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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Lynne and the Red Stripe - reprise

Fall is in the air. That makes me want to change my hair color. Time for winter shades. I've had my copper hair with a ginger/strawberry blonde stripe since summer. Last time, Stephanie did a "trial pink" underneath so I could decide if I liked it with the current shade of red. I do. I'm starting to get a skunk-stripe of my real color hair (salt-and-pepper) down my part line, so it's just about time for my next color adventure.

In honor of this, I'm re-running an old blog post from Germany, when I first got my red stripe. This is also when I discovered my "true writing voice" is that of a middle-aged man. I wrote this from Matt's POV. This is my single highest hit and commented post ever! And almost everyone who commented said something along the lines of, "Wow, Matt can really write. Maybe you should go back to work and let him be the writer." (Yes, even my mom said that!) So, here it is, Lynne writing as Matt on my hair adventure.

Lynne and the Red Stripes

No, this isn’t about Jamaican beer.  This is about Lynne’s hair.

Lynne’s hair has gone from ultra-short in her college swimming days, to ultra-long in her Puerto Rico grad student days, and everywhere inbetween at least a few times since then.  The color has changed, too.  At first, these were modest attempts at color using "store bought color" from the drugstore to cover up the hints of grey showing up as she approached 30. Then came more bold experimentation with highlights.  Until the “blonde incident of 02”, as we still refer to it, even her wildest efforts were generally pretty staid, bordering on unnoticeable.

Then we moved to Germany.  By totally non-scientific observation, we’d venture that 4 out of every 5 German women and girls have some sort of red coloring in their hair.  From very young school girls with a few reddish-orange streaks, to older, white-haired women with pink highlights, we’ve seen every color in every imaginable style of red hair here.
pparently, they know they aren’t going to fool anyone into thinking it’s natural, so they go for making bold statements.  Red, pink, orange, copper, reddish-pink, and pinkish-red, we’ve seen every shade.  From as subtle as strawberry blonde to screaming, fire-engine or candy apple red, women here proudly announce to the world, “Look, my hair is a shade of red not found in nature!"  Forget paying 80 euros for color that will make you look “natural.”  For that much, the whole world should know that you bought it.  

And Lynne has embraced it.  Prior to leaving Charleston, she had taken to covering the ever-increasing grey in her hair in a “cinnamon” shade of brown, with just a hint of coppery-red (see the photo of Lynne and Spike at Charlestowne Landing).  She was pleased as red-punch to see that the color was well-suited to Germany, and so continued it during our first months here (see her photo on the hotel room patio).  But her satisfaction was short-lived when one of our comrades in the Esslingen Weinwanderweg told her “Your hair isn’t red, look around you, that's red,” and pointed out a number of women with all the variations of red hair described above.  Yes, in comparison, Lynne’s was totally bland.

A few weeks later, when we moved into our house in Wendlingen, the first thing Lynne spotted was the Friseur (beauty salon) three doors down. The big poster in the window showed a woman with reddish-brown hair similar in color to Lynne's (not her real hair, but the current version of it) with an orangey-blonde two-toned stripe sweeping from the right-side part down the left side of her face. She had to have that hair!  So, once her most recent color had washed almost completely out, and just a week or so before the Hinkey family visit, she went to the Friseur, with her barely-spoken Deutsch and said, “Ich moechte haar wie in der Bild” and pointed to the poster (“I would like hair like in the picture” or something close enough that they got the idea.) 

Can you say drastic? When we picked her parents and niece up at the airport, RoseMarie looked right at, through, and past her daughter. She couldn’t figure out why this German woman was waving at her so enthusiastically. I had to point Lynne out to her own mother. (Notice the loud orange stripe on medium cinnamon hair in the photo of Lynne with her mother and niece in Strasbourg.)

We later decided the color was fate. It was meant to be since the orange Smart Car matched the stripe. Perhaps the funniest outcome of her new hair was that people began to address us in Deutsch.  When we explained our Deutsch is “nicht sehr gut” they'd apologize and say, “You look Deutsch.”  Must be the red hair.

That lasted until about mid-October.  The color had faded to a not-so-noticeable copper, and the roots had grown a lovely salt-and-pepper “skunk stripe” down the part.  When one of the swimmers asked Coach Lynne if she had intentionally colored her hair with that stripe she knew it was time to go in for a “freshen up.” 

This time, another woman did her hair and although the style and idea were the same, both colors were bit darker. The base was more auburn, and the stripe was the reddish-pink color that RoseMarie vehemently declared she couldn’t stand every time she saw it during their visit (and there's a lot of it!)  The swimmers thought it was great that she dyed her hair the team colors – a red stripe on dark hair. Piranhas colors, just like her car (which was really orange and silver, but close enough for the swim team)  There was NO subtlety to these colors.  And Lynne loved them. 

But, time moved on. The red stripes have faded and the skunk stripe returned. Today she went back and got the same color combination put in. The swimmers will be pleased to see she’s sporting the team colors again, loudly and proudly, and just in time for the championship meet in Italy next week. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Why can't I comment on my own blog?

Yes, I'm an inexpert newbie to the world of blogging. But really, don't you think it's all fairly intuitive. Or should be? Then why in the world can't I figure out how to comment back on a comment left on my blog? When I try, it tells me I "don't have access to this page" - WHEN I'M SIGNED IN TO MY OWN BLOG!!

One of these days I'll break down, do the unthinkable, and get "blogging for dummies" or read the help section. Until then, If I don't reply to your comments, I'm not being rude, just inept!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What are you reading now?

I'm always interested in hearing about what people are reading. Seems like you can really get to know someone by looking at their bookshelf, and hearing their thoughts on different authors. Finding common ground in books is a great way to expand your circle of friends. When I became entirely addicted to the Harry Potter books, acquaintances and colleagues at work became close friends as we bonded over lengthy discussions of characters, plots, and what would come next. I've made friends with "that grumpy guy down the street" when I found out he was an equally fanatical reader of Terry Pratchett's Disc World series.

I seem to read in phases - all fantasy for a few months, all vampires for a few months, all lit-fic for a few months. I seem to be in a creepy mountain folk phase right now. I recently finished Ann Hite's debut novel, Ghost on Black Mountain, a Fabulous southern gothic tale set in western North Carolina. Now I'm reading Our Daily Bread. Set in a small town in Pennsylvania, this tale of self-righteousness gone awry takes dysfunctional families to new heights! Talk about a high ick-factor.

So, what are YOU reading now?