Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Monday, June 26, 2006


I've been keeping things light around here recently for a number of reasons. One is what I used to think was an impending server move, but is now a "well, it's probably going to happen at some point" move. Another is the fact that things are going along fairly well in my life right now, which doesn't make for particularly compelling blog fodder.

But mostly, it's because I'm apparently still trying to hide from my fear and anxiety over Stalker Girl. (I'd link here for those who don't know that story, but I've recently taken down the majority of those entries, for reasons that are about to become clear.)

See, about a year and a half ago, I decided I should write a book--decided I wanted to write a book--about the stalking and what came after. About the ripple effects--not all of which are bad--that one person, one series of incidents, can have on an entire life. And so I started compiling previous blog entries into one document, then began adding newly written bits as well. At the moment, I have 96 pages of edited posts and written material, as well as another 72 pages of blog posts I have yet to incorporate.

Sounds impressive, no? And it would BE impressive...if I'd written a single word or even looked over a single page since, oh, February 13th at 6:09 pm. If I'd, you know, made progress in the past four months. ANY progress.

I've been thinking about why this is, why I haven't put finger to keyboard in such a long time. And here's what I've come up with: I'm too happy. Not too happy as in "more happy than I should be." But too happy as in "I don't want to think about this shit because it will only bring me down."

That was brought home to me in no uncertain terms when I went to the doctor the other day to get a drug refill.

See, when Dr. Oui--my much-beloved psychiatrist--left the university, he gave me only a three-month prescription for Celexa. He did it, he said, to force me to find someone else to take on my care. Right after that, however, all the pieces of my new work-from-home scheme came together and my therapist pronounced me good to go. I decided I didn't need a monthly med check for the time being. I just needed to keep on keeping on.

When the three months were up, I found myself in a bind. My internist had also left the university, at around the same time as Dr. Oui. And so I called the doctor who had been recommended to me as her replacement and asked for a sight-unseen refill. She was happy to do it, but only for one month; by the time I needed more, she too had left. (Don't ask.) The nurse I called and cried to about my impending cold-turkey withdrawal from Celexa found another doctor to call in a three-month supply for me, but only after I'd made an appointment to come see her before those three months were up.

That appointment was last week.

I've seen this doctor before, when my original internist wasn't available, and she's fabulous. I felt right at home talking to her. Until, after getting the basics of which drugs I needed refilled and at what dosages, she turned around and said, "So, I'm assuming these are to treat a depression?"

"Well," I admitted, "they're for depression and anxiety and, um, PTSD."

She raised an eyebrow. "PTSD?"

"Yeah," I said. "Except it's actually probably considered TSD, since it's not really post yet. Or at least there's no way to be sure it's post."

Which, of course, prompted her to ask me what the trauma was, where the anxiety sprang from. Which prompted me to realize that, shit, it's no easier to talk about this now, more than three years after the initial 'breakdown,' than it was then. In fact, if anything, it's harder. Because then, there was so much ongoing pain and fear and such, there were so many unremitting obsessive thought patterns, that I couldn't really freak myself out too much more. But these days, time passes smoothly; entire days go by where I don't think of her name or wonder about where she'll show up next and what she'll have up her sleeve. Until, that is, I need a refill from a doctor who doesn't know my history, and I have to spit out a couple of brief sentences about ten years of fear.

She listened, openmouthed. "Why?" she asked. "Why does she do this?"

"I don't know," I said, simply. "She's crazy. And unpredictable. And so every time I think it's time to consider backing off the meds, I change my mind within seconds. Because I never know when she's going to blow again, and what that will do to me." I paused, then added. "Which is why I'm here looking for a refill."

