Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Fortune Cookie Never Lies

And good thing, that, because after today's hair trauma I needed to hear

Plan your graduation party with Leeann Chin Delivery.

Oh, wait, wrong side.

Your sparkle never fades.

This is reassuring to know, because I have entered the phase of interviews rather than just resume submissions. My first non-phone interview is this week, and I had decided I'd better get my growing-out hair whipped into shape (It's not been cut in awhile. I've been going through hairdresser withdrawal, as the guy who has cut my hair for years is now half a continent away, damn him.).

So, in I go to the new place, with the same old requirements. Trim off the ends, please don't layer the sides or the back (that's death to me, who has baby fine hair) and cut the front to about cheekbone level.

I got bangs. They're the sort of bangs that fall perfectly into your eyes in a manner that means you'll be constantly blowing them out of the way. Longer bangs, to be sure. But still, bangs. Not exactly the length or look for which I was going.

Now, lots of people look great in bangs. They can wear bangs and a suit and look sleekly competent, or bangs and something slinky and look chic. You know the type of women I mean.Then there are a minuscule few who look like a six-year-old with prematurely wrinkling skin when you whack their hair into a fringe. Especially when one tiny point of hair at the side of the bangs, right near one's glasses arm, wings straight out for no apparent reason whatsoever.

Any guesses as to the group in which I am placed?

Yup. I'm freakin' six.

Add to that fact that I have several cowlicks in the front of my hair (which are only noticeable when said hair is short) and I now resemble one of those sheepdogs from Bugs Bunny cartoons, only I look like I have a bad case of the mange.

It's not really the hairdresser's fault, you know. She did the best anyone could do with the materials at hand. Truly. It was an uphill battle for her from the moment she ticked my name off the list.

So I'm taking a deep breath and reminding myself that even mangy puppies (remember the six is in people years) can sparkle when called upon to explain composition theory and strategies for succeeding with at-risk and LD students.

I'm also reminding myself that, for the first time in what seems forever, I have completed two projects in time for the birthday of a little girl I love in the Dominican Republic. It's a sparkle moment all its own, that. Granted, Carolina's birthday isn't for another two months, but I have to allow for DR mail service and letter translation, as my Spanish is back to non-existent.
Well, okay, the projects are almost completed. The Bloom Shawl is knitted and blocked:

All that remains is sewing on the button on the front. She's a lover of bright colors, our Carolina, so I hope she likes this.And the bookmark is half completed. As it only takes about two to three hours, tops, for this project, I'm on the downhill side:

I'm fervently hoped its gnarled little self will straighten nicely with application of a border, heavy doses of spray starch and merciless T-pinning. The adding of the ribbon should help as well, though I've yet to decide on the ribbon color: blue, or white.

That project is a more than just a sparkle moment, really. It's actually a labor of generational love. I've never attempted to crochet with mercerized cotton and a hook so small it's hard to see the point before this moment. But my Great-Aunt Mary, who was a child's perfect example of unconditional love and patience, used to crochet such tiny things and give them to me as gifts. I loved their fineness and the possibilities for my imagination that each lacy pattern held.

I hope that the project does block out well. If not, I'll redo it. What my hands are recreating isn't just a bookmark. It's a feeling that Mary gave to me and that I carry with me still; a feeling which, through the repetitive movements of my hands, will perhaps be passed on to a quickly growing up girl far from me. Maybe she'll tuck it into the copy of El Principe Caspian that we bought her at the book fair. I hope she does, and I hope it makes her smile in her soon to be twelve-year-oldness, this little bit of tangible, child-like love; just as I smiled at the bookmark made for me.

With this haircut, I don't look twelve yet, but that's okay. Maybe six with sparkle has its merits.

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