as the old Kari, only very very wise.

+ please read, you won’t regret it

Your explanation of benefits

I hate to be that person who blogs when she’s crabby but I’m crabby most (94-9%) of the time so if not now when? My fingers still work so what’s the holdup? Sometimes I try to convince myself that I should only blog when I’m in X mood or have Y important things to report or Z thoughts on important world topics but let’s get real. I have zero thoughts on important world topics. I blog because I have a keyboard and some free time and otherwise I’d just be talking to myself. Which I also do, all day long.

Anyway, Tim Carmody has a long post at Kottke about social media and the state of blogs today and it’s smart and recommended by me, although he’s mostly writing about Important Blogs with many readers that helped to shape lives and careers and media ventures and this has never been and will never be that. Ho ho hooooooh no this will never be that. I started this blog to talk to (well, at) my friends and because I can say any stupid thing I want knowing most of them will get it or at the very least roll their eyes and shake their heads and forgive it and frankly that’s what kept it going the whole time I was in New York, although if I’m really being honest, I mostly kept it just for me. Just to say here, this is what’s happening, this is what I’m thinking about, this is my voice. This is what I’ve got.

At the end of that post, Tim Carmody asks: “Was it just a place to write and be read by somebody, anybody?” Yes. Yes it is.

Bday girls

Beware the mighty Capricorn trio!

Your merchandise return credit

Update from my breasts: Per federally mandated guidelines (look it up), I was informed weeks ago via email & post that I needed “additional mammographic views and/or ultrasound for a complete evaluation.” Dense breasts, they said. Cool, I said. Fun stuff. So today I had both. All clear!

I didn’t go into this thinking they would find anything—what would be the point—but I definitely strike myself as the kind of person who would wander straight out of good news into the middle of a knife fight. Instead I drove to the gynecologist to chat about my ovaries.

Update from my ovaries: It’s no secret that my reproductive system and I do not see eye-to-eye. (Heh.) I get that as strong, empowered, modern groovy women we are supposed to love our bodies and the miracles they can perform and that nature made us all beautiful and blah blah blah but seriously, that is all horse shit. Fuck the fuck off. The poking and the prodding and the scraping and the scoping, the pap smears and biopsies and ultrasounds, the fibroids and the cysts, let’s just end it already. We can’t, though. Every single option sounds worse than the current state of affairs, so until everything finally just gives up on its own, this is life. Still: no surgery!

After that I picked up my Vitamin D prescription from CVS and a chocolate shake from McDonald’s and came home and took a nap.

Update from my mother: “Why on earth would you post this?!”

I don’t know. Would you rather hear it in person?

3 things

1. I had a shouldless day yesterday. I slept in (8 a.m.!) and did not take a shower until after 1:00, and then only because I had to pick up some containers at the Container Store. I worked most of the days over the holidays, during what was supposed to be our company-wide winter break, so I decided I had had enough. It was time to do nothing but drink coffee and listen to the opera and Bob Seger and organize my closet and my inbox and read anything I wanted to read (p.s. I’m reading this). I am relaxing into this place and this space and this lifestyle and am finally getting my equilibrium back. I tend not to trust good moods or good times, being a nervous pessimist of the old school, but I am finally learning to drop my shoulders, and I was back in my jammies by 6 p.m. Quite an achievement, I say!

2. I also watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, who I find calming and delightful. It has very much the same warm, accepting vibe as the new Queer Eye, only pitched at a different level of intensity. I think the people who mock her should find out what she’s actually trying to do: it’s not about getting rid of all your shit, or buying a bunch of containers, or even judging your choices, it’s about taking a breath and recognizing who you are what you value. (I do like containers, though.)

3. This Healthyish newsletter from Bon Appetit is my new essential, along with Bon Appetit’s test kitchen videos. Claire is an icon for a reason but it’s all bright and sunny and relaxed and nothing makes me want to cook more than watching people be comfortable in a kitchen.

4. When I said 3 things I meant 3 things. The end!