Haircut: I am not a sexy space bandit from the future.

Who Wears Short Shorts?

Not me.

Anyway, I’m thinking about cutting my hair. When I was pregnant I got the luxurious lioness’ mane because, you know, hormones and crap. It’s nice. But then I gave birth to baby and those hormones stopped hormoning.

The result? Lots of my hair is falling out. Even though I was forewarned about this, it continues to shock me. I mean, it’s dramatic.

The fact that I haven’t had a haircut since 2011* helps not at all. I’m a grown woman, for goodness sake. On a good day I look like a happy earth mama from the early 70’s.  On a bad day, the aunt with a severe expression in a family portrait taken in the 1800’s.

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Lots of articles I’m reading suggest that new moms whose hair is falling out get a cute, short haircut. To this I respond, “help.” When Googling “cute, short haircuts” I come up with this kind of business over and over again:

michelle-williams_glamour_10apr13_rexfeatures_b_592x888

Just FYI, I’m neither super thin, nor coy, nor a person who has time to put on makeup most days. Also, I’ve literally never robbed a bank in the future.

So, I’m freaking out. I need this business off my head, but it feels like an emotional decision, which is nuts. As my hair grows I get to feel like Linus with his security blanket. Even though I know it looks terrible, it’s easy to hide behind. I think we equate long hair with femininity and it becomes an identity issue.

But it’s bravery time. My shower drain can’t take much more abuse and I read about “hair tourniquets” which is apparently a thing where your hair can wrap tightly around baby’s arm and cause a lot of discomfort and pain so YEAH I GET IT HAIRCUT TIME.

Ugh.

Why are all the cool people getting dystopian pixie cuts? Any alternate looks to  Sexy Space Bandit you want to recommend?

*A note: I wrote “2011”  as ha ha hyperbole and then realized that it is actutally true. So, things are dire.

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Wednesday FUNK FIGHT

One thing that Wednesday does really well is the FUNK.  Monday may think it has a monopoly on funk, but Wednesday can be a perfect time to drift into an unrelenting sea of malaise.

“Didn’t this week start twenty five days ago?” one may ask .

“No, child,” Wednesday laughs, “You’re merely half way through. Have you been to the dentist recently?”

“Why would you ASK me about that right now, Wednesday?”

“Because, FUNK.”

Wednesday’s kind eyes turn tiny black stones, boring a whole through the heart.

Anxiety and dread are clever little creatures with roots in hyperbole. Sometimes if I ask myself what I’m really afraid of on a purely emotional level, and the answers are bizarre.

So, to fight the funk, I’ve tried to dissect mine. Here are some things that I can cross of my list of things to freak the hell out about.

Things that aren’t happening:

  • Baby will not actually be eaten by a dinosaur OR fall off a sky scraper.
  • Body will not actually dismantle itself for lack of personal care.
  • House will not actually become unmoored and float away during flash flood.
  • Dunkin Donuts will not actually cut me off.
  • The band Train will not actually find me and play their “the best soy latte that you ever had, and me” song over and over again until I cry and beg for death.

 

Things that are actually happening:

  • Baby is healthy and chubby and happy.
  • Family is close by, laughs often, adores my child, and is endlessly supportive.
  • Caffeine still works.
  • I can play “Blurred Lines” as many times as I want to in a row because I work alone.
  • Dinosaurs are EXTINCT.

 

“But,” Wednesday smirks, “what about the dentist?”

 

“MY MOTHER IN LAW WORKS AT A DENTIST’S OFFICE AND WE GO EVERY SIX MONTHS, OK?”

 

“Ok, fine. Isn’t it time to dye your roots?”

 

***head to desk to floor***

***cue Train***

Flow: Improv, Laundry, Writing and Ditching the R.O.U.S

According to the uncompromising accuracy of Wikipedia, the psychological definition of “Flow” is:

The mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does.

Doesn’t that sound like the best? Ugh, I want to eat that for lunch.

I mean, I’ve felt it before, I think most people have. The times that come to mind have to do with writing, improv, washing the bathroom, folding clothes, and drawing Ariel from The Little Mermaid over and over again in my room growing up.

Writers spend lifetimes trying to create the perfect atmospheric soil for flow to grow and thrive. We have routines, special pens, a white noise machine, maybe some coffee…whatever it takes to coax her out of her shell.

