WTF Wednesday: Bangs

Bangs. I always get them and I always hate them.

It’s as certain as death and taxes. As soon as my bangs finally grow out and I am freed from the prison of having annoying hair in my face all the time and the associated problems including but not limited to greasy bangs (and the existential dilemma of whether to wash them more often even though I know that just makes them more determined to be greasy) and sweaty bangs that bug the crap out of me while running (I can’t wear headbands because they, like, move around and also my head is gigantic have you seen it) and bang separation issues, I’ll go right out and get them again.

I made an illustration of my relationship with bangs using my toddler’s LARGE washable crayons. I call it “The Cycle of Bangs” and it is destined to repeat itself over and over and over in my lifetime.

cycle of bangs

I’m currently in Why?!! territory, headed toward Aaaaah!! Fun times.

Maybe one day I’ll learn.

My Favorite Glasses

Glasses!I need to wear these glasses more often. Or would it be more accurate to refer to these glasses as wearing me? Either way, I love them but they also terrify me. Last year, I had them redone with Transitions lenses, so they can be both regular glasses and sunglasses, which is just about the silliest thing in the entire world but these really want to be sunglasses and I just didn’t have the heart to keep them from fulfilling their full potential even though I really want them to be regular glasses.

Sorry I’m light on content again. Soren got sick and then Ben got sick and now I’m getting sick. I’d like to spend the rest of this gloomy, rainy day on the couch snuggled under a hand-crocheted ripple blanket, which I do not own but fully intend to make one day as soon as I master sewing on my new sewing machine, which is next on the list (I did some sewing in high school so I’m reasonably confident this will be a successful endeavor), and then learn to crochet (I’ve been meaning to crochet a ripple blanket for years). So back to the couch, I was on it, under a blanket that doesn’t yet exist, watching the 900 hours of Rockies coverage that comes with having two games played on one day (and keeping in mind that tonight’s game will be the third in a row we’re supposed to attend but will miss thanks to everyone being in various stages of feeling like crap — I should have a system for giving away our tickets in these situations), and then going to bed early, where I actually fall asleep instead of reading Sports Illustrated, worrying about things, starting to finally drift off, and then being awakened by a raspy, boogery, crying baby who will only fall asleep again after having his diaper changed, ingesting baby Ibuprofen, and having his back rubbed for 57 years. Instead, I’m having a beer and writing a blog post that probably makes me sound like I’m delirious with fever, which I’m totally not, while Ben is doing something mysterious that has resulted in Soren being reasonably quiet even though he’s a bit grumpy right now. I think it involves food. (Haha he’s feeding him grapes like a tiny little Greek god or something.)

Speaking of food, the good news is that I’ve already made tonight’s dinner, less the vegetarian bacon, which I’ll add at the last minute so it doesn’t get soggy. It’s a seven-layer salad. (Soren is totally not going to eat that.) Do you need a recipe for that? You probably don’t, because they’re all over the internet, but I’ve noticed that most of the internet recipes for seven-layer salad have a tragic flaw (I’ll just say — brown sugar > white sugar in this instance). Also just say no to celery, if it’s called for, because celery is one of those things that is necessary only in very limited circumstances (such as stuffing) and tends to overpower the other flavors in a dish. So maybe I’ll give you my seven-layer salad recipe later, not that you need it. xoxo

Cat Anxiety

Song: Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Soothe & Glow Seahorse
Do you ever get an unlikely thought stuck in your head and eventually kind of freak out about it?

XochitlYo dawg, what up?

Xochitl is a woman of the streets. Well, she used to be a woman of the streets. She came to us as a pregnant stray and eventually had four kittens, all of them tabbies. Eek. (As you may know, we adopted out two of the tabbies, to delightful former co-workers of Ben in Oak Park, and kept the two who turned out to be kind of special.)

Life on the streets still holds a certain appeal for Xochitl. When we lived in Nederland, she darted out the door one night when Ben came home from work. To say I freaked the fuck out would be an understatement. I think it was on my birthday, too, but fortunately, time softens these stupid memories. I put signs up all over our (thankfully tiny) neighborhood and contacted every animal shelter in the area, including Boulder (as if she’d just, like, walk down Boulder Canyon and go to that Atlas Purveyors place everybody is always talking about [I’ve never been]). I wandered the streets with eyeliner-tear-stained eyes, calling her name, which we incorrectly pronounce kind of like SO-chee (we like to hand out Aztec and Danish names as if we’re Aztec or Danish, I guess). I found a website that tells you to find your lost cat by thinking like a cat, and if I recall correctly it had some kind of “What kind of cat are you?” quiz, where you pretend you’re your cat answering questions on Facebook and then find out that you’re a Samantha cat. Of course you are. You got knocked up by a tabby. This research resulted in a bowl of cat food being lovingly placed on our front porch.

