Archive of ‘The Ugly’ category
The night before we left for California, I dyed my hair orange.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re all, “But her hair already IS orange? Should I say her hair is orange? Has she not noticed?”
People, I mean ORANGE.
No, MUCH more orange than that. Seriously.
This was the culprit:
Wella Lifetex Color Reflex Mask in Red. Naturally, the company discontinued it as soon as they knew I liked it, but not before I’d managed to squirrel a tube away in preparation for a time when I’d want my hair to look slightly redder than it does naturally.
That time came, as I said, the night before we left for California.
Now, as most of you know, my hair is naturally red, and I never really dared to tamper with it for fear of… well, for fear of it turning BRIGHT ORANGE, basically. I do, however, like to dabble in that small area of haircare – and trust me, it’s a VERY small area of haircare – which consists of products designed specifically for red hair. Wella Lifetext was one of those products: it’s basically a conditioner, but it’s a conditioner designed to “bring out the red” in your hair, and make it glossier, prettier and REDDER. It does this by depositing a small amount of colour every time you use it.
Now, I’d used this before and loved it. It did, indeed, make my hair shinier, and it did, indeed, “bring out the red”, although, honestly, it did it in such a way that only I would notice the difference. And it washes out after about three shampoos, so I figured it was safe even for me to use. Ha!
Because the product had been discontinued, there was only a small amount left in my one remainng tube, but it was just enough for one application, so I slapped it on with gay abandon, and then went about the business of packing my suitcase.
This was my fatal mistake.
I got so wrapped up in the process of adding and removing items from my suitcase that I left the product on for longer than the 2 – 5 minutes advised on the tube. Quite a bit longer, actually.
When I finally rinsed it out?
“Whoops!” I thought. “Went a bit too far, there! I will shampoo it again!”
So I did.
By this point, it was around midnight. Our flight was early the next morning, which is why I was washing my hair last thing at night: I figured if I did it then, and just tied it back to sleep in, I wouldn’t have to bother washing it in the morning, and could have a few more precious minutes of sleep. I’d finished packing my suitcase by this point, and had even laid out my clothes for the next morning, so all I had to do next morning was drag myself out of bed, have a quick shower, throw on some clothes and makeup and go.
I looked at the hair. And you know, it was late, and it was dark. I was looking at it under artificial light, and we all know how much THAT can change the appearance of things. I can actually look not too bad in artificial light, for instance, whereas in harsh daylight, I look like a hag.
“I don’t think my hair is any more orange than it is naturally,” I told myself. “It’s just the light. It’ll be fine in the morning.”
So I tied it up, set my alarm, and went to bed.
In the morning, things went mostly according to plan. The alarm went off, I sleptwalked to the shower, and then slepwalked back into the bedroom, where I positioned myself in front of the mirror to let down my hair, all Rapunzel-like.
Like, REALLY, REALLY ORANGE. I’m talking OMGORANGE.
It was a very obviously artificial orange: the type of colour that just does not occur in nature.
“OMFG!” I said.
Well, I was in quandary. I had just over 20 minutes before the taxi was due to arrive to take us to the airport, and my hair was bright orange. Also, Terry, who plans our trips with the precision of military manoeuvres, was in the vicinity, and would NOT be pleased to know that The Schedule was about to be disrupted by my orange head.
I tried to pile The Hair on top of my head, thinking that the less you could see of it, the more natural it would look.
It actually looked a bit worse, to be honest.
My mind was made up. Ripping off my dressing gown, I ran for the bathroom… only to get halfway down the hall, realise I had no time to wash and dry my hair before the taxi arrived, and turn and run back to the bedroom.
I had repeated this move about five times, in a frenzy of indecision, before Terry noticed me running up and down the hall naked, and wanted to know why.
“MYHAIRISOMGORANGE!” I wailed. “I need to wash it! I need to wash it NOW! There is time for me to wash it! Say there is time for me to wash it!”
Terry grabbed me by the shoulders and looked me in the eye.
“You’re not washing your hair,” he said, speaking very slowly and quietly, and actually, menacingly. “We. Will. Miss. Our. Flight. If. You. Start. Dicking. About. With. Your. Hair. Now. Understand?”
I nodded, mutely, and meekly headed back to the bedroom to get dressed.
And then, as soon as I heard Terry head downstairs to take the cases outside and wait for the taxi, I ran for the bathroom, locked the door behind me, wrenched the showerhead off the wall and, bending over the bath, SHAMPOOED THE HELL OUT OF MY HAIR.
And there was absolutely nothing Terry could do to stop me.
I was still blow-drying it when my parents arrived, closely followed by the taxi. It was a close-run thing. But by the time we got on the plane, my hair was – mercifully – free of TEH ORANGE.
