And by “stylist,” I mean, “whatever poor sap at Hair Cuttery is free to wax me.” She stood over me calmly, like I was only one in a series of misbegotten children of Sasquatch and the Yeti to grace her chair. She fell into a rhythm. Paint, blow, yank. It was soothing, despite the pain (beauty is pain). It was sacramental even. We bonded over my wild fur, taming it, tearing it out like sin. Then–
“You have such a lovely natural browline. You should come in more often.”
“Yeah, I’ve, uh, I’ve been camping.”
“Mmm,” she said.
I was kind of tan, though it had started to fade. I was certainly dirty, having not bathed in… 3 days? Surely not 4? No, today was the third day, and I’d take a shower after I was done here. Of course I would. My toenails needed a trim and fresh polish, and my leg hair– well, if I say it was extremely present, will you understand what I mean?
So I could’ve been camping. I had camped… 6 weeks ago…
But actually I was just finishing the revisions on my book. Why didn’t I say that? “Yes, I’ve been so distracted finishing my manuscript that I have chosen to forego basic hygiene, to say nothing of simple beauty maintenance.” It just didn’t sound believable. Who writes books? And of the people who write books, who devolves into frat house chic just because of … dear heavens, is it really?… a mere 402 endnotes? Dear Reader, I was ashamed. I didn’t want to represent the literary community in that light– that light being, of course, the stuttering flourescents over the very back Corner of Shame in Hair Cuttery reserved for the waxy, the perming, and those in need of a quick hair wash.
Probably (ok, definitely), I should’ve just told the truth. It turns out that camping isn’t any more common than writing books. Many, many people have told me, on hearing that I write, “Oh I always wanted to do that someday. I have all these great ideas for books.” (Aaaaaaaaaanyway…) The number of people in my usual village of acquaintances who have camped this year could fit on both hands. Who knows? Maybe the stylist has a book deal, too.
Here is a list of things I’ve done this month. I’m pretty proud of it:
- kept my child bathed, fed, happy, and cared for
- volunteered at my church, like, A LOT (I’m a little bit in charge of the teenage girls’ ministry.)
- reached level 19 on 6!!! (nearly 9) separate characters on World of Warcraft (’cause it’s free til level 20!)
- read Kristin Lavransdatter, which I thought was a kind of Norwegian Anne of Green Gables, but no, it’s a Nobel Prize winning, heart-wrenching doorstopper along the lines of The Brothers Karamazov or something else big and sad and amazing and difficult
took some pictures in which I do not look like I am related to Jabba the Hutt (we are, but I don’t like to claim him as a relation)
- learned that looming deadlines and the threat of failure is not sufficient motivation for me to give up Facebook (I might have a problem… Hmm… Maybe I’m not so proud of this list after all)
- Did all the laundry every week (didn’t fold it, but who cares? It’s clean! Fold your own stupid clothes!)
- Canned strawberry marmalade made with strawberries picked locally and grown organically. (That’s not special except it makes them yuckier to pick and clean. :))
- Ate at least five boxes of Nutty Bars (I eat when I’m stressed. Definitely not proud of this list after all.) Maybe that doesn’t seem like a lot to you. In which case I say, I’ll see you in line for insulin, friend.
- Read over 30 other books– that’s more than one per day! To be fair, a lot of those were picture books, so…
- Revised my manuscript.
- WAXED MY BROWS.
It’s been a busy month. Thanks for your patience.
Next up (I hope): A post from me and Whitney about You Shall Know Our Velocity!