Wednesday, April 01, 2009

H is for . . .

Today tastes like habaneros and halva, heliotrope and hippocras1.

A lot of things start with "H" apparently. Let's start with hoo-doggies2.

So . . . I caught my annual turn of the season cold, which has developed into bronchitis (as it usually does) but I learned my lesson in 2006-07 and STAYED PUT for the run of the sickness. That meant not going to the gym till this week.

Which doesn't sound like a hardship, but I've worked very hard at developing that pattern until it's become as automatic as putting on clothing before I leave the house. Wouldn't think of doing it any other way . . . until I knew I'd better not.

So I went back this week, and the workout, she has kicked my butt.

Not to mention that I've added on a cash-out to the routine for core and shoulder strengthening. Raising the resistance on the pull-ups taught me right where the weak spots in my shoulders were. So now, as DH Gareth bemoaned, we do the workout before the workout (the warm-up), the workout, then the workout after the workout (the cash-out). Getting old is not for wussies.

Let me add that H is for Havi Brooks. From her, I learned about dialoging with your negative emotions--your fear, your pain, your whatever--which always makes me think of throwing a little tea party in your head. (Hey, better than throwing a tantrum in your physical body, and less disturbing to those around you.)

I played with it, a little, and love the results. Goofy and twee, sure, but it allowed me to actually process the emotions rather than wadding them up in a little bitty ball and cramming them into the closet. O, that closet. The one in the corner . . . breathing. Someday maybe I'll be ready to open the doors and process what's in there, rather than pretending I don't see the eyes in the night.

But along those lines, H is also for hair. Yes, indeed, my vanity is showing.

I have worn my hair very long for most of my life. I cut in once when I was about ten to fit in (regretted it madly about three days later, when the novelty had worn off and my classmates returned to making my life a living hell their usual behavior), then when I was seventeen (into a lion's mane to celebrate passing a milestone as I was a senior and graduating soon, then my best friend died, and I cut it all off from grief)and four years ago, as I was getting a convertible.

I enjoyed the last four years, don't get me wrong. This was where I was, with my hair blowing in the breeze but too short to tangle. (I mean, SHORT.)

But now . . . I miss it.

So I’m hanging on to my patience by my stubby li’l fingernails, taking my vitamins, sleeping on satin pillowcases, using a horn comb, and most importantly NOT CUTTING IT while I wait for it to grow.

And it is growing. Bless digital cameras, since pixels are free. I can take back of the head shots and prove that the hemline is slowly slowly creeping down to my shoulders, slowly slowly inching its way along. When I compare March to January I see the progress I’ve made, and having the photo history of the growing out period may be useful/amusing at some later date.

Meanwhile, I am at the awful stage where I can’t even put it all up in a ponytail. And thanks to the wonders of the intarwebs, I have found beaucoup styles that all require long hair to perform . . . including one doozy where you mold giant pincurls into a stylized rose wreath. Le sigh.

So–an open letter to my hair.

Dear Topper:

I recognize that we have had a long and tulmultuous relationship. I grew you out and gnawed your ends, I left you to tangle in the wind, dry in the sun, and basted you in chlorine. I changed your shape; I changed your color. You hung with me through it all. This last time . . . well, I cut you off and swore I would never never change until you went completely white.

And now here I am, asking that you come back one last time.

I have nothing to give you but promises. Promises of oil and honey, of patience and protection, of care and loving treatment. Why should you trust me this time? Why, after the purple and henna and high tight cuts should you believe I'll let you go your way this time?

Because, dear Topper, I've learned my lesson this time. I've found that I feel more like me when the two of us are together. I've learned the pleasure of long lazy time, time where everything else can be set aside, where I can demand that the world turn without me for an hour or so.

I will treat you like the vintage textile you are, with no harsh chemicals, no demands on your shape, and with care for your delicate ends. If you will only come back this last time.


She Who Lives Beneath

1. A medieval spiced wine, served hot.

2. A doleful ejaculation particular to my family. "The stock market just lost another 347 points!!!" "Hoo-doggies! Did you go short, I hope?"

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