By Jen Rouse
The Short Years
I dye my hair.
This is not some big stunning revelation, since I’ve written about it before. It’s just something you need to be aware of as the story I’m about to tell you unfolds. I’m not serene enough to accept my gray hairs as signs of wisdom and maturity and instead choose to camouflage them with chemical means. So. That’s the first thing you need to know.
The second thing you need to know is that I’m cheap. That means that instead of paying money to have a professional dye my hair at the salon, I do it myself, at home, with stuff that comes in a little cardboard box.
So last night after the kids were in bed I decided to go ahead and open up that little cardboard box and let it do its stuff. I went into the bathroom and mixed the components into a thick gloppy substance, which start out as a light beige-ish color when you’re first applying it to your hair. Then, you wait 25 minutes, during which time it darkens to a kind of horrifying purplish-black upon your head. Then you rinse it out and your hair is, supposedly, “Natural Medium Neutral Brown.” Anyway, I’ve been doing this for a couple years now, so I whizzed through the mixing and application process without giving the purplish glop much thought at all. I decided that rather than sit in the chemical-smelling bathroom while waiting for the stuff to work its magic, I would wander out to the living room and check my email–with a towel draped around my shoulders, of course, to catch any wayward droplets.
I did that, the timer dinged, and I returned to the bathroom, only to be met by a horrible sight.
There, all over the stark-white tile floor, were dark purplish-black footprints. Everywhere. They went from the sink to the doorway to the hallway…quickly I looked at the soles of my feet. Then I looked out into the living room, where the footprints continued. Then I looked at the box, sitting on the counter, with the words “permanent dye” clearly written on the side. My worst suspicions were confirmed.
I had dropped a drop of dye glop onto the floor while still in its beigish stage, failed to notice it, stepped in it, then tracked it all over the house, where it darkened into to big purplish-black blotches.
Just seeing the purple all over my floor gave me flashbacks to the great Gentian Violet incident of ’06. Except this time there was no 2-year-old around to blame the spill on. This was me, my fault, all me.
I grabbed a wet washcloth, took a deep breath, and started wiping.
And…thank the good Lord…it wiped right up. From the bathroom to the hallway to the living room I retraced my footsteps, and every single one of the blotches wiped clean away, right off the tile in the bathroom and the laminate wood flooring in the living room. The soles of my feet are still somewhat questionable-looking, but what do I care about the soles of my feet? The HOUSE is what I care about.
And considering how often our house is the scene of things like potty-training
accidents and vomit-fests and giant art projects involving paint and glitter, and now home beauty rituals gone awry, I’m just thanking my lucky stars over and over that we ended up buying a house that’s 95% non-carpeted. It makes me wonder why carpet was ever *invented* for crying out loud.
Hear me now, makers of laminate flooring: you have won a satisfied customer forever. Because carpet may feel soft on your feet and be nice to lay down on. But *not* having to explain to your husband that you are responsible for tracking deep purple permanent-dye footprints all over the carpet? That’s priceless.
*This post was not sponsored or in any way influenced by the marketing department of a laminate flooring company. I’m just really, truly grateful.