The first work week of the new year started on a rather bad, if also hilarious note. I had actually woken up with my alarm clock for once, proceeded through my getting ready routine smoothly, and was about to head out the door when I noticed the accumulated debris at the bottom of my tote bag – you know, the crumpled corners of receipts, glitter that rubbed off this year’s Christmas wrapping paper, and that sort of thing. Inexplicably, I was struck by the need to rid myself of this detritus without a moment to lose, but, not wanting to get any of it in my flat, I threw my window open, turned my ostensibly empty tote upside down, and began to shake it.
Something vaguely substantial tumbled out of my bag. Just a hair tie, I thought with a shrug as I watched it fall to the ground. Then something rather more substantial joined it. Leaning over the windowsill, I wondered what else I could have possibly left in my bag. And, this time, the thoughts that raced through my mind were decidedly less genteel:
Because, you see, I leave my work ID badge in the unsecured front pocket of my tote, as there is never really any point in placing it anywhere else, and, in my obsessive-compulsive daze, had thoughtlessly sent it plummeting into the gated patio of a first-floor tenant.
Fortunately, this story has a happy resolution: I left a deeply apologetic note, along with an envelope, for said tenant, explaining what had happened and whether it would be terribly rude for me ask if he/she could retrieve my ID for me. I was able to get into my office building with a temporary staff badge, and, a few hours into the morning, the tenant gave me a ring and told me that she had found my ID and slid it under my door. I thanked her profusely – and the kindness of strangers more generally – and promised to never do such a stupid thing again. Not the least because, when I thought about it, there really wasn’t much dirt & dust at the bottom of my bag to begin with.
On an at-first-glance unrelated note, I found myself desiring to waste time on Sunday – a treasured pastime of the working twentysomething – and decided to curl my hair for the first time in my life. Secretly, I had been wanting to try this for a while, but my hair required time to grow out and I needed to consult the boundless expertise of YouTube vis-à-vis the proper handling of a curling iron because, when I was a teenager, I instead chose to spend my time learning the ins and outs of the French Republican Calendar. Yeah.
Anyway, I spent more time than I am willing to admit in front of the bathroom mirror, trying my best not to inflict first-degree burns on my fingers or scalp, and the result came out satisfactorily enough that a crappy webcam photo was necessary to mark the occasion. Please forgive my wan & listless demeanour: I was not feeling well that day, and the lighting in these kinds of situations is almost always disadvantageous for one’s complexion.
I’ve had fine, (more or less) straight hair for my entire life. You’d think it would be easy to deal with, but the funny reality is that my hair is a maddeningly malleable thing: if I put it up in so much as a loose ponytail and let it down a few hours later, it will possess for the rest of the day that odd indentation where the elastic had been. I am deeply jealous of people who wake up in the morning blessed with easily manageable locks; mine usually resemble an electrified bird’s nest. And letting my hair air dry is a definite no-no unless I want odd strands here or there curling out at odd angles; ergo, I devote a good 20-25 minutes on most mornings emphasising applying copious amounts of product, blow drying it until my bathroom feels like a rain forest, and touching up the unruly bits with a flat iron afterwards. There is the sense that, because my hair is straight, it ought to be so in an unambiguous, clear cut fashion, and anything less than that is unacceptable.
As I was “posing” for this “photograph,” I found myself fiddling with my hair a bit, trying to make it look a bit less unruly before I committed it to my hard drive for all eternity, but then it occurred to me that it was supposed to be a little messy. By electing to curl my hair, I had already surrendered to a kind of disorder, albeit still a controlled one, and really, I began to tell myself, you know you’re just going to spend the rest of the day sprawled on your bed, crying your way through the second series of Downton Abbey and snacking on puppy chow. Honestly, is there even one defensible reason you should be wasting your time dwelling on this, of all things?
Thus, I threw up my proverbial hands and just took the damn photo, and now I’ve blogged about it. Daring to disturbing the universe is scary business indeed, but baby steps, as they say, baby steps.