Monthly Archives: December 2009

Orange and pink hair is not professional. Thanks though.

As some of you may or may not know, last week I had my hair colored and highlighted for the very first time! Yay! I am now among the masses of women who put harmful chemicals and animal doodoo in their hair to look different. Except I went to a place that only uses organic hair jiz so good for me, being so sustainable.  Here’s the story.

Lately I’ve been bored with my hair, love it as I might, and wanted something new. I contemplated cutting it super short, but was deterred by that idea since a) I tried it once and it was a disaster, b) some other reasons but all I remember is the disaster. So then I thought, fine, trim up the layers, boring.  Then I was inspired to color it and get highlights. Different? Yes! So I go for my free consultation, thumb through some fashion mags and point out some color that I like and we decide to go for a deep mahogany with some reddish tints. I tell the lady I want it to be subtle but noticeable, there but not streaky, and as natural looking as possible. I mean I work in a professional office, right? I don’t want to leave there looking like my next stop will be to have my lip and eyebrow pierced, pick up some black lipstick, then on to the tattoo parlor where I’ll get myself a nice sleeve of classy tattoos. [Ahem: no offense to anyone with lip/eyebrow piercings or tattoos rocking black lipstick…it’s just if you know me, you know it’s not for me. We’re all God’s children. And I guarantee that you with the piercings and intense lip color do not work in a professional IT office.] Anywho. So I anxiously await appointment the following week, get myself up extra early and arrive semi-promptly for my 7:45am appointment for cut, color, and foils, as it’s apparently called. 2 hours go by and I’ve been trimmed, reshaped, and painted all over with slimy gook all over my head. I’m excited and can’t wait to see the new, edgier me! Finally, we wash and dry my hair and it is fantastic. I think. Each time I look in the mirror I am more and more unsure that I like it. But I am now very late for work and would really just like to leave, so I shrug it off thinking it’s just me and it’s just new and whatever I’ll get used to it. Right.

So my first hint that it’s not good is when my boss comes over later that day and says: “Miss Sassy Pants! [no he didn’t call me that, silly] You really do love Virginia Tech don’t you!” I’m wearing a cream sweater and brown dress pants, nothing with VT gear or colors on it. I smile hesitantly, knowing something else is coming and ask him what he’s referring to. He smiles big, like he’s giving me a big compliment and is so proud of himself for noticing, “Your hair! It’s perfect VT colors, isn’t it?!” Um. I close my eyes for a brief moment, thinking maybe when I open them he will have disappeared. Yes, I love my school. Virginia Tech for Life, people. But no, I do not have, nor do I want maroon and orange in my hair. I smile painfully and nod and he chuckles and finally walks away, after telling me some horrendous story about his wife coloring her hair which I am sure she would not have wanted him telling anyone.  Men. Yeesh.

The next person I see who comments is one of the other dudes I work with. Quote: “Hey. You colored your hair.”  All geniuses, my coworkers. Realize this: I work with a bunch of dudes. Dudes are all over this floor and they dominate the building. Old ones, young ones, married ones, fat ones, skinny ones. All clueless. None of them are my bffs, none of them have been with me through other hair disasters, and none of them are qualified to give honest feedback. So I am clueless all day as to how it really looks.  Is it really terrible? Is it super edgy and I just can’t get used to seeing red/orange/pink tints in my hair when I walk past my reflection?  By the end of the day I am near panic with not knowing. I call home to Momma Sassy and warn her that the hair situation is questionable and she should prepare herself.  She hmph’d and 20 minutes later I walked in the door to her skeptical face. Which then turned into her “I’m-horrified-but-am-trying-to-look-semi-neutral-and-think-of-something-nice-to-say-while-still-conveying-my-dislike” face.  We then discussed my impending career change from IT professional to punk rock groupie. Apparently with my dark rimmed glasses, purple nail polish, and red/orange/pink streaked frizz ball hair I’d fit in, but would have to re-think my cable knit sweater and cuffed dress pants with Franco Sarto flats wardrobe.  So we fluff (quick curly hair fix: always fluff) and try to be optimistic and hide the pink/orange-y looking pieces but to no avail. I decide it must be fixed immediately.  Again, no offense meant towards anyone who has orange or pink or red or crazy highlighted hair. You probably pull it off somehow. You probably actually are edgy and into punk rock. But you also probably don’t work in a professional office full of baby boomers who only dye their hair to hide the gray.  They would judge me and think I’m totally weird and trashy. And not give me a raise.