I’m sure Terry will start speaking to me again soon.
Back when I wrote this post (which was about that time I flashed everyone at the local garage, thanks to a strong gust of wind and a big-skirted dress, just in case you can’t be bothered clicking the link), some of you were kind enough to say how much you liked the photos which accompanied it. And honestly, I felt a bit bad about that, because the fact is, that’s not what I actually look like most of the time.
HERE’S what I ACTUALLY look like most of the time:
Funnily enough, this is also going to be the poster for my very own horror movie, The Hair. Tagline: When hair is cut violently, a powerful curse is released…
The curse cannot be broken:
(I’m also waltzing with a ghost in this photo. If you can see the ghost, I’m afraid you’re cursed, and your hair will kill you in your sleep tonight. If you can’t see the ghost, meanwhile? Also cursed. Sorry.)
The curse can strike at any time, and ruin any photo:
As you can see, in this photo Rubin’s special canine senses had alerted him to the approach of THE HAIR. He tried bravely to fight it (or perhaps he’s actually just struggling to get away from it, who knows?) but alas, it was too late, and that nice photo Terry had set up, with my disembodied head floating above some flowers, was ruined by the curse of THE HAIR.
Sometimes The Hair will find new and unusual ways to attack. There you will be, just walking along minding your own buisiness, when:
Think you can escape it?
Note the expression on my mum’s face here. She sees The Hair. She knows I’m doomed. She’s just wondering how to tell me. Or whether to run.
(No, I have no idea what was going on in this photo. Other than that my hair was trying to kill me, obviously.)
You should also fear the close cousin of the Hair Moustache, the HAIR BEARD:
It’s a little more subtle, but just as deadly.
So, readers, while it’s not my intention to make you all have nightmares (I think I did that already when I posted the link to THAT OLD WOMAN from Insidious) I hope I’ve shown you today that you can run, but you cannot hide from…
Move over, Samara. There’s a new creepy girl in town.
(Coming soon to a blog near you.)
(Er, if you could maybe imagine the Psycho music or something playing here, thanks.)
Readers, there’s really no easy way to say this. In fact, because I am slightly afraid of you all, and know you’ve always reacted with horror to my “Hey, I could totally get a fringe!” suggestions in the past, I actually wasn’t going to say anything: I thought I’d just avoid posting photos of myself for a few months and no one would be any the wiser. But my clever plan was foiled, and it was foiled by my very own Shoe Challenge, which started last month and which requires all participants to take photos of themselves and post them on the Internet. Now, what kind of asshole comes up with a rule like that, eh? Oh. That would’ve been me. Excellent. I hate myself.
Of course, I could have simply taken advantage of the “you can crop out your head if you want” clause, but I’ve never done that before and people would notice and ask why, so I’m just going to come clean. I’m going to say this very quickly and then I’m going to run away and hide:
And now, a short intermission, during which you can all shout at me:
<short intermission, shouting >
So, I’m not even going to TRY and defend my latest act of complete and utter idiocy. I did it because I am stupid, and that’s really all there is to be said on the matter. Because I am me, though, and I normally like to say much, much more than is ever necessary about any given subject, here is my explanation:
“I am stupid. Like, ‘If I’d been born a couple of hundred years ago, I probably wouldn’t have survived childhood’ stupid. Seriously.”
Wait, I meant my OTHER explanation:
Well, see, you know. I had been bored with my hair for a while. It wasn’t that it was a bad cut (Although obviously at least one person will email me now to say that yes, it was): it was just that I’d had it since I was about 14, and I was well and truly sick of it. The problem with that, though, was that over the last year or so, my anxiety about having my hair cut has only intensified. I mean, I know I always joke about hating going to the salon, but seriously, folks: I hate going to the salon. So I just stopped going, other than when I felt it had become unavoidable. And even although Iwas bored with my hair, I could see no way of ever changing it, because every time I DID have it cut, I was so afeared of The Return of the Mullet that I would just have it trimmed and then leave looking exactly the same as when I arrived. I knew I was being silly about it. “Amber,” I told myself, “Ain’t no point going through your ENTIRE LIFE with EXACTLY THE SAME HAIRCUT, just because you’re too scared to change it in case you hate it. Even although every time you have changed it, you’ve hated it.” But I WAS too scared. And I DID continue to go through life with exactly the same haircut.
Exactly the same haircut
It was a problem.
But then. Then came The Googling.
“You know,” I thought to myself one day, “I bet it’s not THAT hard to cut your own hair. I bet I could do it if I really wanted to. I will Google it.”