These were the glory days in Nederland, where I didn’t have a job and spent my days going to the gym and the beer store and my nights talking shit on the internet for hours with a group of women who to this day are totes my internet BFFs. That meant I was home the next day when that crazy bitch showed up on the front porch to eat some delicious cat food. I didn’t want to scare her away, so I slowly opened the front door, totally trying to act all nonchalant and shit. She just walked right into the house and was all, “‘Sup.” (She still kind of talks like an annoying hipster who pretends she and Snoop Dogg knew each other back in the day, but her “back in the day” was in DeKalb, Illinois, so this is doubtful.)

She sometimes still thinks about making a run for it, even though she’s fattened up over the years and has lost any street cred she might’ve had many years ago. The weird thing is that she seems to like snow. She likes snow and sometimes she lurks by the front door when someone is coming in or going out.

This morning, I made my usual trip to the car to drop off all the luggage Soren and I need to get through our respective days. Before the door closed behind me, I thought hey, Xochitl didn’t get out, did she? I don’t even know why that popped into my head. I looked around and didn’t see her, so I piled the stuff into the car, came back in the house, performed the dog/peanut-butter/leaving-the-house ritual, picked up the bejacketed Soren, grabbed my handbag (I’m far too paranoid to leave this unattended in the car because someone might gank my debit card and get that $7), turned on the alarm, and then remembered I had this fleeting thought about Xochitl ducking out of the house to go on a crack-buying run or something. As the alarm counted down (it gives us plenty of time but always puts me a little on edge, like if I don’t get out of the house before the alarm is armed I’ll be trapped in here all day) and while carrying the world’s heaviest 25-pound toddler and a Tokidoki LeSportsac (yay!) bag full of random crap like 72 granola bars and the current issue of Sports Illustrated I insist on bringing to the gym even though I never read magazines at the gym, I half-assedly looked for Xochitl. I saw one tabby. I saw another tabby. I thought oh shit, we’re overrun with tabbies, and I left.

Cat anxiety doesn’t surface again until I’m sitting in my office hours later, and you know how that works? I start thinking hm, the cat didn’t get out, did she? No, she didn’t get out. There was no evidence of a cat escape — no paw prints in the light dusting of snow that was just beginning to accumulate this morning. Nothing. If this were the show Disappeared, we’d have to look elsewhere for evidence because there’s none here. Somehow, though, a random wisp of a thought can become full-on anxiety if you’re not careful. Holy shit the cat is totally gone and we live in the ‘hood and it’s going to be a bazillion degrees below zero tonight. You realize you’re being stupid, but as I am wont to say, that’s never stopped you before.

Tonight when I got home from the gym, the first thing that happened when I walked into the house, before I could even take off my ugly-ass boots (you totally get to wear ugly-ass boots when you live in Colorado — it’s a rule or something), there was Xochitl, waiting to eat the snow I tracked in from outside. “Xochitl!” I said. “I’m so happy to see you!”

Let me bang. Or maybe not.

Song: Let Me Bang by DJ Deeon (Warning: This song is probably offensive to most people.)
Here is something from my old blog, written in 2007:

There are two types of women in the world.

I’m not saying that women aren’t incredibly complex, nuanced creatures, or that any particular woman fits into any neat and tidy category. Except this one.

There are women who need bangs, and women who don’t.

For whatever reason, I’ve long thought of myself as a woman who doesn’t need bangs. This dates back to my early twenties, when my haircut of choice was a bob, longer in front and shorter in back, no bangs. I’m not sure why I came to this conclusion, seeing as how I have, to put it kindly, an oval-shaped face (or not so kindly, a looooong face). Also, referring to my forehead as a fivehead is probably an understatement. It might qualify as a six-and-a-half head, but I still labored under the delusion that I am a woman who does not need bangs.

I have nothing against bangs, but I really, really hate having hair in or on my face. It’s really annoying, especially when working out, and I am not the headband-the-bangs-off-your-face type, even at the gym (I hate having anything around my head even more than I hate having anything on my face). I also have this fantasy that my quasi-wavy air-dried hair could look sort of beach-sexy disheveled when it gets a bit longer, and the thought of having good hair with almost no effort is very appealing. However, I hate wavy or curly hair with bangs.

Right now, I’m kind of in bang limbo. I’ve had bangs for a while now (I’m not sure what possessed me, but the second I got them I realized what an idiot I’d been to go without them for so long — apparently it takes me a while to learn). I’ve been growing them out, though, and now they’re sideswept bangs that are almost nonbangs, almost long enough to push behind my ear but not quite. This is the worst possible length for bangs to be — they’re always in my face and it drives me crazy. In just a few months, they should be long enough to stay out of the way. I’d be liberated from the bangs.

