Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lucy's Back

I recall with disdain the first time I colored my hair. Being unfamiliar with the various products available, I pored over every shade of brown that Walmart offered, looking for the one that would best match my natural hair color – dark brown. I desperately wanted to cover the gray, but didn’t want the change in my hair color to be blatantly obvious to friends, family and co-workers. I finally settled on a L’oreal product with a picture on the front that looked like a pretty fair match. I applied it that day and was dismayed to find the color was too intense - much darker than my natural color. When Gary got home, he looked at me and his eyebrows shot up, but to his credit, he didn’t say anything right at first.

“I know. It’s awful isn’t it?”

“No,” he lied. “I’ll get used to it.”

“Well, the next time I do it, I’ll get a lighter shade and it will look more like my own color.”

Four agonizing weeks later, I selected a color I felt would correct the problem. My natural color has a slightly reddish tone and the picture on the box seemed like it would take me to the desired color, considering it had to overpower the dark brown. Once it was on though, I grew concerned that the goppy mess on my head looked perhaps a bit too red. My worst fears were realized when I shampooed it out and faced the mirror. It was red…very red. As intense as my misery was, it deepened when I imagined the inevitable encounter with my husband. When I heard his car come up the driveway, I positioned myself in the living room where he would not see me right away.

“How was golf?”

“Good. Where are you?”

“Umm, in the living room but stay where you are for a minute.”


“Well, remember I told you that when I colored my hair again, I thought I could correct the shade to match my natural color better?”

“Yeah…oh, no. What have you done, let me see.”

I stepped into the hall and once again those eyebrows betrayed his best effort to not hurt my feelings. And he laughed.

“It’s even worse than before. Do you hate it?”

“Well, I wouldn’t go that far. It’s just that when I left this morning you looked like Desi Arnaz, and now you look like Lucille Ball.”

Gary can be such a wag.

I consulted a professional before I colored my hair again and finally arrived at a color that worked nicely. I have stayed with that color for years, then recently my daughter commented that since my hair had gotten grayer, the color was lighter and kind of “washed out” looking.

“You might consider going with a slightly different shade – something a wee bit deeper with a just hint of red to it.”

This in mind, the next time I needed to color my hair, I studied the different shades to figure out which one would give me the desired result. Ultimately, I selected one called ‘Medium Chestnut’ and took it to the stylist who now applies my color for me. Although apprehensive, she did not seem to think it would be too red, but once again when it was actually on my hair, it turned a furious shade of crimson. Horrified, I resigned myself to hope for the best but it was not to be. Once I was shampooed and blow-dried, I once more encountered the redhead in the mirror, but this time the whole thing struck me as hysterically funny. I cracked up all the way home in the car – at my stupidity for letting this happen again and at the image of Gary’s face when he saw me. He came out the door to greet me as I got out of the car. The sunshine hit my hair and those eyebrows shot up. He grinned and said, “Lu-u-u-c-y – you got some ‘splainin to do!”

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