I left her office that day with seven months' worth of Celexa and, despite my telling her that I was using it less and less frequently, a way-way-more-than-adequate supply of Xanax. Not to mention the realization that I need to keep talking about all of this...and that I really, really, REALLY don't want to.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Hot, hot, hot

Every summer, we invariably have a run of so-hot days; days that make me wonder why it is I haven't yet sold a kidney so that we can put central air conditioning in the house. We live in Southern California, I think at those moments. Not having central air is probably a crime. Certainly, I expect CPS on my doorstep any moment. My priorities are clearly screwed up, what with this whole focus on feeding and clothing my kids. I should be sitting in an empty house with an empty fridge and an arctic wind blowing through. Or at least that's what I dream about each night as I go to sleep in my second-story bedroom, where all the hot air goes to die, and the wall air conditioner actually seems to roll its eyes at me, saying, "You REALLY think I'm going to be able to do much good in this heat? Think again, sister!"

In the past, during heat waves like this, I've mostly focused on the miserableness of the human inhabitants of our house. Benni and Buttons, our cats, are very good at finding shady cool spots outside, and wait impatiently at the door each and every summer morning so that they can get to said spots before the sun gets too high in the sky. Buddy the guinea pig gets a frozen liter bottle of water put in his cage each warm day, which acts like his own personal air conditioner.

But this year, we have Snug. And Snug--being not pure Labrador--is not totally on board with the whole getting wet thing, although he will now wade in the kiddy pool I blow up and fill every weekend, and he will stand still and let us scoop water over him, so that helps.

Still, despite the heat, he has all this puppy energy to get out--and standing by a pool doesn't do the trick. So, late this afternoon, during a brief spell where clouds appeared in the sky and the temps dropped below 100, I decided to take him for a brief walk. He was overjoyed, as was I, to get out of the house and to feel a bit of a breeze in our faces.

But Mother Nature wasn't going to make it that easy for me. The clouds disappeared about three-quarters of the way through our walk, just as we began the final, three-block uphill portion, from which there is no escape. By the time we got home, I was soaked. And Snug...well, let's just say that Snug couldn't decide whether to collapse on the floor or drink his weight in water, so he decided to try to do both at once.

Hey, maybe Animal Control can hitch a ride over here with the folks from Child Protective Services. I just hope their car is air conditioned.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

More Invitations

We're already supposed to be working up the second round of invites to this parenting community I'm working with. Want an inside peek? Drop me a comment or an email with your email address, and I'll put you on my list. (If it makes any difference, I have a second blog over there, that focuses on parenting news, and I'd love you all to check it out, not to mention get you all to come and start message threads on the boards I'm "hosting," which is our term for "lightly moderating.")

So send 'em on!


Just a quick post to say that if you get a note from me (as in the 'real' me, or a version of the real me known as LoriO) asking you to come be a beta tester on a new parenting website, well, it's for real. This is part of that project I've been working on for ages and ages and ages now (or so it seems these days). Please come join in the fun. As an extra incentive to say yes, I should note that there are pictures of me on the site. Because I KNOW you all want to see what I look like; I KNOW it's a burning need inside each and every one of you. Right? RIGHT?

For those of you who don't get an invitation, it's either because I had a limit on the number of invites I could send out and/or because you are on one of my beloved mailing lists, which I put on the very top of my "please invite" list but was then told that since they wanted to keep the numbers for this beta really, really small, they wouldn't be inviting whole groups of people at one time. But not to fear. There's a second, slightly larger beta phase coming up in August, and I've been assured that my requests will be honored at that time.

Pretty soon I'll really be able to talk about this stuff, and how it's going to affect this blog, but for now, all I can do is offer these cryptic comments about invitations. Sorry, y'all! And I'll hopefully see some of you over on that self-same new parenting site!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Whose Kid IS He?

On our way to preschool this morning:

N: Mommy, will you go my favorite way? (His favorite way to preschool involves a slight detour, but takes us past train tracks that occasionally have actual cargo trains on them, which is basically a 5-year-old's version of heaven.)
Me: Sure, sweetie.
N: Thank, Mommy. You're very kind.


