A Christmas Story: The Remorseful Bleaching of my Hair

I put up a Christmas tree of my own for the very first time in 9 years of living independently… I am so happy I did, because it has been one of the few things giving me some sense of peace and joy in this world

I can and can’t believe that it has been over two months since I last wrote a blog entry. Time has been flying since I started my new job in October…

It is currently only five days until Christmas, and I am working from my parents house this week, which will be a nice and much needed change of scenery. You know me: I’m always happy to GTFO of NYC. I am here with my cats for the next week, and my boyfriend will be joining on Christmas Eve, since, as per usual, he is also working non-stop. I am truly hoping work is a bit slower this week, as the last few weeks have really put a damper on my mood and will to live, receiving up to 300 emails a day, and requests for help all night, all morning and all weekend long. Like I am happy I was able to buy my family nice Christmas gifts this year with all of the overtime I’ve been racking up, and I am happy that I am not currently worrying about bills or increasing my credit card debt to buy gifts, but I would also like to enjoy my time with my family, and the rare day or evening I have off with my boyfriend, without my phone blowing up with requests for work or having to be glued to my laptop until 10PM (or later).

I’m not complaining though (I mean, I am…working a 55 hour week right before the holidays is pretty brutal). My last job was so slow, I am grateful that I work with a team who needs my help and appreciates it. It’s good to stay busy and the overtime pay has been very appreciated. I just wish there was some sort of balance in my life…. in every single aspect it’s all or nothing. I guess that’s kind of how I am in my personal life too though.

My boyfriend keeps asking me what I want for Christmas, and like the popular meme says, all I want is “a fucking break.” I don’t need any more material possessions at this point in my life (although an engagement ring wouldn’t hurt). I really just want to drown my phone and computer, before burying their remains in a shallow grave in the backyard, and then hightail it to some remote cabin in the mountains, with a hot tub and fireplace for a few days… and then never come back. That’s what I really want. Is this so much to ask for???

I think that working so much recently has made me act out in some sort of stress-induced, mid-life (oh God, am I already “mid-life”?!) crisis. First, I decided I needed to get fillers, because I honestly believe the stress of the last couple of years has taken a major toll on my face, and I am not about to let myself become haggard looking (yet). Then, and I believe this might be some sort of control issue (or a lack there of), I decided I needed to bleach my hair and go full-blown platinum. I think that with everything feeling so out of control in terms of the way the world is going (global warming, climate change, plastic pollution, wars, COVID, starvation, droughts, border conflicts, mass migrations, animals dying off in droves, etc.), and also not being able to shut my laptop and sign off at 5:30PM each night, when I am technically supposed to, has put me into an elevated sense of needing to control what I can – and that is my appearance.

I knew I wanted to treat myself to a professional color, since I’ve been putting that in the hands of E-Salon and my boyfriend for the past year and a half (yes, my boyfriend has done my color at home for the past 18 months). I also knew I wanted to go lighter, since my natural color was slightly lighter than the red I was using. I also have white hairs coming in hot and heavy near my temples (I’m also blaming this on the stress of the last two years). I was considering a lighter shade of strawberry blonde, but I’ve also been envying every woman I see walking by with platinum hair recently. No idea why. I decided on a spur of the moment after a consultation at Deluxe Hair Salon (which happens to specialize in blonde and platinum color), to take the dive and go for it. Fuck it.

Well, I had no idea that it would end up being an 8-hour process. I spent all day and half the night getting my hair bleached to hell and back. The stylist who did it is a professional, and did a good job, but I still woke up the next day with a few bleach burns on my scalp an looking like I was wearing a wig, since I was told not to wash my hair for a few days. The next day, I cried three times. I instantly regretted how much I paid for my hair to look the way that it did, and I was scared to tell my family what I had done. I’ve never EVER done anything like this before. I never got an extreme hair cut, hair color, or some sort of random piercing or tattoo growing up as a teenager or twenty-something, so it was totally out of character for me to just go bleaching the ever living shit out of my hair as a responsible 33 year old woman, and one who knows how damaging bleach is, at that.