So the next morning I give this special salon a pronto phone call and leave a stern but friendly voicemail for them, relaying my semi positive and mostly negative feelings toward my hair and ask them to call me back ASAP so I can try to schedule a fixer-upper. Who’s surprised that they never called me back? Anyone? No? I sort of was, since they’re in the service industry and I would have thought they’d have jumped at the chance to fix it in order to keep a new client. But no.  So the lady who cuts Ma’s hair schedules me for an early appointment this morning and guess what! It took her all of 20 minutes to tone down the brightness a couple notches and reduce the rainbow affect.

Bottom line in this annoying/expensive life lesson is this: never make changes to your hair without a trusted pal at your side. I could have really used some honest Foxy feedback or the bluntness of Miss Fancy Boots.  For realz, girl would have taken one look at me and said “No ma’am, change that right now!” You know? No sugar, just truth. We all have one of those. Unfortunately no one was there with me and I was freaking out and in desperate need of truth and sugar.  Having hair you are not proud of is not sassy, and I must admit for those couple of days before it was fixed, I was not lovin myself and it showed. I know some of you are scoffing at me, shaking your head, wondering how it is that hair could matter so much. Well it doesn’t really, but when you don’t feel good about yourself (for whatever pitiful reason) and can’t do anything to fix it immediately, then you don’t feel confident. Anywho, pity party is over, new hair is fab now, and Miss Sassy is back. BAM.

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To be or not to be…Catholic.

This past weekend I ventured to church with Momma Sassy (as I attempt to do every week) for the Sunday evening “last chance” Mass.  It was a nice service as usual and we had the beginnings of Christmas music, as it was the second Sunday of Advent for us Catholics.  This particular Sunday for some reason I was a bit distracted by lots of different things and had trouble focusing on the message (which was that we should prepare the way for the little Baby Jesus! In a non-Pottery Barn Kids kind of way), and here’s why: dreams of Catholic sugarplum husbands dancing in my head. No worries, I’ll explain.

Enter Little Drummer Boy. Yes I know it’s a fan favorite Christmas song, but that’s not what I’m referring to. A few years ago, the [extremely good looking] young gentleman drummer that plays every week at church asked me out. I mean! Every Catholic mother’s dream, having her kid asked out at church. Especially in my family, as all of you probably know the first question I am asked by my dear mother when she hears I have met someone is whether or not he is Catholic. (“Ma, I met our mail man at work today, he’s such a nice old man.” “Oh! Is he Catholic??” Seriously.) If the answer is no, then the next question is how close is it to Catholicism and what are the odds we can convert him! Pronto! First date: Bring him to Mass. Anywho I’m deviating. So I went out with this young man, who is now affectionately known as Little Drummer Boy, or LDB (not to his face of course, brnt).  Our date was nice, we had a lot in common and he was older, dark, built, ethnic, into church, played soccer, and was going to be a doctor in less than 2 semesters.  You guys! Jackpot! Whatever, we had zero chemistry from my point of view and it went nowhere after about 3 weeks of courtship. Well I still see said young man at church on the reg, and despite our failed pre-relationship, he was good on paper and the kind of man every mother and father want for their only daughter.  Seeing him spawned this train of thought that ended up distracting me in a major way. Which in turn caused me to constantly scold myself and check back in with the singing and sitting and standing and sign of the cross and sitting again routine.  Moving on.

The next thing that triggered this odd thought train was our weekly bulletin. Ma always gets it before Mass so we can scoot out right after Communion. JK we never do that.  So during the service, it’s sitting in between us, face down, with the adverts page facing up.  And my eye is drawn to the largest ad on there, which is for – prepare yourself – CatholicMatch.com.  A dating service just for Catholics! Another dream of all Catholic mothers! There would be no questions, except how many goats does he have and how soon can we get married!! So I’m very taken aback by this website and got to thinking…if I am, like, really Catholic (you know, vs. sort of Catholic or Easter/Christmas Only Catholic), how important is it that my life mate and future baby daddy be Catholic as well? Depends who you ask.  Ask a Catholic or Jewish mother and I guarantee you they will both agree, it is necessary that their son or daughter choose a life partner that subscribes to the same newsletter.  As my mother says, a bird can marry a fish, but where would they make a home? My answer was always “maybe it’s a flying fish and that special bird that can swim under water for long periods of time!” But I’m a smart ass and in real life not everyone is as special as a fish with wings or a bird with crazy weird lungs.  But perhaps there is a merman out there for me, no?