But then yesterday, cruel, cruel reality slapped me upside the fivehead. We were on our way home from the Nuggets game, and I was feeling bad about never taking any pictures. We also were stuck on Market Street in the most ridiculous traffic I have ever seen (a million people were out for St. Pat’s day, decked out in ill-fitting green t-shirts and sparkly Mardi-Gras-looking necklaces, being drunk and really, really annoying), so to entertain myself, I started taking pictures. The first problem with this is that Ben gets the goofiest look on his face every time he’s having his picture taken. The second problem is that in every shot, I looked like a Russian mail-order bride who had been held captive in someone’s basement for a year before escaping. If you think Tyra Banks has a fivehead, well, yeah, so do I. That thing took up the whole picture, dwarfing the rest of my face, and made me look like some kind of malnourished skeletor (I’m glad I didn’t look fat, but still, this is not appealing).

So the reality hit me right then. I am a woman who needs bangs. I will never again deny this ultimate truth. This Saturday, I will once again have bangs, real bangs, not bangs I just shove off to the side and wish they weren’t there. A while ago, I wrote about discovering my style icon, Jane Birkin. She will be my bang inspiration — I’m going all-out — thick, straight, not sideswept bangs.

I hope you all can learn from my mistakes. If your first response to this post was to think, “Ha, I don’t need bangs!” — are you sure? Really sure? I didn’t think I needed bangs — I thought they were nice, but I looked just as good without them. Not true. I bet most women look better with bangs than without, especially with hair up, because hair up, no bangs is not a look for everyone. Yes, bangs can be annoying — but I suppose I’d rather be annoyed by bangs than live the rest of my life looking like a “before” picture.

Okay, back to present day here. I went back through my photo archives and found the post-Nuggets, mail-order-bride photos from 2007. Here’s one of them. I know it’s not a good photo and this might be the least of my worries, but it’s the kind of picture you’d see on the internet and think, shit, that woman needs some bangs. It’s even worse in the crappy Hipstamatic picture I posted the other day, which is what got me thinking about this stupid issue again in the first place.

This is a very old, bad pictureSad Bears fan

These are the kind of pictures you look at and say, oh, how sad for her that that’s going on with her hair, the poor thing. Here, have a hug and some scissors.

The problem is, as mentioned above, I hate having hair on my face. I hate it so much I’d rather look like, well, like I look. I know. It’s bad. And I like thick, blunt, Jane Birkin bangs. But I learned only recently that very thick, blunt bangs can make a long face look even longer. They also make me skew a little — I don’t know — Broncos fan who drinks a lot of terrible beer at bars like the Stumble/Float/Roll/Drift Inn (the kind of place you pass in the middle of nowhere while you’re going somewhere else and say hey, let’s just hang out at the Stumble/Float/Roll/Drift Inn instead of going to whatever super-awesomJoe Sakice place you’re going, but you never actually hang out there, ever).

The other problem is that I sometimes have unfortunate bangs. I mean, seriously, what the shit is this? And I swear, this is not me taking an unwarranted opportunity to post a picture of me with Joe Sakic, because seriously, nobody in her right mind would want to post a picture of herself looking like this, Joe Sakic or not. Then there was the time I decided to trim my bangs after having too much to drink and while watching Kansas get eliminated from the NCAA Tournament the year I picked them to win the whole thing. This was during the mysterious dark-brown-hair years, and the result was less Bettie Page, more unfortunate baby-banged moonface girl who’s not even cool enough for roller derby no matter how much she might try.

Part of the problem, too, is that I think in general, bangs look better with dark hair than with blond hair (unfortunate non-roller-derby me excepted). But there are some blond women who look awesome with bangs. Reese Witherspoon, for example. Or Sarah Burke. IWe are not high. think I do okay with not-too-long, thickish, sideswept bangs, even in dorky pictures where Ben and I both look like we just smoked a big fatty outside my cousin’s wedding.

The other problem (Good lord, how many problems could there be regarding something as inconsequential as what I do with my stupid hair?) is that I’m not always sure about the intersection of bangs and glasses, and I wear glasses 99.99% of the time these days (because I like them and because glasses are the lazy woman’s eye makeup). And then there’s the fact that you have to, like, style bangs.

So I don’t know, internet. I hate having bangs and there’s a good chance they could go horribly wrong, but I kind of think I need them. If you’ve managed to read this whole thing, which is probably the most shallow, ridiculous thing I’ve ever spewed on the internet, I want your opinion and I will absolutely do what you tell me.