So I did. But rather than Googling something that might have actually helped me, like “THE PERILS OF CUTTING YOUR OWN HAIR”, say, I obviously Googled something like, “Cutting your own hair is easy, yeah?” Because I got a bunch of results that were all about how EASY it was to cut your own hair. How easy? SO easy! “Awesome!” I said. “Pass me the kitchen scissors, Terry!”
OK, I didn’t say that last bit. Instead, I took my search to YouTube. And there I found a bunch of tutorials with titles like, “How to cut your hair yourself – it’s easy, and not in the least bit stupid!” They had all been made by lovely young girls with gorgeous, gorgeous hair. “I cut it myself,” they all said in their videos. “Because it’s easy!”
And that was when I reached for the scissors.
Well, no, not exactly. I actually spent several weeks contemplating the thought, which obviously makes me sound even more stupid, because there was SO MUCH TIME for me to talk myself out of it. (“Why didn’t you mention this plan?” asked Terry, aghast, when I came out of the bedroom looking like I’d just lost a fight with Edward Scissorhands. “Because you would have talked me out of it,” I said, and that right there shows you why I should probably be taken into protective custody for my own good.) Then, on Saturday, I was having dinner at my parents’ house when, following a routine trip to the bathroom, I looked in the mirror above the hand basin and realised that some strands of my hair were much longer than others.
(This was the cut I mentioned here, by the way, so either some strands of my hair grow freakishly faster than others, or I’d been walking about like that for the past four weeks. And the only reason I had THAT cut was because the last time I’d been to that salon, they’d left one side much longer than the other. Yes, I still went back. Because they’re cheap and I’m in and out in ten minutes, which makes me willing to overlook the fact that hairdressing obviously isn’t part of their skill set.)
(This isn’t even the bad bit of the story yet, by the way.)
“Aha!” I thought. “This is just the opportunity I’ve been waiting for! I will use my new found hair-stylin’ skills – thanks, YouTube! – to fix this!”
So, while my parents and Terry were all outside taking photos of the night sky (Don’t ask), I went into the kitchen, snuck the hairdressing scissors out of the drawer (Yes, my parents own hairdressing scissors. Because my parents own EVEYTHING. Seriously, there will probably come a day when I can type the sentence, “.. so I went into the kitchen and snuck my parents’ nuclear warhead out of the drawer…”) and retired with them to the bathroom.
SNIP! Went the scissors. SNIPSNIP! A-SNIPSNIPSNIP! It was, dare I say it, easy. And also oddly satisfying. As I snipped, I felt my powers grow. It was like when Luke Skywalker started learning all those mad Jedi skillz. Seriously, it was JUST LIKE THAT.
“The Force is strong in you, young Padawan,” I told my reflection. “Attempting all kinds of complicated hairdressing feats, soon you will be!”
And sure enough, the hair looked fine. But I had created a monster of a different kind, there in my parents bathroom. You see, up until then, my thoughts about hair cutting had been of the strictly theoretical kind. It was one of those things that are kind of fun to think about, but which you know you’ll never actually DO, like when I imagine myself on X-Factor sometimes. Now, though, things were different. Buoyed by my recent success in the bathroom, my plans started to take on a more concrete form. It was but a matter of time before I put my skills to their true test, and one way or another, I knew my hair would be a-changin’. I just didn’t realise it would be happening this Tuesday.
After all my planning, though, when it did happen, it was very much a spur-of-the-moment thing. It was yesterday morning. I’d just finished blow-drying my hair, and I wasn’t happy with it. The bits at the front were looking a little straggly, and wouldn’t sit right, and all of sudden I knew EXACTLY what to do about it.
“Screw this!” I said, then I turned on my heel, grabbed the scissors, and cut those bad boys right off, without even giving myself a chance to think about it.
Of course, as soon as I saw the worryingly-long strands of hair fall to the floor, I realised what you all realised right at the start of this post: that I had made a monumental mistake. The full weight of the delusion I’d been operating under all came crashing down upon me in that one-split second, and for the first time in weeks, I was able to see clearly: and not just because I’d chopped several inches of my hair off.
So I cut some more, in a bid to even it all up.
Only then did I accept defeat and do what I should have done in the first place: I called the salon. And not my local Krappy Kuts, either. I knew this task would be beyond them. No, I called the proper salon, ‘fessed up, and managed to get an appointment with the salon director that afternoon. One hour and a lot of money later, I was no longer looking like a total idiot (Luckily my ruthless attack on my own head had centred solely around those strands at the very front, so the rest of the hair remains intact. And actually, the stylist has managed to give me more or less the cut I was trying to do myself, and which I’d been thinking about getting for months. It’s just a shame I don’t actually like it now I have it, thus proving that I was RIGHT to be scared to make even the smallest change, and that I should never, ever, EVER try to change my hair, no matter how bored with it I get). I WAS still feeling like one, though, obviously.
