Monday, September 24, 2007

A few weeks ago, I unexpectedly dyed my hair blonde. And I do mean blonde. Wait let me back up. My hairstylist dyed my hair. He knew it was going to be blonde. I, on the other hand, had no clue. To all the ladies, that are reading this you know this a tremendous leap of faith - almost greater than Moses telling people to follow him into the waters. My stylist asked me did I want to go lighter, and since I was on the phone, I simply replied "Sure.", thinking he was talking about a lighter shade of the reddish brown that I was rocking at the time. Now, usually, when he makes a hair recommendation, I have tons of questions, I want to see a sample/picture, something to give me an idea of what I can expect. However, this time, I was on a long distance, close connection phone call, and was far less concerned with the minute details of changing my appearance.

My initial reaction to the lighter hued hair sitting on top of my head was "Oh shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit! This is briiiiiiiight!" I just kind of stared back at myself, blinking as if that would change what I saw in the mirror. Everyone in the salon loved it, including my best friend. My stylist remarked that my hair now matched my personality. I always thought my personality should shine brighter than my hair, not the other way around. So as you can see I wasn't so sold on the idea, initially. Me as a blonde?? I just didn't see it as working for me. I thought it looked nice but I felt....weird, out of my comfort zone. For the next couple of days, every time I would walk past a mirror, I would jump because I was not expecting to see "Blondie" (as my mother has now started calling me). And then I don't know if I was paranoid or what, but every where I went I would catch someone staring at me. Oh great, now I'm a freak show. You know the chick you see walking down the street with the orange/green/blue/red hair and you think to yourself, "where the hell does she work???" or "she ain't got no friends". I am now that chick.

But the initial shock wore off after about 48 hours, and of course about 3 compliments from men (only knew one of them...hahahahahaaa). Of course I asked myself, why did I care if a man liked it or not???? Come on now. I don't care how self-evolved, liberated, independent I can profess to be, if my look is not appealing to the opposite sex at all, I might as well sit home, get fat, and live vicariously though Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and I AM LOVING THE BLONDE LIFE!!!!!! Despite the very few lip turned up, eyes rolled to the heavens looks I've gotten from a few haters (I guess they didn't read the blog on haters, huh?? hahahahahaa), and the question I received about my "blackness" (what the hellll?? how ignorant can you be to assume I'm not "black enough" because of my light skin and my blonde mane?? I hope that was the Hennessey talking, bro), I have received nothing but positive feedback from people. My hair it seems is a conversation starter. I've noticed people will come up to me and strike up conversation usually starting with my hair. While perfect strangers coming up to me is nothing new, I've rarely had them come up to me to comment on my hair. People are so much friendlier, more accommodating. The other day an older woman let me skip her and her cart full of groceries on line in the supermarket since I was only picking up some shrimp skewers to throw on the grill (yes, I have a grill on my terrace that I plan to use alllllll freaking winter! hahahahahahah). When I turned to thank her once again as I was leaving the register, she replied "No problem, sweetie. I love your hair!" Wow, thanks lady! Over the past couple of weeks more times than I can ever remember happening, men (especially white men) have been giving up their seats for me on the train - during rush hour. Now all of my train commuters know, chivalry died long before the token on the subway system in New York. I have seen men turn their heads when an obviously pregnant woman boards the train. So the first time it occurred I got offended because I assumed this man thought I was pregnant. All this hard work I've been doing at the gym (need to get my ass back on routine though) and this mo-fo thinks I'm pregnant???!!! "NO thank you!" If only he could see me rolling my eyes behind my Marc Jacob sunglasses. The guy gets up anyway and says "I'm getting off at the next stop." and gestures for me to take his seat. "Ohhh thank you!" accompanied by the nicest grin I could muster while I swallowed my salty attitude. If he could only see my smiling eyes behind my Marc Jacob sunglasses. But chick, I see you rolling your eyes because he didn't offer the seat to you. Don't hate, just salivate. hahahahahahahaaaa

I told a friend over drinks all of my blonde experiences. She posed the following question to me: "do you think it's because you're blonde or do you think it's because of the mood boost this new look is giving you?" Damn girl, why you gotta get deep on me after a few glasses of Grand Marnier & pineapple juice??? In true Janelle fashion, I laughed and said "I dunno. Probably both". But in my sober state of mind, I would hope that people's reaction to me is because of the mood boost this hair color has given me. Maybe because now I have no choice but to stand out in a crowd, I'm allowing the real me to stand out too. My stylist was right: the hair and my personality are in sync (on most days anyway...hahahahahaa). I don't call him the Colored Colorist for nothing.

Forcing me to step out of my comfort zone is the best part of being blonde. However, I can do without the stereotypical blonde moments like when I walked out of my sister's apartment without my shoes and my purse on our way to a club. Shit, I'll just blame that on the alcohol.

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