In improv, flow is everything. It’s hard to talk about this without sounding a wee bit new agey, but it’s important. If an improviser is lucky he or she has moments on stage when brain, body, voice, and team come together to create something magical without effort – that’s got to be flow.

For me it feels like a buzzing, taut energy that is off the charts wild, but still laser focused. There are three key factors that are always there when I’ve experienced this incredible feeling: Trust, Risk, and Action.

First though, the obvious: To feel dumb is easy. For me, it’s pretty much a total cake walk. But anyone who’s ever read an inspirational quote-a-day calendar knows that self doubt achieves nothing. It is a staid, boring, lethargic force.

JANUARY 4th

Self doubt is dreaming of making a delicious meal, but first you just have to bury all your pots and pans in the backyard real quick.

I’m drawn to improv because there’s no TIME for that bull. You are on stage with people you enjoy and by doing so you have entered into a sacred agreement with your team to be kind, supportive, and to lift each other up. What results, when done right, is great art. What results when the sacred agreement is undermined? The worst crap you’ve ever seen.  Just really bad, gotta wash it off in a hot shower yuckiness. I’ve been lucky to have great teams.

Writing is harder because you’re on your own. No team. No applause. One woman show. But, I’m positing that it can be done and these are NOTES TO MYSELF.

 

TRUST: Yourself. Don’t delete that thing just keep writing. Get there.

 

RISK: You aren’t working in an ER. No one dies if your idea isn’t perfect. Great things may lie beyond your imperfect idea, but you have to go through them like the Fire Swamps to get to the other side. Don’t deny your maybe-brilliant idea just because you are afraid you’re going to get eaten by an R.O.U.S.

 

ACTION: Literally, write words. A bunch of them. All strung together.

rous

 

Another technique: clean my damn bathroom.

Probably just going to sketch Ariel again.

Boob Wars: Nursing v. Beer Ads

I’m guilty of that thing. That thing where you judge something, and don’t understand it until it directly impacts your life. Then all the sudden you about-face. It’s what John Stewart makes fun of House Republicans for all the time. That’s me on the topic of public nursing.

It’s off-putting, seeing someone breastfeed in public. Because it’s a boob and it’s just there out in the open.

But here’s a fact – if you can do it (and not every human body can) it’s the best way to feed your kid. Moms today are really, really pressured to breastfeed. I know women who have gone to ridiculous, painful, expensive lengths just to be able to naturally nurse their babies. I resent, but understand the pressure. We want what’s best for our kids. I fought, physically fought to breastfeed. It was sometimes excruciating, but it is what is best for the baby.

So here’s the rub: If I want to leave the house, 9 out of 10 times I have to take my baby into a stinky public restroom and hover over a toilet to feed her.

Why? Because it’s off-putting to see someone breastfeed in public.

I’m too embarrassed to do it. I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. So me and my baby smell other people’s waste while she eats, because maybe I needed to go to the store. Or a restaurant. The nursing covers don’t work for us, we’ve tried, and it’s a non-starter. So, this video really hit home with me:

Hollie McNish on Nursing

I don’t think that we can just flip a switch and change our thoughts on this as a society, but man, I wish we could. This is literally the only reason women were given breasts. Not for beer ads. Not for Victoria’s Secret. For feeding babies. Imagine a cow with a bikini top on it’s udders. Sorry, but…really.

It’s just one of those sneaky “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenarios that women deal with – sometimes without even recognizing the unfairness. Choose not to breastfeed – BAD MOM. Choose to breastfeed in public – WEIRD HIPPY SHOWBOAT SCARRING FUTURE GENERATIONS OF BEER AND VICTORIA’S SECRET CONSUMERS.

Solution = Stay home all the time and breastfeed. WAIT, NO, YOU CAN’T BE A STAY AT HOME MOM EITHER, WE HAVE OPINIONS ABOUT THAT.

Super solution – Write a cutting poem about the whole thing and have it picked up by the Huffington Post. Seriously, watch that video. Hollie McNish really nails it.

Note: I want to mention IKEA, a company that provides a nursing area for visiting families. It’s so simple, but so important. It literally makes me want to shop there forever. Also, a chair in a handicapped stall is also appreciated. I think little modifications are a great step towards progress.