This morning I woke to a head full of shockingly blonde hair and a crushing Personality Hangover.
Now, before you start sending me AA links, let me just say that a Personality Hangover has absolutely nothing to do with drink. In fact, this one was apparently fueled by that most innocent stimulant of all: Caffeine.
Now, I am a girl who firmly believes that, once you have made a mistake, you ought to figure out what life lesson is to be learned so as not to repeat said mistake in future; thus, I begin the painful process of mentally retracing yesterday’s steps for clues as to HOW, exactly, all this transpired. I am not saying this formula is 100% effective 100% of the time, but some life lessons do (eventually) stick, and I think it is worth cataloging them in any case, if only to beat myself up in the throes of another “Doh!” moment in future. My conscience loves stuff like this – it gives her the upper hand in many an argument, and even if she doesn’t always win, she loves having plenty to say.
Thursday was packed with activities, and I was running late (as usual) for my 9:45 meeting. I wolfed down a single butter fried egg in 3 bites (90 calories), washed it down with a double espresso latte (90 calories), and headed out the door armed with a can of Pepsi Max (0 calories), which I bolted down as I negotiated traffic.
This morning’s work went well, and a friend and I did manage to stop between 11:30 and 12 for another coffee, which, due to happy, chatty conversation and the glory of sunshine streaming through the pub window, became 2 coffees (with cream – about 70 calories). Then it was off to Windsor to make a 2 p.m. hair appointment.
And here is where it all started to get interesting.
Given my total caloric intake of the day (at this point, no more than 300 calories) versus my total caffeine intake (5 units), I felt myself sailing into some surrealist dream of caffeine high and sugar low, in which I watched the train marked “Good Reason and Senseville” pulling out of the station without me. Even though I had ticket in hand, the conductor just shook his head and closed the door, an expression of regret on his sad, mustachioed face.
It was then I realized I was not alone on this platform. My heart began to sink as was filled with a sense of dread. Looking over my shoulder, there she was… I groaned.
It was my Inner Comedienne.
“No,” I thought, “Not her… Anyone but her…” This was going to be a long day.
Fueled by caffeine and in the throes of an insulin crash, Inner Comedienne was in fine form. Rational Me, in a seriously weakened state, staggered on her feet. Inner Comedienne took pity on me – she is like that sometimes – all smiles and reassurances. Kind of like the nurse who tells you, “This will only hurt a little,” before jamming the tetanus needle deep into your quadriceps.
Oh, I knew this was going to hurt, but I was too weak to stop her.
Inner Comedienne patted me on the head, took my by the hand and installed me on the platform bench to await the next Gravy Train, which was not due for at least another 3 hours since this hair appointment would involve aluminum foil. It is the First Law of Hair Appointments: If thy appointment involveth aluminum foil, thou shalt requireth 3 hours.
“Don’t worry,” Inner Comedienne said, her voice a siren song as she deftly fit her giant red foam nose into place, “I’ve got this.” Reaching into her oversized trouser pocket, she pulled out a comically small umbrella, a bicycle horn and whoopee cushion. “It’s all in hand,” she soothed, handing me the umbrella for shade and propping my feet up on the whoopee cushion. “Just have a little rest, and I’ll get us through this.” She handed me the bicycle horn. “Just use this to signal me if you need anything,” she said.
With that, she donned her rainbow wig, enormous bow tie and over-sized candy-apple red shoes. Inner Comedienne takes her job of clowning very seriously.
The last thing Rational Me remembers from the afternoon was Inner Comedienne perusing the color charts with one eye while simultaneously juggling a cat, a gerbil and a bowling ball. I remember feeling vaguely impressed by her prowess in all this, as my hairstylist and her 2 assistants were dissolving into gales of laughter. Inner Comedienne can be very charming when she wants to be.
I came to once or twice… I think I heard vaguely fantastical tales about, “How the world treats you better when your hair is blonde,” and, even better, “Next time you are walking down the high street and you see rays of light coming from heaven, choirs of angels singing and men throwing flowers in the street? Oh yeah… that will be ME… with my blonde hair and shockingly bright pink lipstick…”
Yes, Inner Comedienne was flipping hilarious. The whole salon was laughing (with her or at her, Rational Me is never quite certain). Hopped up on caffeine and spider-monkey crazy, Inner Comedienne has no conscience; no subject is too taboo, no laugh too cheap. She wisecracks and drops her one-liners; she quips and parries and thrusts with her razor wit. She has stolen the ringmaster’s top hat and now leads the circus, surrounded by dancing poodles and ladies in pink tights.
But, in the end, as she always does, Inner Comedienne pulls one stunt too many. She is Icarus flying into the sun… She steals the tiger’s flaming ring, unicycles across the high-wire and sets light to the big top… and then, with disaster imminent and embarrassment the inevitable outcome, she just vanishes, leaving Rational Me to sweep up the charred ticket stubs and shovel a mountain of elephant poo.
This messy process of clearing up the blackened ashes of yesterday’s circus is what I refer to as the Personality Hangover. Seriously – I’m not sure how Rational Me is going to be able to face her hairstylist again. And with hair this light, my next meeting with her is certainly no more than 4 weeks from now… I am dreading it already.
The hair doesn’t look bad, I have to admit. I mean, it is really, REALLY blonde now. Not quite Jean Harlow/Marilyn Monroe blonde, but not a million miles off it. But – honestly – can you really trust someone who wears a rainbow wig to make this kind of decision?
Inner Comedienne is, I am sure, still laughing about it.
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