And that’s how I came to have a sideways fringe, and no money.
(P.S. No, I’m not posting photos. I’m going to be pinning it back until it grows out anyway, and I’ve also been getting some very personal comments about the general state of my face here recently: I can change my hair, but there’s not much I can do about my face, unfortunately, so no photos until it grows out!)
If you know me in Real Life (as opposed to this fake, imaginary life we all have on the internets), you may want to prepare yourself for the fact that next time you meet me, I’ll be speaking a little differently.
More specifically, I’ll be speaking like a drunk person. I promise I won’t actually be drunk. Or, OK, maybe I will be drunk, who knows? But even if I’m NOT drunk, I’ll still sound like I am, and that’s because today I picked up my new Invisalign tray for my lower teeth and the first tray for my uppers. Because obviously being me wasn’t enough of a challenge already.
I hadn’t originally intended to have Invisalign for my top teeth. They’re actually quite straight, but I do have a gap between two of them (Caused by my old nemesis The Peg Tooth), and I had assumed that I was stuck with this gap for the rest of my life, mostly because that’s what every dentist I’d ever spoken to had told me. “You’ll have this gap forvever!” they’d say cheerfully, and I accepted that this was so, and prepared to spend the rest of my life hating that freaking gap between my teeth. Then I decided to get Invisalign, and the dentist was all “We’ll have that gap closed in no time, and all it will cost you will be every penny you have!”" so naturally I said, “Sign me up for that right away, my good man!”
Today was the day designated for my teeth to begin their journey towards each other, and, me being me, I was feeling quite nonchalant about it. “Am Invisalign expert,” I thought smugly, as I settled down into the chair. “Am not even feeling like I’m going to gag when I wake up every morning now – will be no problem!” And I continued thinking this right up until the moment when the top tray was snapped into place, and I realised that I sounded like a drunk person. GAH.
The dentist and his assistant very kindly managed to conceal their laughter until I left the surgery, as did the receptionist who relieved me of the rest of the money in my bank account. Terry, however, was not so kind, and has spent most of the morning alternating between laughing outright and trying to trick me into saying words with lots of sibilants in them. “What would you say is the best sunscreen?” he’ll ask. “SPF 66 or SPF6?”
I’m told the whole “speaking like a drunkard” thing will last for about 24 hours, after which I will apparently get used to it. So far, I have my doubts about that, and think that, knowing my luck, it’s more likely that I’ll just speak like this forever, even when the Invisalign is removed. I’m having to speak veeeerrrryyy sllllooooowwllly. Like. I’m. Talking. To. An. Idiot. Or like I am a cyborg. I’m also drooling. Yes, drooling. Just a nice image for you to end your Friday afternoon on, there. I hope no one was eating while they read this…
* For the benefit of the people who always take everything I say literally, I am exaggerating here. The “closing the gap” thing is fairly straightforward, and therefore much less expensive than most Invisalign treatments, so it’s not quite costing me ALL my money. Just most of it.
Yesterday afternoon, after a hard morning’s shopping, Terry I decided to go to our favourite local restaurant for lunch.
Well, we got there, sat down and the waitress took our order. Everything was just peachy. In the middle of the table, though, there was a candle, and next to the candle, there was a giant, paper flower. Both of these were directly in my line of sight, and obscuring my view of Terry, so I picked them both up and moved them to the side of the table.
And, in doing so, I set the flower on fire.
When I say “on fire”, I don’t mean, “It was smoking slightly around the edges.” No, we’re talking big, dramatic, “OMG WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!” flames. Terry grabbed the flower and frantically started blowing on it to put them out, and the look of sheer panic on his face, coupled with the fact that he was holding a giant, burning flower… well, people, I’m ashamed to admit that the first thought that went through my mind was, “Damn, I wish I had my camera!”
Anyway, Terry managed to get the flames out, and we continued with our (very pleasant) lunch, after which I had my first experience of removing and inserting my Invisalign in a public place. Which was… yeah.
I managed to get it out OK, by dint of ducking under the table on the pretext of getting something out of my handbag, and quickly whipping the thing out and into its case. This was fairly easy, because in the last week I’ve become quite the expert at getting the brace in and out, and as I was, um, under the table at the time, only a midget would have seen me do it.
Getting it back in, however, was not quite so easy, because before replacing the brace, both teeth and brace have to be thoroughly cleaned, and as we weren’t planning on going straight home after lunch, I knew they’d both have to be cleaned in the bathroom of the restaurant.