In the 8th grade I “went out” (in the middle school sense that you were somehow dating someone but never did anything with that other person except pass notes and giggle…or maybe it was just me, whatev) with a nice Jewish boy. It lasted about 3 or 4 weeks before the inevitable end came. My version of the story is that his mother found out I was Catholic, or more importantly that I wasn’t Jewish and promptly informed him to end it or lose his inheritance.  I added that part on the end but you get me.  So Jewish vs. Catholic conflict is understandable, as there are significant differences and a child raised in that home would be sufficiently confused by the age of 4. But other situations in which the two people are simply different flavors of Christian are perhaps less important, and I’d argue that it depends on each person and their individual commitment to that particular brand of faith.  So here’s what I conclude (for today anyway): I will say no thank you to any man who is atheist.  It is a deal breaker if you are a hater of the Catholic faith and make fun of my religion.  I do not tolerate ignorant haters.  And while this topic was a major distraction to me during our service and gave me cause for this intriguing and thought-provoking post, I will remain open-minded and take whatever the Big Man decides to throw at me.  Because really, who am I to judge?

Stay tuned for more Catholic contemplations down the road.

Found: Motivation and Dudes

I have joined a real grown-up person gym. I paid an enrollment fee (discounted! obvs, Miss Sassy always finding deals) and have set up an automatic drafting of my bank account to pay for such services as ellipticals, treadmills, pilates class, ab machines, step class, and even zumba! I’m skeptical on that last one…we’ll see.

So last week my work pal / new gym pal and I braved the after work crowd and went to exercise.  It was epic.  We chose two empty treadmills and decided to give it our all.  I’m on my bright yellow running machine (very uplifting and happy color for a treadmill, no?) and chugging away.  My only goals were to 1) not trip and fall off, 2) run for as long as possible, 3) hopefully make it at least 10 minutes. Did I mention I’m way out of shape? Anywho so I’m running, jamming out to some Journey and I look up from the calorie counter and discover…this gym is full of men. And let me share something about men in a gym: they are all jacked.  Anyone who knows Miss Sassy knows she really appreciates this!  And boy, I’m appreciatin! Pun intended.  There are a few yuckies here and there but it’s easy to avert the eyes to the next “get-jacked” machine and find something nice to watch. Also I suppose it is of note that I’m not focusing on facial features…I know, I’m a total creeper. Well whatever, because next time I look down at the time it’s already been 14 minutes! 14 minutes of solid 7.5 mph jogging. Go Miss Sassy Pants! Better than watching the fat politicians on Fox News or CNN, which were my other options. Gross.  Tangent: I don’t understand putting news on TVs at the gym…I cannot hear their dribbling over the sound of my intense workout! Not to mention the 300 other people up in here making all kinds of clanging with the weights and stomping with their tootsies. Put up some music vids or something stimulating.  Anywho.  I ignore Hannity and Larry King (ick) and focus on the other shows going on…off the plasma screens.

Following our treadmill adventure, work pal and I ventured into the Mind & Body studio to mess with our minds and bodies…aka take a pilates class.  Yeah we’re diving into this working out thing head first.  Our instructor had to be the most ridiculously peppy girl I have ever seen (not counting the chicks in High School Musical) and possibly too flexible. Girl was all about the intense exhales (you know, the kind that made her spit…awkwardly making me giggle mid-rep) and showing off the advanced moves. Pa-leease, I can use that ring too biatch. So me and work pal give it all we’ve got and we own that Pilates class. When the torture is over an hour later, I can already feel my body rebelling against the hard work I put in over the last hour and a half.  As we hobble back to the locker room (passing more ridiculously good-looking men as we go) I discover that the motivation to workout which I had misplaced a while ago has returned to me.  I found it underneath the well-worn (and slightly smelly) pilates mat that I missed so much.  And remember when I posted a little while ago wondering where all the men in this darn city were? Well I found them.  They’re all at the gym showing off for each other comparing biceps and badass ripped man-tanks.  No I do not want to pick up a gorilla for my life mate, but there is no law against observing them in their natural habitat.  So I like biceps, sue me.  And just to be clear, my motivation to get in shape and go to the gym has nothing to do with my man-discovery.  Stop judging.  Ok maybe it has a tiny influence. But it is a happy coincidence, and will make grueling workouts much more bearable. And the pleasant view makes my post-workout intense soreness / stiffness / general inability to move normally totally worth it.

