Sunday morning was a testing morning. I was planning on going for a long walk before meeting with a friend. I didn’t particularly feel like showering and washing my hair before doing exercise as I generally need to shower afterwards anyway. Because I was meeting someone immediately after I decided to at least try to smell clean.
This is where it gets fun. It turns out that my housemate cleaned the bathroom on Saturday. In doing so, she must have switched my shampoo and conditioner around. I keep them in different corners of the shower so that I know which is which. You see, Dear Diary, they are practically identical.
It wasn’t until I was blow-drying my hair that I noticed something was wrong. My roots were still greasy…hmmmm maybe they were still wet….I kept blow-drying. After another 5 minutes of blow-drying I noticed that my hair just wasn’t as luscious and flowing as usual…then it dawned on me – I had conditioned my roots and shampooed the ends – this was a catastrophe!
There are strict rules for caring for long hair. Two of which are: never condition the roots (as it makes your hair oily) and never shampoo the ends (as it makes them dry and prone to breakages). I’d just done both of these things and couldn’t get into the bathroom as my housemate was now in there. I was also due to meet my friend soon. Going into damage control mode I doused my hair with two different hair treatments – a fragrant serum from a day spa (which works wonders for my hair but smells very organic) and also a thick conditioning treatment cream (which was to mask the smell of the fragrant serum). I’d have to tie it up into a bun for the day.
So Diary, the friend that I was meeting up with was actually Polar Bear. If you remember, he is the one that I used to live with and has been helping me to get my rental bond money back. He was dating someone for as long as I’ve known him but has recently broke up with her after a holiday together. I wanted to give them space to have a chance at getting back together before seeing him again. It’s been about a month of delaying seeing him and Sunday was the agreed catch up day. I’d noticed that he’d stopped referring to me as ‘little buddy’ or just ‘buddy’ since he broke up with his girlfriend.
My plan was to not put too much effort into my appearance for the catch up so as to make it clear we were just friends. There’s a big difference between not much effort and a train wreck. I take a lot of pride in my hair, Dear Diary. I think it stems from traumatic childhood experiences – yes, I’m dead serious.
Let me take you back to when I was six years old. My Mother decided that it was too much effort washing my hair as I’d cry about shampoo getting into my eyes and hated how rough she was with brushing my hair. So, one day she dragged me through the shopping center to the hair dressers to get it cut. She did literally drag me as I cried and pulled in the opposite direction resisting going the whole way. When we got to the hair dressers she asked me to look at pictures in the magazines there and to pick a hair cut that I liked…..Hopeful, I cooperated and pointed to photos of all the women with long flowing, voluminous hair.
Let’s just say I didn’t get what I wanted that day. I hated my hair and was so embarrassed as I legitimately looked like a little boy. I didn’t want to be seen in public and I remember my Mother asking my teacher and best friend in school the next Monday to look after me as I was upset about my hair. What made things worse is that I didn’t own school dresses and my Mother insisted on dressing me in the school uniform T-shirt and shorts to save money (perhaps, so they could be used as hand-me-downs for my younger brother and smaller older brother?). I still shudder at the photos from that era as I looked like a little boy – and I knew it back then too!
There were two occasions when I was about 10 that my Mother cut my fringe too short. It was about 3cm long. My forehead was at least 6cm long….it looked plain silly and took a long time to grow back. I had to pin it to the side to hide it. Her reasoning was that if it was shorter she wouldn’t have to cut it as often….technically, she was right. Technical doesn’t cut it (pardon the pun) when you’re a self-conscious pre-teen. I decided that I’d cut my fringe myself after that day…..I got pretty good at it.
I still get anxious about getting my hair cut to this day, Dear Diary. After visiting the hair dresser, I generally hate my hair cut and wallow about for a day or two after because I think that the hair dresser has ruined my hair for forever. Eventually, I grow to like it (pardon second pun). Back to the point I was making though, because of this shampoo wash mishap I was not feeling particularly confident or vibrant when meeting with Polar Bear!
So smelling of hair treatment and looking scruffier than usual, I met with Polar Bear. It was his lunch break so we only had an hour to talk. He put this hour to good use by asking pointed questions: how’s life? how’s work? still living in the same place? still dancing? anything new? I took my time answering hoping to slow him down as I didn’t want to get to the questions about if I was seeing anyone. Sometimes, being vague and casual works best as you don’t look like you have anything to hide.
We found some markets and he insisted on paying for my crepe and juice. I could see him make a mental note that I don’t like coffee. Eventually, he brought up his ex-girlfriend who I know personally through dinners with them both. He told me that they will always be friends but that their desires are incompatible. He is studying to be a Pilot who travels the world and she is tied to this city with hopes of marriage and children. I didn’t comment, just nodded understandingly. It’s better to sort these things out early and admirably bow out rather than wasting each other’s time.
He did eventually ask me if I had been in contact with The Spaniard – yes, I did tell him about The Spaniard months ago when I came back from my holiday. He agreed that the lack of contact wasn’t reassuring as a text is easy to send. Polar Bear is very worldly and open minded and still encouraged me to go on an adventure in Spain as “I’ve never heard anyone say that they regretted going on a holiday…unless something bad happened, but you can’t do much about that“.
He did bring up some important points to consider – a job will always be there when you come back; when you’re older and look back on life you’ll be pleased that you went on the adventures you chose; and, life is not one-size-fits-all.
After we parted ways, I felt that Polar Bear was certainly more interested in friendship than in pursuing anything romantically with me. This was a good thing, as I do value his friendship. Or, was his generally friendly nature related to my unfortunate bad hair day?….