Monday, June 19, 2006


Guess what you shouldn't do when you've loaded up your kitchen table with about a jillion cookbooks in preparation for painting your kitchen, the walls of which you've just stripped of their old, ugly wallpaper? You shouldn't attempt to pull said table away from the wall by bending your knees slightly and pulling straight back with your arms. Because if you do? You might just hear something go pop-scrunch-grumble in your lower back. And you might almost fall to the ground in pain while making gutteral noises and grabbing for the ladder you were using to get to the wallpaper, which will hold you up, but skin your shin as it does so.

That's what might happen to you.

It's exactly what happened to me.

Thank goodness for our friendly family chiropractor, Tom Sawyer. (No, that's not a pseudonym. Yes, I did wonder, upon first going to him several years back, if he was going to adjust me or make me paint a fence in the guise of healing me. Yes, I'm sure I'm not the first one to have made that particular joke.) He pointed that little adjustor thing and bang-bang-banged about five key spots on my back and neck, did that digging-his-thumb-into-the-meaty-part-of-my-backside (plenty of area there for him to choose from) until I nearly jumped off the bench when he hit a particular twingy spot, and then iced me down for about 20 pure, quiet, cold, classical-music-filled minutes. Bliss.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, Mir, he was wearing loafers.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Crossroads (or, God I Needed To Get Over Myself)

Some time back, my mom gave me a huge pile of letters I'd written to her over the years--from sleepaway camp, from college, from the year I lived in Scotland. Last night, for some reason, I just pulled one out of its envelope...and was immediately transported to a truly turbulent time in my life, a time I had nearly forgotten. It was the time when I was taking my first creative writing class, and deciding that I really didn't want to be a doctor, as I'd been sort of planning.

[A little background: When I was 16, my mother had taken me to a career counseling center affiliated with a Jewish women's group, and they had told me that I had the brains and ability to go beyond my then-dream of becoming a physical therapist (which was based on watching the rehabilitation of my half-sister after a near-death encounter with meningitis as a baby left her significantly disabled). Of course, looking back now, I have to laugh: Could that experience have been any more stereotypically Jewish? "Nu, you make your mama proud, become a doctah. OK?"]

What I had completely forgotten was that I'd written about that decision to my mother. And I'd also completely forgotten how angsty and riddled with doubt I was about the whole thing. When I think back to that time, I remember it all as a well-thought-out, carefully considered choice. This letter says otherwise.

This is what I wrote, embarrassingly naive and stilted writing and all (not to mention the cringe-inducing fact that, yes, I used to share WAY TOO MUCH with my poor mother, who undoubtedly wondered whether she could go back in time and undo a little of that "you can always come to me" stuff she'd instilled in me in childhood). Mom, you were a saint.

Dear Mom,

This is a letter just for you, 'cause I have some thing to say to you alone...

I just wanted to thank you for how understanding you are when it comes to me. I realize how hard it must be for you to stay objective when I start going on and on about the various men I get involved with, but it really helps me to be able to know I can come to you with all my problems, and not have to act when I'm bothered by something that is the least bit sexual. Most of my friends think that it is the greatest thing in the world to be able to talk to you like I talk to my friends. Not that I don't have the proper respect for you as my mother, but I do feel that I can tell you things and get an objective opinion, not a mother's opinion. And I respect your opinions, because you are my mother, but also because you have had a hell of alot more experience in this world than I have and have made many of hte mistakes that I seem destined to repeat. You have no idea how good it makes me feel that I can call you with any little or big problem and know that I am not going to be condemned, but always accepted...It may seem that I take you for granted, but I don't by any means. I've always known that we have a very special understanding between the two of us, because we are a lot alike, I guess, but also because we really like each other, and that makes it possible for us to have a friendship that goes beyond the required mother-daughter relationship.

I am rambling a little bit here, but I hope I am getting my message across. I love you very much.

