The week in review

The neighbor kid left on a 5-week trip with her family this week. I confess I’m grateful for the break. In the past week she invited herself over for dinner multiple times, made a mess of my deck with a craft-project-turned-nightmare, told my daughter that freckles are ugly, and took the liberty of explaining to my child the concept of ‘slavery’ (worst history lesson I’ve ever heard). Maybe it’s just my freckles talking, but I’m hoping they enjoy their trip so much they extend it.

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I went shopping this week for the first time in forever. Apparently these pants, and others like it, are now in style:

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Who is responsible for this? Had I known, I would’ve just stayed home and sewn my own pants out of old pillowcases. Also, I don’t understand fashion.

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For Father’s Day I gave my husband a trash grabber. You know, one of those giant picker-upper sticks that you always wonder, Who the hell has one of those things? Now we do.

It was one of the most well-received gifts I’ve ever given him. He practically leapt out of his seat when he saw it. I think he even started clapping. Granted, this is the man who gave me a battery charger and recycling bins for our first Christmas together (romance!), so perhaps his definition of a ‘great gift’ is slightly askew from the norm.

Now we spend our evenings walking around the neighborhood picking up trash. My daughter plays the role of Garbage Scout, running ahead to find wrappers, scraps, and if we’re lucky – the discarded contents of an entire Jack in the Box meal. By the way, WHO are the people in this day and age who finish their meal and then toss the rest out the window?! I guess they are my neighbors, that’s who.

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If you are in the market for a family activity and/or gift and/or reason to make your neighbors stare at you, I highly recommend a trash grabber. Yes, it teaches kids to care for the environment, and that is wonderful. But it also offers the opportunity to teach them about the dangers of things like smoking, drinking and sex. We’ve already found countless cigarette butts, a few beer cans, and I am dreading the day we encounter a used condom. By now you are probably asking yourself – Where the hell does she live? A dumpster? Apparently yes, I do.

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Remember when I said I was attempting to start a garden? Well guess what. I did it and it’s actually growing! The other night we enjoyed a tasty salad using garden-fresh lettuce.

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We also added beef to it because we are not rabbits. (apologies to any vegetarian readers)

Seriously if I can successfully cultivate a garden, anyone can. I have accidentally pulled out crops when I meant to pull weeds, and I routinely ask questions like, “So where’s the part we can eat?” I am clueless. But it’s been surprisingly easy.*

*My husband did the hard stuff. He also made the salad. I am just taking credit for it all because he doesn’t have a blog.

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I had 1 good hair day this week out of 7, so this new cut is really working for me. My husband may or may not have said I looked like a Muppet the other day. He may or may not have been right. He also may or may not wake up to discover a trash grabber clamped on his man bits if he doesn’t ease up on the hair commentary.

My unforgivable haircut

I got a haircut on Saturday. I went to a new guy. Here’s how it went.

“Do you think I can pull off the Anne Hathaway pixie look?” I ask. “No,” he replies. “I hate you but I appreciate your honesty,” I think to myself.

I share my desire to go short, despite the limitations of my thick, frizzy, wavy, hair. He assures me that it’s possible if he stops at the chin. “Let’s do this,” I say. I want to give him a high-five, but I hold back.

I immerse myself in an issue of People Magazine. Hot damn it feels good to be free of my parenting responsibilities, even if just for 40 minutes.

When I’m done, I text my husband to come get me. I’m feeling spunky and rejuvenated with my new shorter ‘do. No hesitations whatsoever. Hey world – look at me!

I sit outside to wait for my ride. Five minutes later my husband pulls up. He takes one look at me, then floors it and speeds away down the street without me.

I know he’s joking and I laugh, but I also know he is genuinely shocked. Little do I know that this haircut is about to send my family into an emotional tailspin.

The moment I open the car door, my 5-year-old screams, “I HATE YOUR HAIR! WHY DID YOU CUT IT SO SHORT?!” She then starts to cry and throw a fit.

My husband doesn’t fare much better. He glances at me briefly with his eyes open wide, but the rest of the ride he is unable to look at me. It’s clear that he is intentionally avoiding any eye-to-hair contact.

When I try to engage, he tells me that he “isn’t ready” to look at my hair. He claims that I “didn’t really prepare” them for the change. He then puts his hand over his heart and says he is feeling pain “right here,” and then I hear him say in a hushed voice, “Your hair was my favorite thing about you.” He is using humor in an attempt to mask his disappointment, but it’s not really working.

We go to the grocery store. My husband, still unable to make eye contact, requests that we divide the shopping list and split up, which will also give him time “to process” the reality of my hair. Sure, dear – whatever you need.

My daughter protests and whines the entire time. In every aisle she moans, “WHY did you cut it so short?! WHEN will it grow back???” She tries to get me to buy her popsicles as compensation for the pain I’ve caused. I do not comply.

As I am unloading the groceries at home, she comes around the corner and asks, “Did your hair grow back yet??” She is truly disappointed that it hasn’t. She sulks into the corner and whimpers like an injured animal.

After a lunch filled with awkward glances from my husband and more disparaging words from my daughter, I seek refuge in the only comforting place I can find – the arms of my non-verbal, non-judgmental toddler. She smiles and hugs me, so I shower her with extra kisses and whisper in her ear, “I love you the most today.”

I then take my older daughter to see a play being put on by the local elementary school. They are performing the musical “Annie.” The tone-deaf, out-of-key voices are a welcome reprieve from the wail of my child’s complaints. I look at the young girl playing Annie, with her Richard Simmons-like wig, and wonder, Is that what I look like? Is this some kind of metaphor?

Later that evening the signs of my family’s PTSD appear to be waning. My husband says he has some complimentary things to say about my hair, but then he gets distracted and never says them. My daughter informs me that she is “starting to like” my haircut. “Well, actually,” she then backtracks. “I don’t really like it, but I don’t totally hate it either.”

You are so good to me, family. What have I done to deserve such love and adoration.

As I prepare myself for bed, I fear the wrath that may come in the morning when my daughter sees my new bedhead, which I can already tell is going to be…puffy…and short.

It then occurs to me that convicted murderer Jodi Arias likely has more support from her family than I do for committing the heinous crime known as A Haircut. Don’t ever cut your hair, Jodi Arias. If that jury is anything like my family, they’ll sentence you to death for it.

Here is a drawing my daughter made of my haircut. I do not wear bows in my hair, but I imagine she added it in a desperate attempt to make me look more feminine.

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I felt this drawing was a tad extreme – it’s not THAT short – so I requested another. She then made this one, in which it appears she has given me a case of pink eye – probably to punish me.

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Little does she know that if she doesn’t stop complaining, I am going to return to that hairdresser and request the Anne Hathaway just to spite her.