Now, I don’t really know why this was bothering me. I knew from previous visits that these are nice, spotlessly clean bathrooms, but let’s face it, it’s still a public toilet, and, I don’t know, there’s just something a bit personal about cleaning your teeth, isn’t there? Something that makes you prefer to do it in private, rather than with the audience of a small, but curious pre-teen girl, say?
The girl was washing her hands at one of the two basins in the restroom when I entered. Knowing that children generally find me a figure of fun anyway, and that people around here tend to have a very sensitive “weirdness” detector (i.e. they think just about everything is “SOOOO weird!”, I decided not to whip out my toothbrush in front of her. “No problem,” I thought, “I’ll just quickly use the bathroom, and by the time I’m done, she’ll have finished washing her hands, and I’ll be free to clean my teeth in private.”
But no. The girl continued to wash her hands the whole time I was in the cubicle, and was still washing them when I finally emerged a few minutes later. As I took my place at the basin next to her and started to wash my hands, she quickly ducked into the cubicle I’d just vacated, and then almost instantly re-emerged to begin washing her hands all over again. Either there was some kind of OCD hand-washing thing going on there, or my appearance had instantly tripped her weirdness detector into overdrive, and she was lingering deliberately in the hope that I’d do something to entertain her.
Well, I had no choice. Time was a-wastin’, and the brace had to go back in, so I resignedly got out my toothbrush and toothpaste and did the business, while Pre-Teen watched me with undisguised curiosity throughout. I suspect this is something I’m just going to have to get used to as I continue with my Invisalign journey, for in the same way that The Others hound me through shops, all crowding into whichever small, obscure corner I’ve found to surreptitiously try on a jacket or something, I just KNOW that I’m doomed to spend the next six months cleaning my teeth in public restrooms, while all of my fellow diners crowd in behind me to watch. I’m not sure why I expected any different, to be honest.
In slightly brighter news, I took a dress to my mum’s house for alteration on Satuday, and successfully managed to bring it back home again without dropping it randomly and never seeing it again. Baby steps, people, baby steps…
A couple of people on Twitter have asked me about the Invisalign clear brace I mentioned a few weeks ago, and as yesterday was The Big Day, i.e. the day I got my first brace, I thought now was the perfect time to update about it. Yes, all I need is the encouragement of TWO PEOPLE, and off I go! Hi, both of you!
So! Yesterday I got up bright and early and headed off to the dentist to have a large lump of plastic inserted into my mouth. As Monday mornings go, I’ve had better, but I’ve also had a whole lot worse, it has to be said. The visit started off with an in-depth examination of my teeth and, bizarrely, of my chin and neck. “This is just to check for cancer!” said the dentist brightly, massaging my lymph nodes. Clearly he didn’t get the “Amber is a hypochondriac” memo, but it’s OK, I got the all clear. Phew!
Next we moved onto the insertion of the brace, and actually, it all went much more smoothly than I was expecting. I’d been a little bit worried about how easy it would be to insert and remove the Invisalign: I had images of me standing tugging at it for hours, and ending up with the thing wedged half-in/half-out of my mouth, but while it’s a little bit fiddly, and will obviously take a bit of getting used to, I managed it without too much trouble. Phew, again!
Having got the thing in, I was really impressed by how, um, invisible it is. “Where is it?” asked Terry when I got back into the car after my visit and bared my teeth at him like a vampire. “Are you not wearing it?” Which is really all the evidence you need that yes, it really is unobtrusive. You’d have to be standing really close to me to notice it, and you’d also have to be actively looking for it, so it does live up to its name and reputation in that respect. This is a very good thing, because having spent the past few weeks thinking things over while I was waiting for the brace to be made up, I decided to go ahead and have one on my upper teeth, too. Well, in for a penny and all that…
The good news is that I won’t actually need to wear it for as long as I’d initially thought: the dentist reckons six months will be enough, give or take a few weeks to allow for my three week holiday in June, plus the fact that I wasn’t able to get appointments exactly two weeks apart. (You’re supposed to get a new brace every two weeks, but it’s a really busy dental practice, so some of mine will be longer than that.)
The bad news is that it is a bit of a lifestyle adjustment. So far the brace isn’t causing me any discomfort: it feels a bit odd, sure, and it’s kinda weird to think that I’ll be wearing it 22 hours per day for the next six months (I can’t stop running my tongue over the top of it and thinking, “I wonder how long NOW until I can take it out?”), but hopefully it won’t be too long before I get used to it. No, the main issue is the coffee. Yes, coffee. You see, the Invisalign has to be removed when you eat, and when you drink anything other than water. Now, I’m not too concerned about the eating: I’m actually not much of a snacker (although, having said that, it’s amazing how often since I got it I’ve found myself thinking “Hmm, I think I’ll just eat a… oh.”), and because I work from home, it’s not too big a deal for me to remove it for my main meals and then put it back in.