[I must interrupt myself here to say that god I wish I could go back in time and know for sure if I was deliberately buttering her up for the next part, or if I was just being my usual-for-that-period-of-my-life dramatic, emotional self and needing to express my feelings. I fear it was the former.]

The other thing that I wanted to talk to you about without your being able to answer me immediately is my future. this is the big cloud hanging over my head at the present time. I don't really know if I really want to be a doctor, to devote my time, my life to this field. I kind of just got used to the idea, with everyone always making me feel as if I would be sinning if I wasted my brains and talent on a profession that was not as demanding. I kind of feel as if I owe it to you and [my stepfather] to be what you guys want me to be. I know if I was talking to you right now, you would be getting all pissed off and telling me that you don't want anything of the sort, that you just want me to do what will make me happy, but I think that if you're really honest you'll realize that it never really was me who wanted the doctor thing. I actually don't know what I want. I don't feel a total interest in anything. It always, all my life, has been a major source of depression that I really am not good at anything specific, besides for having a few brains. I'm not ambitious at all, actually I'm a really lazy person, and I really get upset that I can't think of anything I am good enough to do. I love to write, that is my new passion,

[Insert eerie foreshadowing music here.]

but even that, I never do it unless I am forced to, and I don't think I'm much good anyway. I really wouldn't care if I went into a profession in which I took orders from someone all the time, because I kind of really need to be forced to do things as often as possible. I don't really like having alot of responsibility heaped upon me, even if I sometimes get little bursts of energy where I'm all of a sudden going to go out and conquer the world. It never quite works out, and then my energy dissipates and I'm left doing nothing or very little.

[Oh, dear god. Could that be any more textbook hypomanic? This was, by the way, years and years before my father's bipolar diagnosis. Yikes.]

I'm not trying to be totally negative. And it's not the last batch of tests that did this to me. I've been thinking about things for a long time now. the midterms depressed me just because all my life, the only claim to fame that I ever had in the family is my brains, and now it has come to the point of realizing that I'm not as totally unique as everyone always made me feel. I get scared, it's babyish, but I don't have control over it, that once everyone else figures out the same thing, there won't be anything special left about me. [My sister] will always be beautiful, and have her special sense of humor and above average personality. It's always killed me that she is so jealous of me, while I am so jealous of her.

I don't mean to be so depressing. I always go through these patches of time when I get really introspective, but usually I write it down for no apparent reason, and don't sent it to anyone. This time, I guess I got carried away when I decided to sit down and write to you. The real reason that I wrote was to thank you for being so helpful, so THERE when I called the other night and was all upset about [then boyfriend]. It is strange that as I get older, the problems get more and more complex and I find myself in deeper and deeper trouble.

[Oh, please. I was 19, at best. I knew nada about complexity. I so want to smack myself.]

I keep forgetting that I am getting a little too old to still be playing games. I guess it's time I started to consider consequences rather than just trying to have a good time all the time. I just feel like if I don't be a little immature and run around and get all my restlessness out of me now, I'm going to have a lot of trouble in later times when it's required to stick things out and face up to your responsibilities. I am the most restless person I have ever met. I like to get around (not literally!!)

[That's a lie. I was a teen slut.]

but to get out and meet new people all the time. I always feel as if I am missing out on something that I want. I dno't know if I'm getting too deep for you to understand

[Really, she should have smacked my condescending little face right there, don't you think?]

but it is just the way I have been feeling lately. I guess I figure that you would have a better handle on me and my problems if you maybe understood what goes on in my head a little better.

I guess this is all a little unexpected and sudden, and if you're a little confused as to why I did this, well, so am I, so we aren't alone!!!

Speak to you soon.

Love you,


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Answers and Update

There were a few questions sprinkled in the (very reassuring) comments to Monday's post. I figured I'd just quickly answer them here, and then give you the "what happened next" update.