Anyhow, I was filled with so much remorse the next day that I honestly felt suicidal. I kept telling myself that I had ruined my hair, which I may or may have not (only time will tell…). Making matters worse, it was a Sunday, which is the only day my boyfriend and I are usually off together, and he sprang it on me that he needed to go into work for a few hours for a private event. That’s when I really started losing it. There was no way I could be left home alone with my newly-bleached, wig-looking hair, to face my bad decision. After I started crying for the third time that day, he told me we were getting a “fucking Christmas tree”, after weeks of debating whether or not we should get one, and then despite my protests that it wasn’t worth it and the cats would destroy it. And so, we went to the world’s most ratchet Home Depot, where I heard a man at the door discussing buying an illegal pistol, and where we bought a small, balsam fir tree, a tree stand, and some multi-colored, incandescent lights (my Christmas tree lights of choice – those LED lights are abhorrent).

We were on our way back from Home Depot, Christmas tree in tow, and I was still feeling emo AF when he suggested a bloody Mary, which I had been craving since I woke up that morning. We couldn’t decide on a good spot to grab both food and a bloody Mary on our drive back from Home Depot, and ended up going to what I had always thought was a brunch place on Grand Street. The place that I had for years assumed served soul food and specialized in brunch, actually ended up being an Asian spot, that yep, you guessed it: didn’t make bloody Marys. I ended up with a lychee martini, instead: it was good for a lychee martini, but didn’t quite hit the spot. The food, however, ended up being amazing, and we will definitely be going back or ordering in for their dumplings and mac and cheese.

After lunch, my boyfriend left for work, and I set up the tree using the ornaments that I’ve been gifted over the last several years and stowing away for the day I actually set up my own tree. Thankfully the tree is small, and I had just the right amount of ornaments to decorate. As I was decorating, I started feeling slightly better about life. By the time I was done, and stood back to admire the tree, I was feeling like a weight had been lifted off of me. The glow and warmth of the lights, coupled with the scent of fresh balsam, wrapped me in a cocoon of peace and joy, as I thought of happy, childhood Christmases past. Nothing can bring me down, when there is a real, illuminated Christmas tree in my presence. My boyfriend did both of us a favor by forcing this tree on me. I love sitting by the tree in the morning as I drink my coffee, and also at night, as I watch some bullshit movie just to get tired, and the glow of tree covers me with as much comfort as the blanket does.

Knock on wood: both cats have been pretty respectful of the tree so far
This shot will definitely have to be on next year’s Christmas card
I bought a few, cheap ornaments from Target to add to the tree. This little A-Frame makes me wish I could shrink myself down and live here for a while.
After about 4 washes over the last two weeks, it’s finally looking more like human hair and less like a polyester wig from Beauty Supply on Graham Avenue

This is my hair now: I don’t hate it anymore – I kind feel like like it’s a nice aesthetic with my blue eyes and fair skin, but I definitely want to return to red once this is healthy enough to dye. At least I no longer feel suicidal over my decision, and after spending a small fortunate on special shampoos, masks and treatments, I feel confident that it won’t all just break off on me.

When you work 11 hour days and don’t get out for a walk, you do the next best thing and put on a bodysuit so you can flop around the living room floor in the name of exercise.
I’ve been enjoying my hair up more than down… I got a trim, but the ends still seem ratty AF and I don’t want to chop my hair off.
I need to start wearing all of the dresses I’ve been buying over the last two years. But I also don’t like most people and social scenes these days…..
Peeps also isn’t so sure about the new hair color
Christmas Tuna

I’m so thankful I got my ass into gear and did all of my Christmas shopping early this year. It would have been impossible these last two weeks… also, shipping times have been incredibly delayed and some of the gifts I ordered back in November only just arrived last week. I truly hope work will be slow enough that I can get out for walks this week. Since I am at my parents house for the next 6 days or so, I will be fighting the temptation to binge eat, which happens every time I am home for an extended period of time, and then I hate myself because I can’t comfortably fit into my jeans or wear the skanky sorts of clothes I prefer to wear out. I don’t know why I binge eat when I’m here… I think it is the availability of good foods I don’t keep at home because I have no self-control (Cape Cod style potato chips, salsa, bread, sliced cheese, Fritos, cookies etc.), coupled with boredom and then fueled by stress. I am going to try to enjoy these next few days as much as possible and not end up eating my feelings at 11PM. I really hope it snows before Christmas, although it’s looking highly unlikely at this point.

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I love cooking, eating, entertaining, dining out, fine wines, not-so-fine wines, partying, shopping, wearing heels, my boyfriend, my family, my friends, and my cat. I dislike boring people and activities, judgmental people, boring foods, and places that don't serve wine.

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