Is This the Beginning of the End?

After a glorious Sunday afternoon of girl time that included a walk in the park and window shopping… wait, did I just say that? Who am I? Where am I? Window shopping? Girl time? But no, it’s true, my dear comrade-in-non-girly-things and I took advantage of the beautiful day and walked among the blossoms and cruised in and out of shops, seemingly oblivious to our grubby gym clothes as we waded through throngs of barely dressed sorority girls.

Afterward, I found myself exhausted and lazy, so I tugged my hoodie over my head, read for about 20 minutes, and took a quick doze into the late afternoon, waking up just in time for my husband to start bottling his first batch of home-brewed beer.

This task, obviously, required beer-drinking in order to be mastered. MIL had a rough & backbreaking day turning our backyard into a livable space again (lest you think I’m a chore-shirker, I’ll explain our “chore duties” in another post) so she requested a bottle of gin. I, having done nothing but solve the world’s problems during a brisk walk with my girlfriend, offered to throw on some pants and shoes and drive to the neighborhood market.

Those blossoms, whose beauty and vigor we’d so admired earlier in the day, really did a number on my headspace, so as I headed into the store, I cruised in a semi-haze toward the big easel-backed dry-erase board advertising RAVIOLI DINNERs on sale for Valentine’s Day. Knowing I may very well run into clients or my boss or future investors, I quickly removed the hood I still had over my head from my nap. As I hazily meandered to the booze aisle, I noticed a few sideways glances, but didn’t put much thought into them. I chose a good six-pack of New Belgium’s Ranger and debated for way too long on the merits of a small vs. large bottle of gin (choosing the smaller because $7 is quite a difference when I think about it, and one of our goals from our summit was to “watch less TV and drink less”), then headed to the aisle of my favorite checker.

He wasn’t as friendly as most visits, and I wasn’t as chatty – it was almost as if he didn’t recognize me at first. We discussed the new rules involving bagging booze (it’s not required anymore), and he sent me on my way, six-pack and bottle of gin in hand. I still had the feeling of concerned eyes on me, but I didn’t pay much attention, even after I realized the pants I’d rushed on weren’t exactly clean and still had the reminders of a good dirty soccer-ball tug-of-war with the dog.

The woman leaving the store ahead of me seemed to be in the same fog I was; strolling ever so slowly with her cart and letting her small child dance about. I couldn’t seem to get around her, so we ended up uncomfortably sharing the same personal space bubble for a minute too long. Finally, I made it to my car and paused to hit the automatic lock button. In that moment, I caught a glimpse of myself in the tinted windows. After hurriedly removing my sweatshirt hood on the way into the store, I hadn’t thought twice about what my pixie cut could possibly be up to. You know, a little product, some walk-sweat and a nap couldn’t possibly equate anything other than a red-carpet masterpiece. I gasped as I realized a large section of hair on the right side of my head, inching its way to the heavens as if it were tied to a string. My cowlick was in full force, falling all over itself to get to the front of my head. The hair on the left side of my head was making its way to the right, obviously wanting to join in the fun that footloose and fancy-free hair was experiencing.

I hurriedly raked my fingers through my tufts of short hair and tried to smooth the escaping tendrils. “This is how it begins,” I thought, imagining my favorite checker explaining to his comrades or the gentleman behind me buying a six pack and a dozen roses that the last time he saw me I walked out with a six-pack of Ranger and a bottle of gin, my hair all a mess and no light in my eyes. “This must be the beginning of the end.”

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