Me and Lady C

There comes a time in every woman’s life when you look in the mirror and face the truth. 

It’s not just a few stray strands.  You’re going gray.

“I’m thinking of dyeing my hair,” I told my mother, so she could reassure me it was completely unnecessary.

“Good idea,” she said.

That weekend I met Lady Clairol.

I put on an old t-shirt and began one of the medium-level bizarre female beauty rituals.  (More bizarre than lipstick, less than a bikini wax.)

I donned a pair of too big flimsy plastic gloves that tore at the slightest provocation. 

I mixed two chemicals together, helpfully labeled with a gigantic “1” and “2” on the bottles.  The first is the Color Enhancing Cream, and the second is the Color Activator.  I squeezed bottle “1” into bottle “2” and shook-shook-shook.  The two white chemicals turned a hopefully-natural-looking brown and emitted an unpleasant smell.

I hadn’t made this kind of reaction since playing with my childhood chemistry set, but it was so far, so good.

I squeezed the concoction onto my hair and rubbed it in.  It was around this time that I read the directions imploring the user to do an allergy test forty-eight hours before use.


Could they make the font any smaller?

I didn’t know what the allergy test entailed, but seeing as the combined contents of bottles “1” and “2” were all over my head, it was too late now.  I hoped the mild burning on the edge of my forehead was normal and not indicative of oncoming second degree burns.

Twenty minutes and a rinse later and voila!  I was young again.

I put my glasses back on and when I could see again things went downhill.

The trouble with hair dye is that it doesn’t just dye your hair.  It dyes everything it touches.

I thought I’d been careful, but the brown spots around the bathroom looked like brown blood spatter under a blacklight after a particularly vicious murder.

Frantically I wiped spots from the mirror, the sink, the floor.

I had dye on my forehead, my forearms, even on my knee.  I scrubbed against the clock, and I was proud of myself when I got every last spot.

Or so I thought.

I turned around and there it was.  Two brown smears across my white wooden bathroom door. 

Major Oops

Nothing worked.  Not scrubbing, not Magic Eraser, not nail polish remover.

So the day after Christmas, while the rest of the world shopped, I took the door into my garage and painted.  And painted.  And painted.

It took five coats to cover the spots.

But you know what?

My hair looks damn good.

Not a gray in sight.

3 thoughts on “Me and Lady C

  1. LAUGHING AT THIS….. There comes a time when we all ask someone “the grey question”, and we get the “good idea” response, mine was from Aunt Sue. I saw your door and yes it was a mess, and I couldn’t stop laughing, I think most of us who have met Lady C has had to clean up after Lady C and her “oops”. You forgot to mention that you took that door down two flights of steps and did not take out a wall!!!! Your Lady C hair looks great and I have to commend you on your outstanding paint job on your door. Great blog, so funny because I think most of us has had an encounter like this with Lady C, and probably will have a few more oops’ along the way…..LOL Funny start to my day!!!!

  2. For all your efforts you ended up with a great dye job, a new looking bathroom door and don’t forget the garage door.  I have a little gray too (ok, a lot) but I’m not asking anybody “the ” question. After all I’m a man and right or wrong it doesn’t matter as much. 

  3. Pingback: “It’s time to start…” - Melanie Novak

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