Two days of school and I've learned quite a few things. One, it's easier to wake up when your cell phone blasts a truly offensive but mysteriously alluring song like "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake. "Here I go again on my own Goin down the ony road I've ever known, like a drifter I was booorn to walk alone- I know what it me-eans to walk along the lonely street of dreams.." The damn song gets stuck in my head all morning. I sing it while I'm serving breakfast and hum it on the subway as I apply mascara. It makes me want to put a screwdriver through my eye socket but it sure as hell gets me out of bed.
Two, I don't have as many black clothes as I thought. Or, the black clothes that I have are in worse shape than I thought. I have to wear all black. I mean, allllll black. As the instructor said, "All you people who like to wear black? This is the year you will get sick of black!" Socks? Black. Shoes? Black. Shirts that may peek out from underneath our regulation JMAI (black) t-shirts? Must be black. I'm sure if they were allowed to they'd mandate that our undergarments must also be black. Apparently the only place we're permitted to have any color at all is our hair, and my hair is, um, BLACK. So I am rockin the monochrome these days.
How one looks in the beauty biz is obviously very important, so much emphasis is placed on upkeep and grooming in the form of daily "image checks". This is when they look you over and make sure you look clean and put together. I'm waiting for them to notice the wasted hemlines from where my pants drag on the ground, or that every morning my face holds enough water to hydrate a cactus for a year or two. So far, no one's said anything. This might change once I move out of the freshman-level basement dungeon into the upstairs clinic where clients might see me.
This whole beauty routine has really cramped my roll-out-of-bed style that I like to flaunt when I'm running the kids to school five minutes late (again). I mean, I have to shower, do what I can to de-puff my face (ripping a page from the LLL textbook and adding it to my new life, cabbage leaves would work if you can sit blindly for ten minutes), de-bedhead my hair, and make sure it looks like I'm taking care of my skin and using all the appropriate anti-aging products that a woman my age should be using (even if I haven't been until, oh, three days ago when I finally picked up some moisturizer at the drugstore). And my make-up should be heavy enough to prove that I know what I'm doing but not so heavy that I feel like I've got plastic sheeting on my face all day. Obviously this is in addition to the usual cajoling and bribing I do every morning.
Fortunately I take the subway and this is a good place to do makeup as long as you don't care that other people might judge you for your freakish public vanity.
The Learning itself is going well. There isn't much to learn yet and there was only one time when I felt The Tired come and try to flush my brain away. I'm not so worried about that anymore, partly because I've met my competition and I see that I could struggle a whole lot before I fall behind, and partly because I've realized that ten years and two kids make an enormous difference in one's attitude toward school.
And the last time I was in school they weren't handing out giant bags of TOYS. Every kind of comb, brush, clip, and appliance you can imagine, several pairs of slick and shiny new shears, and four disembodied heads that I've fallen irrationally in love with. Three short haired Debras and one long haired Sandy. The triplets and their sister.
Today we were told that tomorrow's sectioning lesson would be easier if we soaked Debra's hair in conditioner tonight. While all the normal people fretted about not having enough room in their bags for these weird-looking heads and oh what-to-do, what-to-do, I carried her proudly and she got her own seat on the bus.
In fact she (with her freshly conditioned hair) has been right next to me this whole time helping me write this post. She'd have written one herself, I'm sure, if she only had hands. What, you can't hear her? I can. She's like Jambi. Heh heh heh (crazy crazy).
There will be plenty more to come about Debra and her disembodied sisters; I'm sure they (and their hair!) will be having some adventures this year.
PS- If you are reading this on Facebook, click the link below to see the original post with the pictures.