Love makes us do strange things.
For instance, during that delightful (and extremely short) ‘honeymoon’ stage, when Crazy Lady and I first met, anything and everything was possible. So, when Countess Clairol decided she’d colour her hair at home, and suggested that she might as well do mine too, I figured, ‘Shucks, why not?’
I’d never had my hair coloured, and kind of looked forward to having it done. Well, when she opened the package, a horrible smell assaulted my nose, like a cross between embalming fluid and ammonia. Now I reckon that at that point, any of the good Lord’s other creatures, with even a lick of sense, would have bolted out the door in self-preservation. Oh, but not I. Instead, I watched Francesstein mix ingredients that looked remarkably like the ink an octopus shoots out when escaping.
The next thing I know, I’ve got latex gloves on and I’m applying colour to her hair. Did I mention how badly that stuff stunk? Well, the colour seemed a wee bit too ‘red’ to me, but Ms. Maybelline assured me that, when it merged with the ‘natural’ hair colour, it would result in a nice shade of brunette. As she toweled my shoulders and began working the concoction into my few remaining hairs, it dawned on me that there was no longer any turning back. I assured myself that there was nothing to worry about. Once the hazardous, stinky, itchy, burning substance had been liberally applied, I was informed that I would have to wait to allow time for it to work. This presented a serious personal challenge for me, as I’ve had a serious wait problem all my life.
After the prescribed period of torture, it was time to reveal the final product. For ‘most’ people this is a happy time. Bending me over the kitchen sink like she was getting ready to give me a prostrate exam, the Good Witch of the North began to rinse my hair. It’s important to mention here that phrases like, “Oh my!”, “Oh well, it’ll grow out”, “It’s only hair…” and other commonly used ‘screw-up self-assurances’, aren’t real confidence builders. Well, I not only got all of them and more, they were mixed with laughter, pointing and knee slapping. Needless to say, I started to get a really bad feeling, and feared that the colour had turned out too red after all. Thankfully it hadn’t. Instead, it turned out to be a beautiful shade of bright purple.
I worked in vehicle sales at the time, so approaching customers looking like ‘Barney’ presented its own set of challenges. I’d watch a wide range of thoughts and emotions flit across their faces, from “Oh my God honey! It’s a singing Purple Salesasaur”, to “Dang, that must’ve been one awesome party!” There then followed a few weeks where, when I got home, instead of “Hi Baby, how was work?”, she’d cover her mouth and run into other rooms shrieking with laughter. When we appeared in public holding hands, our matching green eyes, tall slim builds and purple hair had people saying things like, “The family that dyes together, cries together”, “It’s Barney’s extended family!”, and so on. Well, my hair eventually grew out and returned to its natural colour, and it has never, ever, been coloured since.