But the coffee. Oh, the coffee! Coffee is a big no-no when you’re wearing Invisalign, because not only is it likely to stain the clear plastic, the hot liquid could also damage it. But I’m a bit of a caffeine addict, so giving up is going to be hard. I’m determined to do it, because I want straight teeth more than I want a cup of coffee, and also because I’m paying too much for this to not follow the instructions to the letter, but it will be hard. Luckily I don’t have to go totally cold turkey: I can still drink coffee when the brace is out, I just can’t have my usual multiple mugs of the stuff during the day. This will be good for my health, if not my sanity.
Other than that, so far, so good. Well, other than the fact that when I was getting ready for bed last night I was so busy focusing on the important business of removing the brace (to clean my teeth) and then re-inserting it that I totally forgot that other important part of my night-time ritual: removing my contact lenses. Ouchy.
T minus six months to go…
A couple of weeks ago, I went to see the dentist. It was really awful, actually. I had to get up really early, and sit in rush hour traffic for an hour, and not even for the sake of something good, like an early flight to somewhere sunny, say, or the Harvey Nichols sale, but for the DENTIST. GOD.
Now, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned here before, I’m not actually afraid of the dentist, which is really quite strange, because I’m scared of just about everything else. I can’t even drive past a hospital or the doctor’s office without breaking into a cold sweat, but when it comes to the dentist I’m all, “Whatever. Drill a hole right through my head if you have to, just don’t charge me for it.”
No, I’m not afraid of the dentist, but I AM afraid of being forced to spend money on something I can’t put on my feet or hang in my closet. And as it turned out, I was RIGHT to fear that, because this trip to the dentist, it was not cheap. But I’m getting ahead of myself, here. First, let me tell you what the dentist did to me on that cold and frosty morning:
1. Tied a “bib” around my neck.
2. Put a huge pair of safety goggles on my eyes.
3. Instructed me to “grin like a maniac”. OK, those weren’t his exact words, but he basically got me to pull my lips back from my teeth and do this kind of maniacal grin, with my teeth bared like I was starring in a teen horror movie. (As the horror element, I hasten to add, not the teen element.) For full effect, I also opened my eyes really wide and put on this “Hi! I’m insane!” expression, although I’m sure that wasn’t absolutely necessary.
4. Took photos of me like this. In a really high resolution. PHOTOS.
5. Put said photos onto a computer (a wide-screen computer, naturally), and blew them to their full size, so my crazed Face-of-a-Killer took up the whole screen, and then made me look at them.
From this, you will perhaps have deduced that this visit was not so much about the health of my teeth (Which are healthy! And strong! In fact, I could probably have used them to chew my own leg off, if I’d wanted to, and at that stage I kind of DID want to, if only to give myself something a little less painful to think about than the images on the screen.) but about the appearance of them. Which is… crooked. And which is why my dentist wanted to take close-up photos of my teeth and then force me to look a them. Actually, it was a cunning move on his part, because let me tell you, once you’ve seen yourself in THAT much detail, you’re going to agree to just about anything anyone suggests to make it all better.
Which is why I’m getting Invisalign. (Which is an “invisible” brace, for those of you who couldn’t be bothered clicking the link.)
That wasn’t the only thing the dentist suggested to me, of course. In fact, we had a long, long chat about all of the options, and what we finally decided was that I would basically give him all my money, and in return he would destroy the images he’d taken of me that morning give me straighter teeth. I will only need one brace, for my lower teeth, and the way this system works is that I get a new version of it every two weeks, until the job is done, which will be in about nine months time, apparently. So, basically it’s like I’m giving birth to… teeth. Which is totally the kind of thing that would happen to me, isn’t it?
And when I finally left the room? I was still wearing my “bib” and had the imprint of the safety goggles all around my eyes. Great!
(I just wanted to add to this, that I spent a lot of time researching this and looking into all of the different options available, so I do know all of the pros and cons of Invisalign, and am totally aware of what I’m getting into. So please, no, “My aunt’s neighbour’s cat’s wife had Invisialign, and OMG, all of her teeth fell out and then she DIED!” stories, although obviously if you’ve had one of these braces yourself, I’d be interested to know how you found it!)
Edited to add: I should have made it clearer in this post that I actually went to the dentist to discuss ways of straightening my teeth: that was the purpose of the visist, so it wasn’t like I went in for a check-up and came out with a brace. Having re-read it, I realise that’s how it sounds, so apologies for any confusion!