So. Jane asked why we went into the room with N. The truth is, we had told him we were going to stay outside, and he immediately got nervous. So I said I'd ask the teacher if maybe one of us could sit inside the room. But I didn't even get to that point, because when he hid his face in his hands and refused to come out from behind my legs, she immediately said, "Hey, how about if I break the rules and let mommy and daddy come in with you?"

Allison asked if it is possible to hold him back a year. Not really, for a couple of reasons. The first is that he's a January baby, and so is already going to be one of the oldest in his class, turning 6 just a few months after starting school. (Although, in reality, because he's so small, holding him back even until he's almost 7 probably wouldn't be a huge issue in that sense.)

The other reason that I don't want to hold him back is that he's pretty darned smart. He knows his letters and numbers, can write a little, can read a bit, can add and subtract--and all this without me working with him. A year from now, he'd be so bored in class that he'd likely be a problem for other reasons, even if the social stuff was nominally better.

As for the update, well, I'm already feeling significantly less depressed about all of this. Part of it was getting such encouraging responses. In particular, Cate and Paula, because I know they have both btdt, made me feel so much better about the 'worst-case scenario,' which isn't really that bad a case, to be honest.

The other thing that's making me feel better is the conversation that I had with one of the women on the PTA board on Tuesday night. She's one of the kindy teachers at the school, and when I told her about what had gone on, she asked me who I thought would be the best teacher for him (she was Em's teacher and I'd totally choose her, except she's probably going to have a split class, which would be The Worst Thing for N) and we talked about the pros and cons of the other teachers, and she said she'll keep an eye out when it comes time to place the kids in classes, and I shouldn't worry about it. So that helps, knowing that someone on the 'inside' is going to bat for him.

But, really, I think it will come down to N; whether he wants to adjust quickly or not. One of the things the OTs said about him when I met with them at the end of their sessions with him was that they think he has a lot of internal 'say' about how he responds; that he can do almost anything if he wants to, but cannot be made to do anything if he doesn't. This is so very true.

And if I'm forced to look at the silver lining (Gah! Optimism! It's so against my very nature!), I do have to say that the evaluation probably saved me from a much worse response on the first day of school. I'm now back to expecting next-to-nothing from that day, which is good, because if he does even slightly well, it'll be wonderful, and if he melts down, it won't take me by surprise the way Monday's events did, you know? I'm back to looking at the big picture; not whether he has to be dragged into the classroom on the first day, or if he makes a decent first impression on his schoolmates, but whether he's functioning in the classroom after a week, two weeks, a month. And if he's not? Then we get him help. And life goes on, and he's still my boy, and I still love him to eensy beensy little pieces, and he's still totally amazing in so many ways.

See what a little perspective will do? Thanks, all you perspective-givers out there.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Sometimes, It's Just Hard

Sometimes, you wouldn't even know he's the same kid. At some point during the 10 weeks of OT intervention for his 'social issues,' N turned a major corner. Today, he's the kid who, when I arrive at daycare to pick him up, goes screaming away from me, yelling, "HIDE, guys! My mommy's here!" and is then followed by half a dozen other little boys all giggling and screaming. He's not just part of the posse, he's its leader. In the most recent written report from his preschool, part of their normal twice-yearly process of evaluations, one of his teachers wrote the following. "At this time, he is seen interacting or playing more with other children, such as [and here she lists eight different children, noting that one of them is one of the roughest, most difficult children at the school, who is nonetheless drawn to N]. He plays with them one to one or in a group of two or three...N seems not only to have expanded his socialization skills but has gained more self confidence, as he is seen acting as a leader in some games..."