Wouldn’t you agree that it’s sassy to be in shape? I can’t imagine it would be very sassy of Miss Sassy if she couldn’t fit into her pants!

PS Part 1 of Miss Sassy’s makeover: gym membership, check. Stay tuned for part 2 – I become a red-haired lady on Thursday…enjoy the suspense.

Karaoke, Family, and Meat Loaf…the singer.

Intrigued by the title? Thought so. Want the story on how my quiet and charming parents decided to throw raging parties every night of the Thanksgiving holiday? I know you do.

This year we decided to venture to the exotic Outer Banks of North Caroline with some of my parents closest friends who also have family out of the area.  By Wednesday evening, there was Miss Sassy, a toddler, 6 couples (friends of my parents who are mostly “empty nesters” like my parents except sike I still live at home…womp), and one karaoke machine.  The karaoke machine’s mention will make sense soon. So that night, we had a delicious Italian feast prepared by Momma and Poppa, more bottles of wine than should ordinarily be necessary, and yummy desserts. I suppose I should mention that most everyone (except the toddler) had been drinking since probably noon, so by the time dinner and dessert was finished, that karaoke machine was looking like everyone’s ticket to the big stage.  So someone breaks out the mics and gives it a test run.  I can safely attest that the thing works. Very well.  Poppa Pants volunteers to go first, takes the mic and lets loose on Garth Brooks and all his friends in low places.  Let me tell you, and I say this in the most affectionate way possible since I love Poppa Pants dearly, man canNOT sing.  But he loves singing Jim Croce, Jimmy Buffett, and most of all Meat Loaf (yes, truth).  And he dominates that mic like it’s his new job and he is paid well for it.  But again, we’d all been drinking since noon so he’s always a crowd favorite. Momma Sassy also took her turn up on the stage that is our big living room (complete with balloon patterned couches and seashells on every shelf), and turned herself into Patsy Cline, The Judds, and Bette Midler – and she did it well.  Some wondered aloud why she wasn’t a professional or famous! Meanwhile I sit in the back of the room wondering when the torture would cease.

What happened to my dad, the man who hates boys, loves rules, hummed quietly in church, and never used swear words in front of his precious little princess? (That’s me, in case you were confused) What happened to my quiet Sicilian mother, who drank a glass of wine with dinner, loves order, and sang Disney tunes?  As I sat in the back, watching the hilarity as everyone but me (and the toddler – bedtime for little ones comes before 2am unfortunately) shakes their tushes, and belts out Cher and “I will survive!”, I realized something.  These are real people.  I am but a spectator on my parents life.  Think about when you were little and your parents are SO MEAN and they NEVER let you do ANYTHING and it’s just AWFUL!  Now I think, if we weren’t such brats to our parents, I believe we’d have discovered this “coolness” -if you will – a lot sooner! It’s not that I went away and suddenly they’re having parties and raging all night with friends and wine.  It was there all the time, I just needed to grow up and see it.  How lucky I am to have such fun parents, who manage to be my friends but still forcefully discretely cram down my throat slip in some parenting every 5 seconds every now and then.  So as I sat, enjoying my dear tone-deaf father’s rendition of Paradise by the Dashboard Light (longest song in the history of the world PS), I smiled.  Because even though Meat Loaf is a much better singer (albeit scary and weird), Poppa Pants was enjoying himself and it warmed my heart to see him squinch up his face and close his eyes and really get into it. So now I won’t hide my face in embarrassment and miss having fun with them while they’re young and able.  You never know how much time you have folks!  And while you will probably never catch me singing solos in front of my parents friends (or anyone for that matter – I require lots of booze,  ridiculous anomalies of confidence, or bribery), I will refuse to run and hide from the outrageous antics which occur more and more frequently, pretending I don’t know them.  I will take a million videos and pictures to use as blackmail later so their future grandchildren can see what fun fools they are.  I will laugh until I cry when Poppa Pants loses his voice belting out Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown.  I will hold Momma Sassy’s third glass of scotch while she hams it up for anyone who’s watching, and shows that she has missed her calling as another Patsy Cline.  And I will continue to drink bourbon slushies (delish) quietly and remember that one day, I will do the same to my kids.  Proudly.

Kids: don’t let your parents scare you away with embarrassing antics, and don’t forget that your parents are allowed to let their sass out, too.  Parents: we love you and enjoy watching you get funky, but we will continue laugh at you and shake our heads.  Just remember it’s all out of love.