When I wrote about my shoe collection earlier this week, Madeline had an interesting question for me. Well, it was interesting to me, anyway, because it was about mascara, and I find almost EVERYTHING about mascara interesting. Madeline said:
“ Now, i’ll throw a really hard question to you: how many individual tubes of mascara do you have? I know now you’ll be counting till tomorrow (i’m evil, i know )”
Oh yeah: THAT. The mascara. Oh my holy hell, the mascara:
Oh, hai, everyone! My name’s Amber, and I’m a mascara addict. Actually, in my defence, I have to point out that at least half of the FOURTEEN TUBES OF MASCARA you see before you were sent to me as review samples, so I didn’t actually go out and buy all of them. I mean, I may be crazy, but I’m not THAT crazy. Well, not yet, anyway.
My addiction to mascara has been with me since my early teens. It began at roughly that point life when you start to become aware of your appearance, and one day you look into the mirror, and think, “Damn, who stole my eyelashes, WHO?” In my case, no one stole my eyelashes: they do exist, but, as is the case with many redheads, they’re so pale that they may as well NOT. I guess the correct term for them would be “strawberry blonde”, but mine are more blonde than strawberry, and if I wasn’t wearing mascara, and you were standing close enough to see (or rather NOT see) my lashes, you would probably think I was some kind of half human/half reptile hybrid, and you would call up Will Smith and ask him to take me down.
That would never happen, though, because there is basically NEVER a time when I’m not wearing mascara. (And also because if you ever try standing that close to me, I will cut you. I really hope you’re reading this, woman at the gym who got onto the treadmill right next to mine yesterday when there were TEN OTHER COMPLETELY EMPTY TREADMILLS AVAILABLE… ) Seriously, my mascara consumption is the stuff of legend. When I lived in halls of residence at university, the fire alarm in our building would frequently go off in the middle of the night, and we’d all have to pile outside to stand in the freezing cold until the fire brigade arrived to switch it off again. With just a few short minutes to prepare myself for this ordeal, my choice was simple: I could either throw on some clothes, or I could throw on some mascara. That’s why, every single time that fire alarm went off, I would be found standing shivering outside in my dressing gown: but by God, my eyelashes looked marvelous.
These days, of course, I dye my lashes, so I’m less likely to be mistaken for an alien, should anyone ever see me without makeup. Dying lashes only changes the colour of them, though: it doesn’t lengthen them, or curl them, or volumise them, or do any of the other wonderful things mascara can do. This was the truth I learned as a young teenager, when I would leave for school in the morning completely bare-faced, and mysteriously manage to arrive there with half of the Cover Girl counter on my face. My plan, if my parents ever found out about this, was to claim to have been mugged by a makeup artist. Because, seriously THAT’S WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE.
That’s why, throughout my formative years, my most frequently asked question wasn’t “How many pairs of shoes do you have?” but “Are you a drag queen?”
It’s also why I have a Sephora loyalty card, even although I don’t live in a country they deliver to. GOD.
[Important Disclaimer: I wrote this post in a misguided attempt to be funny. Almost all of the posts I've ever written on this site are supposed to be entertaining. I don't actually care about the "scabby lips" comment, and I would've thought that was obvious, but judging by the first two comments on this post, apparently not, and apparently people are reading this post and thinking I'm all angst-ridden about it. I'm not. It was supposed to be light-hearted - I found these two photos at the weekend and thought they would make an amusing follow-up to my post last week. I'm a bit blown-away by the fact that people are reading it as anything other than that, to be honest, but there you go.]
That ‘Bitchy McBicherston’ post? That was all, “No scabby lips here, folks, move along now, nothing to see!”?
Yeah, you’re right: it was a clear case of The Blogger Doth Protest Too Much. I was hoping to throw you all off the scent and make you forget about my scabby lips, because it’s true, folks: I have, at various times in my life, had “like scabs”. And I’m SO TIRED OF ALL THE LIES!
Taken back when we used to live on the ranch. Man, how them prairie dogs used to howl! AOOoooOOO!
Now, you can’t really see it too well, but that? Is a Like Scab. On my lip. Yes, it’s true! This was my nursery school (kindergarten) picture, and from this point on, it just got worse. Much worse. Witness:
(oh, shush. I was “growing into myself”.)
Aside: as well as revealing that I do, indeed, have Like Scabs on my lips, this has also been a useful excercise in proving to myself why I should never, ever get a fringe, ever again. Because I do That Thing? That Thing with the mussing of the fringe? And the creation of a Gateway Through the Fringe, a Portal to Another Dimension, perhaps? And every single time the school photographer was due to take our photos, my mother would see me off to school in the morning and she would BEG me to please brush my fringe before the photo was taken. She would BEG me. Sometimes my teachers would grab me as I exited the classroom en route to the photographer’s room, hold me down and BRUSH MY HAIR. But it was all in vain, because just as the shutter on the camera was about to close, I would reach up and I would MUSS IT ALL UP and create a Gateway. And there was absolutely nothing anyone could do about it.