Even more impressive was the report from the OT students who worked with him over those 10 weeks. Although they definitely saw issues, and noted that there are still areas of weakness, they wrote the following: "Working with N over the last 10-week period has been a monumental learning experience and we have enjoyed getting to know him. Over this time we have seen him make subtle, yet meaningful, changes in his personality and his actions, which we find encouraging. Most recently, we have noticed that N has been able to play successfully with a group of 3-5 children, without our intervention. He has been open to being redirected to communicate his needs/wants or upsets and has reduced the amount of self-soothing behaviors, though this is still an area of concern. Although he will still occasionally revert back to some of his previously isolating/disrupting behaviors, we feel he has made tremendous progress from his initial evaluations and will continue to do so, as long as interventions are continued in both his school and home environment."

All good, really. All positive. All going in the right direction.

(You can see the next part coming from a mile away, can't you? I wish I had.)

Today was his kindergarten evaluation at this soon-to-be elementary school, and all I want to know is, who WAS that child, the one who had to be almost literally dragged over to the table where the teacher needed him to work, despite the fact that she broke the rules to begin with and let us come into the room with him? Who WAS that child, the one who spent the first five minutes refusing to talk in any recognizable language, instead reverting to the squeaks and noises that I happen to know are the words of his "'nary (i.e. imaginary) friend" Aaah. Who WAS that child who, when pulled by both arms over to the table and asked to identify letters for the teacher, put his hands over his eyes and refused to look at the letters?

Because it wasn't the kid who's made great strides, that's for sure.

It eventually went fairly well. He managed to squeak out enough words at first to tell her that he was shy, and then she managed to get him talking about his favorite TV shows, so that he took his hands away from his eyes. And once she got him started on naming letters, he was interested enough to answer, and get almost everything correct that I believe he knows (though, interestingly, he refused to sit down and kept swinging from the edge of the desk as he answered her, a whole new can of worms that I am just not opening right now).

When they were done, I asked Baroy to take him out of the room, and I filled this teacher in on the conversation I had with the principal a few weeks back, the one--at the time--that I thought was an example of my overreacting, considering all the good reports I'd had on him. In that conversation I'd filled the principal in on his background, gave her copies of his reports, requested that he not be put into any kind of mixed-grade class, etc., and she (the principal) had been very receptive. Today, the teacher agreed with those recommendations, and wrote them down as well.

So, in all, I should be feeling OK about this. Except I'm not. Because he was so off. SO off. Remember, this is the kid who didn't qualify for services because--despite his issues with his peers--he does so very well with adults. There wasn't another child in the room; there was only the spectre of the children who will be there in the fall. I'd been prepping him for this for a few days: how there would only be a teacher, how I'd ask if I could stay in the room with him; how she'd ask him questions about letters and numbers and they'd be so easy for him to answer; how he's already met this teacher, and how he liked her. It should have gone so much better. So much better. But it didn't. Instead, it went as if scripted from one of my classic anxiety-about-N dreams.

I was just starting to relax a bit about all of this, to let down my guard, to hope that, this September, my son would enter kindergarten the same way all the other kids will--with fear and trepidation, but with the ability to work through and past it. Now I'm scared for him all over again. What's going to happen when it's the first day of school, and there are 19 other scared boys and girls in the class, and my kid refuses to enter the room, or insists on sitting in a far corner of the room crying, sucking his thumb, talking in 'aaahs' and 'ehhhhs'? He's so much more than this. He's so much better than he was. Except today. Today, even though he's still the preschool posse-leading kid, there are still vulnerable spots. Today, when stressed, he couldn't quite rise to the occasion. Today, all that work doesn't really seem to have paid off. Today, I'm depressed.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Who Should Pay?

It was the final meeting of this year's PTA executive board, and we were trying to decide what to give the school as our annual end-of-year gift. (As a non-profit organization, PTA can't carry over more than the minimum necessary cassh from one year to another, so we rid ourselves of any excess funds by buying the school something it can really use.)

One of the board members, a parent and teacher at the school, told us that what the teachers could really use was to have funds dedicated to buying all the office supplies that the school's budget can no longer afford--simple things like pencils and white-out and tissues--espeically after the paltry initial supplies run out.

And so a motion was made, and discussion opened up.

