Melinda Monday! Headbands

Slacker that I am, it’s been weeks since I followed up the blog series started here.  Sorry to my one (maybe three) blog reader(s).

This Monday’s topic is “headbands”.  The kind you wear on your head (is there another?).  I jokingly asked Melinda if she meant some kind of southern musical act, but…. a BWAHAHAHAHA.  No.

The first thing that came to mind with this word was my own history with headbands.  It was not pretty.  I was a child in the 70’s, so headbands were plastic, hard, and had teeth.  And because I was an incredibly anal retentive child – picky and exacting in every way – I wore these headbands with a vengeance.  I pushed them back on my head so hard I am sure they drew blood.  But I did not care because I did not want…  One.  Hair.  Out.  Of.  Place.

Similarly, when I started wearing pony tails pulled back by my mother (I’m not saying I got my anal retentiveness from her but let’s just say that she could spot a piece of lint on the floor from 15 feet away and then would ask me to pick it up), I had the same “no bumps” mentality.  My mother pulled and pulled and smoothed and smoothed, and the finished product was a head with no visible protusions (save the pony tail) and me with a perpetually surprised look on my face.

Since then, I have relaxed a little.  A little.  I don’t wear headbands (although I hear they are back in fashion – if one wears it casually around one’s head and not as a means of suppressing any free will of an individual hair).   I still have my quirks.  Like, right now, the fact that my socks keep falling down makes me want to head to the nearest clock tower.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a short essay about this facet of my personality, and I have included it here in this post.  Yeah, I am recycling my writing again.  SO WHAT??  I’ve been busy.  Ok, so I’ve been busy at being lazy, but still… Busy.


A Pomade Free Life


Today, my hairdresser said something interesting to me.  It further proved to me that some of the most enlightening of thoughts germinate in common interactions between everyday folk.  Either that or the foil solution made me high. 

We were discussing what to use in my hair on the days when I don’t wash it.  (It is actually better for your hair to not wash it every day, so my pervasive laziness is doing me a favor in this respect.)  And she said, “Well, it depends…” and then she posed the following question:

“Are you a toucher?”

A what-er??

She explained that the type of “product” one uses in one’s hair depends on whether the person likes the hair to be free-flowing and will “touch it” frequently (tucking it behind the ear, tossing it back) in which case a pomade would be used or whether the person likes the hair to be sprayed in place (not to be moved or touched but to remain styled) in which case a hair spray would be used. 

And, oh, how I want to be a toucher.  I mean, how glorious it would be to feel confident in my messy hair.  How freeing it would be to not fear a gust of wind or precipitation.  Who would not want the bold character that comes with not caring if your hair looks the same at 3pm as it did at 8am?

I told my hairdresser I was a toucher.

But I know that I am not.  I want to be.  I try to be.  But I am not a toucher.

 I am, rather, the other type.  I am the person who needs a place for everything and everything in its place – and that includes my hair.  I need to feel that things are unaltered, and will frequently pull out a small travel size bottle of hair spray to make sure that not one hair has shifted on my head.  The hair that does shift pays the penalty of being sprayed madly into the hairs next to it, and not to be freed until I wash it (which we have established is not every day).

This need for control extends into my senses.  The feel of my hair on my forehead or neck will at times send me into a prolonged state of annoyance.  A state broken only by severely pulling all of my hair away from my face and clipping it securely to my head where it will not move.  Not an attractive look, mind you, but far better than shaving my head (which I have actually contemplated).

I feel this says something about me as a person.

As I sat in my hairdresser’s chair, I could not help but analyze the often reserved state of my psyche and how I try desperately to shield it from being uncomfortable and messy.  I am free with words, but not with my state of mind.  So, while I am seemingly extroverted and free-wheeling, I am in reality calculated and insanely fearful of change.

This can be very limiting.

It can mean that I will, like that hair spray sodden strand of hair, cling tenaciously to what is next to me.  I will cling to what I know is unchanging and will take comfort in it.

Even if I don’t have the freedom to enjoy the wind and run my fingers through my hair, I’ll stay adhered to what I know best.

I feel this must change.  I feel I need to become a toucher.  I need to start using the pomade in my life.  I need to start pulling things apart and setting them free, so that when the wind blows I will toss my hair into it and laugh like a madwoman. 

Either that or I need to find a different hairdresser.


Melinda Monday! Chicken Stock

So, I decided to make Mondays topic specific blog days.  My friend Melinda is going to give me a random topic each week.  My job is to write a blog about it.  (Here is where my random trivia knowledge and pure lack of social life come into their own.)

And, by the way, this started because Melinda made fun of me for having an opinion/story/something to say about everything.  We made a game of trying to come up with a topic that I did not have a response to, and IT IS IMPOSSIBLE.

This week’s topic: chicken stock.

Interestingly enough, I have a box of chicken BROTH in my fridge right now.  But that is not the same thing.  OH NO.  Broth comes from boiling down meat.  STOCK comes from boiling down inedible bits.  Don’t you just love that??  Stock is a little thicker too because collagen from the cartiledge is dispersed into the water….and voila! you have fatty soup.

Let me say that again…..collagen from the CARTILEDGE IN THE BONES….

Yeah, it’s a little creepy.  And yet, oh so tasty.  But creepy.  Ick.  But it is the ultimate in using every part of an animal.  And back in the day when you ate chickens because they ran around your farm and they were handy, using every part of an animal was very important.  (Now I wanna know…did they use the head?  The beak?  hmmmm)  I am sure using the cartiledge (ick!) of an animal was born out of necessity.  Someone figured out that you could use those little chicken bones to make soup!  And folks still do that today – only it’s not so much out of necessity as it is out of a sense of pride – “See that?  I did not waste one part of that doggone chicken!”

Nowadays you don’t need to boil down that cartiledge (ick!)!  You have chicken BROTH – that comes in a BOX.  Can you even imagine what someone back in the day would have thought? (I keep using this phrase and I am not quite sure when “back in the day” really is…assume I mean a time when people had no money and needed to grow their own produce….ok, ok…that could mean 2010 is “back in the day”, but for the purposes of this blog, also assume I mean “long ago”.)  I bet someone back in the day would have thought broth in a box was a godsend because then she or he (really it’s ‘she’…who are we kidding?) would not have to slave over a boiling pot.  And wouldn’t that be nice to only have to pluck the chicken and cook the meat and not have to worry about the damn bones?

So, it’s amusing to me that in the present we like to boil down that cartiledge (ick!) because it makes us feel like we have done a good thing – we have cooked something from scratch!  There’s also an element in “today’s day and age” (assume I mean the opposite of “back in the day”) of not wanting to waste things.  We reduce, reuse, and recycle…and would never waste the bones of a chicken!  Or its cartiledge  (ick!).  We will not starve if we don’t boil down our chicken bones.  We would, however, look way less self-sufficient and savvy if we didn’t (traits that were less important “back in the day”, but happened spontaneously anyway).

Me…I am less self-sufficient and savvy.  I don’t boil down chicken bones.  Or cartiledge (ick!).  And if I ever make soup, it’s typically because Campbell’s helped me out with it.  But I wholeheartedly appreciate when other people do it.  And it tastes great.  And as long as I never get an inedible bit in my soup, I’m good.