Not that it really mattered, though. Not with the GIANT SCAB on my lip. The GIANT SCAB that would appear every single time we had school photographs taken, and I am not joking. Every. Single. Time.
This proud tradition of Having a Cold Sore During Every School Photograph was one I carried all the way through to university, and, indeed, to the day I graduated. Our graduation ball was the night before the ceremony itself, and I, of course, had spent many a long night or year planning what I would wear. When I was in first year at university I lived in Halls of Residence, which was where I met my friend Stephanie. They rent out rooms in these halls during the holidays, and Stephanie and I thought it would be fun to see if we could stay in our old rooms on the night of the ball. The University were happy to comply with this request, so on the day of the ball we checked in, had lunch etc, and then headed off to our respective rooms to get ready for the Big Night.
Our other friend, Morag, wasn’t going to the ball, but she decided to keep me company while I got ready, so we went up to the room and I headed off to the shower while Morag hung out in the room. I still don’t know what happened that day. I went into the shower looking normal. Well, as normal as it gets for me. The second I stepped out of the bathroom, though, Morag took one look at me and gave an almighty shriek. “WHAT’S THAT ON YOUR LIP?!” she said. And without even looking, I knew. I knew it was “Like Scabs”. The Coldsore O’Doom. It had returned for a final fling, and I don’t know how it did it, but somehow it had managed to burst from my lip and grow to its full size WHILE I WAS IN THE SHOWER.
Which is actually quite impressive when you think about it.
Of course, there was absolutely nothing I could do to disguise the Like Scab that night, and that’s why there are no photos of me at my graduation ball. Luckily it had gone down enough by the next morning that I was able to slap some concealer on it to make sure that it didn’t make an appearance in my graduation photos. (It didn’t really matter, though, because I managed to close my eyes/look drunk in almost every single one of them.)
The only slight surprise in all of this was that it was Like Scabs that ruined my graduation ball, and not a Second Head. I had been expecting a Second Head, you see, so the Like Scab was a surprise, and not a welcome one.
In the years that have passed since then, the Second Head HAS managed to surpass the Like Scabs as the main Harbinger O’Doom in my life, so I HAD hoped my reputation as Ol’ Scabby Lips would have died out by now. But I reckoned without Lil’ Bitchy, who has OUTED me, who managed to see right through my smooth-lipped facade and see that here was a girl who had grown up with Like Scabs on her lips.
The truth will set me free.
(*Note: ha, gotchya! Of course I’m not giving up blogging about my hair! Because what else would I blog about? No, seriously?)
Well, The Internet has spoken on the important issue of What I Should Do With My Stupid Hair, and it seems the Internet is firmly in favour of me cutting it all off. Or a big chunk of it, anyway. Like, really in favour of that.
Naturally, this has given rise to several small but intense moments of paranoia today, as I’ve thought to myself. “OMG, The Internet must really, really hate my hair the way it is now, if it’s this enthusiastic about the idea of me cutting it off! Wah!” But who am I to resist The Internet? So (drumroll)…
I’ve booked an appointment with my hairdresser for this Saturday. I know! I was amazed they could fit me in that quickly too – yay for the recession and people choosing to cut their hair themselves or something! (Note: joking. Also, never cut your hair yourself, kids, that way madness lies. Trust one who knows. )
I’m still not totally sure what I’m going to have done. I’m pretty sure the length will be considerably shorter, but, having re-examined the hair in the cold light of day (why yes, I DO spend too much time thinking about this!), new evidence has come to light, namely the fact that the layers around the front actually start at CHIN LEVEL. These are the most troublesome bits of all, so even if I go to shoulder length (NO. I WILL NOT BE GOING TO CHIN LENGTH. ABSOLUTELY NOT. UH-UH.) I will still face a mighty tussle every morning to coax these layers into submission.
Clearly, getting a fringe is out of the question. I repeat: is OUT. OF. THE. QUESTION so, well, I have no idea what I’m going to do about that. I think I’ll probably just not think about it until I’m actually sitting in the Chair O’Doom, wearing one of those huge, unflattering capes, and then ask for a fringe anyway.
(I’m kidding about the fringe.)
Meanwhile, Terry had lots of fun today making me look like “a mutant” (his words) with Photoshop. I’m particularly amused by the mad skillz he has employed to draw in the part of my sweater which was covered by my hair in the original photo. I promise I don’t ACTUALLY have a hunchback. Well, not so as you’d notice…
Almost 100% certain I’ll be going with the one on the bottom right…
(These all have about 5″ taken off the bottom, by the way. Except the,er, Bichon cut, obviously…)