New Year's Eve! 2016 is upon us, goodness me. I have half a dozen drafts started of introspective looks back at the year that was (and oh! what a year it was!) but I haven't managed to pull any of them into any sort of publishable shape yet. I keep getting distracted doing crossword puzzles, if you must know the truth. But they'll still be there in early January. Already, a treat to look forward to!
Instead, I'm kicking it way back to NYE 2010 and sharing a favorite from the Ol' One Awkward Year archives, The Night of the Round Brush. This remains one of my favorite stories (involving myself) (ok, ok, ALL of my favorite stories involve myself) of all time. And it's been five whole years since this all went down! Which also mean five years since I met Brian! Time flies when you're crazy in love. It feels like so much longer, in the best way. Trigger warning for extreme cheese but I sometimes can't remember what my life felt like before he was in it, I just feel like he's always been my partner. Oh, I love him so!
Indeed, the as-yet-unwritten epilogue to this tale is that after all of these shenanigans, I walked into a party like I was walking onto a yacht and on that yacht I met the love of my life. And I almost feel like there's a bit of a moral there: Be Yourself.
I know, I know, it's trite and simple but bear with me here. This night I wanted to arrive at the party a sleek, sophisticated goddess, all cool charm and straight hair, aka the polar opposite of who I really am. And instead it all backfired and I burst in probably the truest version of myself: flustered, frizzy, commanding attention with a wild tale of misadventure and there, in that totally authentic state, I snagged myself a man.
Admittedly I was wearing a pretty slutty outfit, so that might have helped just a pinch.
But there it is, my moral. Don't try to fight nature, just roll with it. In life and in love, just be a slightly slutty version of your true self and good things shall come.
Happy New Year to you and yours and thanks for hanging out with me this year. See ya in 2016! Well first I'll see ya in 2011, as we #TBT below but then I'll see ya in 2016.
New Year, New You! That's what I always say. The dawning of a new era is the best time to reinvent yourself spiritually, emotionally and, of course, physically. To welcome in 2011, I'm going to share some simple tips on achieving a really fun, flattering new hair-do. Now this do is really just for special nights out. Birthdays, weddings, funerals, key parties, etc. I tried it for the first time on New Years Eve and the results were spectacular! And it is SO Easy! All you need is a blow dryer, a big round brush, a slightly smaller round brush, water, two patient assistants and, eventually, a pair of scissors. Oh and also wine and Swedish meatballs, but they're not mandatory. Ready?
1. Make sure you're the last one in your apartment to shower, so the water is freezing cold. If you want, you can take a hot shower, but I think this is really important for sort of setting the tone of the hair-do.
2. Watch a couple of You Tube videos on "How to Blow Out Curly Hair" and "Drying with Volume" and stuff. It doesn't matter if you have straight hair, you should still watch these videos because they are interesting! And informational.
3. Using the larger of the two round brushes, blow dry your hair until it is straight and beautiful. Just as you're about to be finished, get this brush slightly stuck on the bottom left side of your head. Just slightly. Have a mild panic attack, invite your first assistant (for me, sister M) into the bathroom to help/tease you, and then just rip it out.
4. Feel embarrassed. Resume blow-drying.
5. Now your hair is totally dry, but it's not as voluminous as the models on YouTube. This is where the smaller (ideally also older, grosser) of the two brushes comes in. You're gonna want to take a giant section of hair from the top middle of your head, also known as the crown, and roll that entire section around the brush, allll the way down to the scalp. Do not miss a single hair, this is important!
6. Now try to remove the hairbrush. If you can get it out, you're doing this wrong and you need to try again. What you want to happen here is for the brush to be so completely stuck on the top/middle portion of your head/hair that it's just not going anywhere. Ever.
7. Panic. A lot.
8. Keep the panic to yourself - remember you're still super embarrassed about the first brush you got stuck in your hair no more than 10 minutes ago. You're an adult who can't brush her own hair. Just deal with it on your own. No need to involve other parties.
9. Get in the shower and attempt to get the brush out of your hair by smearing conditioner all over your head and face. This will only make the brush stick harder, but at least the shower is now warm, and also a good place to cry.
10. After the shower, spend 10-12 minutes frantically ripping at your head, until you realize that the brush is like really super stuck. This is good! At this point, you want your hair to look a little like this:
You are beautiful! Now you're ready to involve other people in your hair styling. Call in the one of your two assistants who has NOT already seen you with a brush stuck to your head (for me, my roommate K), and put him/her to work on your hair! Remember - your assistants can be anyone! Sister, brother, roommate, friend, neighbor, the pizza man, your cat, even your boyfriend. Although, if you're the kind of adult who gets a hairbrush stuck in their hair you're probably very single but hey, there's someone for everyone! That's another thing I always say.
So this is really quality bonding time. For the next hour - 1.5 hours, you sit on the toilet in your fuzzy robe while your assistant rips at your hair and you try not to cry and she tries to refrain from wondering out loud what she ever did to end up with a roommate like you and you are having SO MUCH FUN:
Look at you two! Such a good pair!
11. So step 11 is not mandatory and happens like, concurrent with step 10. This is where the wine/meatballs come in. Remember: you're having FUN. Start snacking! Get assistant two to periodically come into the cold bathroom where you're just hanging, styling, and bring you your favorite nosh. It can be anything you want bourbon/pretzels, beer/marshmallows, tequila/tater tots - it don't matta, just as long as the beverage is alcoholic and the snack is small enough that you can shove a lot of it in your face reallyfast, in an attempt to quell your rapidly increasing anxiety. And by anxiety, I mean the fun kind, like when you're riding a roller coaster, or having a pregnancy scare or trapped in the Sawbasement, not the bad kind.
12. After you've been at this for at least an hour, it's time to reevaluate. Give your former self one last look:
Now hand your assistant those scissors and SNIP!
SNIP SNIP SNIP! This should take at least another 30 minutes, if you really want to do it right. SNIP!
13. Get back in the shower (your 3rd shower of the evening), have another cry, get out of the shower and style your hair just like you normally do every single day.
And you're done! A beautiful, simple, big-night out hairstyle! The most exciting thing is how, after just 2.5 hours, your hair will look exactly the same as it did before, except with little short pieces hidden all around the crown of your head. Like a LITERAL crown. You now have a crown of hair and a guaranteed attention-grabbing story at whatever special event you happen to be attending. TA-DAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!
Here's to a very happy awkward 2011, y'all!
(This still stands! Here's to a very happy awkward 2016!!!!)