Which is when it got interesting.

The debate centered on whether or not a PTA/fundraising entity like ours should be put in the position of having to buy teachers the basics--things that are, in reality, what they need to do their jobs. "Pencils, pens, textbooks...those should be the district's responsibility," one parent, who also works at the school, noted.

"Absolutely," came the reply. "But they're not providing these things. And we can."

"We can, but should we? It's a bad precedent to set. We take responsibility for what the district should provide, and they'll never feel pressured to correct things. We do this this year, and we'll have to do it every year from now on. Do we really want to take on that responsiblity?"

There was a beat, a slight pause. "Do we really have a choice?"

It went on in that way for quite some time, with the ideal--in which the school district does what it is supposed to do for its teachers, giving them the supplies they should give them, and us being there to provide the extras, the special stuff, the things that make a school unique and interesting (past PTAs have bought the school a kiln and clay supplies, for instance)--being put up against the sad reality--in which the school district isn't doing its job, doesn't have the money to do its job without firing teachers, and that if we want our kids to have even the most basic, decent education, we need to make sure their classrooms are stocked with the basics, the essentials.

I yearned to see things idealistically, to put my foot down and send a message that the people in charge (that would be you, Mr. Girly Man Sham of a Governor) need to do right by our kids. But I see things realistically--maybe pessimistically--and am just not ready to put my faith in the concept that the message would be received and acted upon. And I'm not willing to sacrifice my kids' education to a principle.

I was not alone. In the end, we voted 10 to 1 in favor of providing office supply money to individual teachers as our end-of-year gift.

I've never felt so sad about a gift in my life.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I Look Like My Dog

Growing up, I was a blonde. As a baby, I was platinum, shading towards strawberry. As a kid, it turned sandy, then dirty blonde. I don't think it became what would have to be called brown (mousy, unfortunately), until I was in my mid-20s. I know there were people who still referred to me as having dark blonde hair until I was close to 30.

You never really do lose your portrait-of-the-self-as-a-young-woman image, do you? In my mind's eye, I think I will always have dirty blonde hair, be skinny as a rail, and look so much younger than my age that I need to automatically pull out my license any time I want to buy so much as a beer at a supermarket.

None of these things are true any longer.

So about a year ago, despite my general natural-girl, I-don't-wear-makeup-so-why-would-I-dye-my-hair attitude, I decided to try to make my outside look like the person I pictured on the inside. Skinny wasn't happening; nor was looking young again. But my hair? I could do that.

Problem is, the rest of me had changed along with my hair color and, frankly, blonde didn't really suit me. It washed me out. It looked brassy. And, to add insult to injury, I had to redo the color every month or so if I didn't want to look like a washed out, brassy blonde with mousy brown roots. (Sex-AY!)

Which is why, this weekend, I decided the hell with it. I found a lovely looking auburn-y, warm brown color and sat with it stinking on my head for ten minutes or so before rinsing it out. It wasn't until it had dried fully that my fears were confirmed: I had dyed my hair to match my dog. When I lay my head on Snug's back, near his hindquarters (where he's much more chocolate lab than black lab, though there's undoubtedly not only chocolate AND black lab but also some other breeds in him, as evidenced by a blaze of white on his chest) you can't tell where I end and he begins. Em thought it was just about the funniest thing in the world, apparently, as evidenced by the fact that her best friend's mom--our vet--greeted me at school for pickup today with a grin and a, "Yeah, I'd heard you'd dyed your hair to match your dog!"

Vanity strikes again.

[Baroy took a picture yesterday of me and Snug cuddling together so I could show people what I mean, but I simply can't post it here. For one thing, the sun was hitting my hair, but not Snug's face, so the colors don't look as if they match at all. For another, there is no way in hell I'm putting up a photo of me with one of my widest, gummiest smiles and bags under my eyes that any airline worth its salt would insist I check before boading. Another time...]

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