Thursday, June 22, 2006

Two Kinds of Ugly

I had another topic in mind for my blog today, but since I have started the day with extremely bad hair, I’m in a bad mood, and I’m pondering once again the two kinds of ugly. What I mean by extremely bad hair is this: it’s not that the hair is as bad as it could be, it’s the surrounding circumstances. In somewhat decreasing levels of acceptability, I think it’s OK to have bad hair when:

  • you haven’t showered that day
  • when you have showered but haven’t had time to blow it dry because the baby has started to fuss
  • when you have showered and completely styled your hair but you are very overdue for a haircut, which has been difficult to schedule because of baby’s imagined erratic feeding on the day you want to go; or even when said baby’s schedule (and/or the toddler’s shenanigans) prevent you from even making the phone call.

It is the worst kind of bad hair when, like me today, you have had time to shower and blow dry your hair, and have recently had a cut and highlights. Then there is no excuse, and I have plummeted into a pit of bad moodiness. (My husband recently called to talk about the Weed Man and fly larvae in our lawn, and asked me how I was doing. I explained that I was in a bad mood due to bad hair, but that in a sense I am finding my current state of mind to be useful. It filters out all the positive things in my day, and leaves me with a true picture of all the negatives. He claims to not relate to this at all.)

In any case, BFF and I realized the phenomenon of two types of ugly in high school. The first and more benign type of ugly is when you aren’t looking your best but it’s still obvious that you’re an attractive person, and it’s a rectifiable situation. The second type is when you look like an essentially ugly person, even if the situation is easily rectifiable. So let’s work this out then. Sometimes you have bad hair, and it’s only the first type of ugly. Sometimes you have bad hair and it’s the second. Sometimes you have an acne breakout and it’s the first type, sometimes the second.
It’s capricious, really.

Today, with my extremely bad hair, I feel like I’m the second type of ugly. But wait! I have a personal out: I’m still experiencing all kinds of post-partum hormones, from nursing full time. This has totally changed (read: screwed with) my hair. For instance, I could smell it burning when I was blowing it dry this morning. Burning hair is not normal. That’s the hormones! Maybe the hormones are also making it look dry, and making the bangs hang limply in my face.
But, nevertheless, this is not apparent to the casual observer. The casual observer is not going to know that while I was trying to blow dry my hair this morning it started to burn, emitting the worst kind of odour. I had to stop drying my hair in that one section, and then I stopped completely, even though my daughter was relaxing in her bouncy seat to the buzz and hum of the hair dryer.

On this note, I would like to mention that although it seemed like I was verging on ugly type two at my brother’s recent wedding, I should be excused for that since my baby was only nine weeks old. I had to shop for a two piece outfit for purposes of easy nursing (I like more formal dresses for weddings), when my body was not yet itself, in a season when the predominant trend is towards a bohemian look. Not good. I ended up wearing a gold skirt with an elastic waist. An elastic waist. That’s not going to hold anything in!
In my more Pollyanna moments, I rationalize that I don’t look that bad in the wedding pictures, just old. Sigh.

To cap off this entry on ugliness, just remember if you have an excuse it’s the first type of ugly. If you don’t, it’s the second. But don’t despair. I doubt many people have had the dubious honour, as I have had, of winning an ugly contest. Years ago, my sister, BFF and I played it round-robin style on a camping trip. It was early in the morning, and we didn’t use mirrors. Instead we each took turns comparing the two people we could see and declaring who was uglier.
I won.
Sigh again.


bubandpie said...

How is it possible that I don't remember that contest? LOL with hands over my mouth.

Mommy-Like Days said...

I can't believe you don't remember--it was a Hilton Head trip, we were stopped at South of the Border, and I think you wore your pajamas into the store :)

bubandpie said...

Choking on my cereal now... I do vaguely remember the pajamas at South of the Border. Did we have the ugly contest in the part of the bus where your sister slept?

This is what I love so much about being BFF - how you keep my memories for me, the ones I've forgotten.

Her Bad Mother said...

This is exactly the sort of thing that I obsess over. And, having suffered bad hair since about a month before WB was born, I can attest to the fact that motherhood is ample excuse. Not happy about it, tho'.