As anyone who follows anything I post online, my quest towards becoming an adult lady is nothing new. Saying womanhood doesn’t come naturally to me is a gross understatement. Like, claiming airline seats are designed for ergonomic comfort, or saying Lindsay Lohan’s skin doesn’t look like it was grafted from a cadaver.
I've always felt out of place anywhere where adults have put effort into their appearances before 6pm, but now that I have a gemstone on my left finger and an adult future to consider, I can't really let my leggings-wearing lifestyle and I-slept-in-this-ain't-that-neat? demeanor hold for much longer.
The pressure to grow the fuck up already has been ringing in my ears for a while now. When people are calling you bride while you’re simultaneously secret-spending your paycheck on a custom pom-pon banner to hang above your desk (omg, more on that later), you kind of want things to equal out. You want to tip the balance more towards the “Rag-and-Bone-wearing-brown-haired-lady” end of the spectrum instead of the “How was prom?” "Oh, I’m not in high school” one. At a minimum, I feel the urge to at least polish my turd; to at least get to a point where I look like an adult on the outside, in order to still enjoy Adventure Time iPhone cases and pretend my desk plant has a secret personality.
With my hair looking more Jewish than ever — frizzy, curly and straw-like in ways comparable to my younger, overnight camp-attending self frying her wet hair to look straightish in time for Shabbat — I had to do something. Anything! I needed to buck up and become the adult I’m told I am and have not yet seen surface So, I went to a fancy salon and made something out of myself.
I scheduled an appointment, asked for “I don’t know, ombre’s kinda played out so something similar”, drank a bunch of lemon waters, tried to make the staff laugh and two hours later, walked towards the receptionist with the farmer’s market, organic, freshly picked-version of bouncy lady hair.
And then I was pronounced dead on the scene after having a heart attack.
Now, this is completely my fault. I never asked prices. I don’t even know how much this stuff usually costs! This salon is, like, a celebrity haven — but due to my naiveté, I had no idea it would be $522. And that didn’t even include tip, which was practically another hundo. And, while you’re wondering how irresponsible I can possibly be, or how poor with money I’ve become, it’s not that. I straight up made a newbie mistake. My inexperience didn’t clue me in to any of the warning signs that this might set me back a lifetime of paychecks.
Perhaps I should have noticed everyone was staring at me, and not because I showed up real chill-like, in a neon hat and the shirt I slept in. (I wasn’t joking up top.) Maybe I should have taken into account that there was a girl whose entire job was to man the coat check. And that my colorist had a full-time assistant. And that the salon was packed — packed! — during the day with fancy ladies that had eight-shades-of-blonde hair like Robin Wright Penn and Celine bags plopped beside them.
I did get what I asked for. Does it look good? Yes. Is the girl who colored my hair incredibly skilled? Yes. But does it look like the entire Rapunzel fairy tale was created in honor of my newly luscious mane? Did I, as I keep asking myself, get $500 worth of a look?
A-NO. To me, to spend all of my money — all of it! — on my physical appearance, I better look like someone who’s a natural blonde and spends her afternoons surfing. I mean, shouldn’t they just transplant Lily Collins’ entire face onto mine for this much money? Shouldn’t I get a lifetime supply of manicures and a basket of croissants for the week? Or, like, a free puppy and six free issues of Kinfolk and maybe a couple of human organs thrown in there, too?
I fucked up, bad. I failed at my small attempt to become an adult lady. I had no cues to draw on, no social practices to pull from, and I came out the other end disturbingly horrible at this. If I needed a sign from the universe that I should have quit the adulthood quest while I’m ahead, I got one. A very expensive one. One so costly that American Express literally flagged my account for fraud from a large purchase.
So, here I am, with barely sun-kissed hair, more confused than ever as to how women actually do this adulthood racket. But,I don't know, maybe that’s just it. Maybe my journey towards adulthood won't measured in glimmery hair and designer jeans and small leather zip pouches. Maybe it will be measured
in knowing all the social norms, knowing what’s expected of me and turning my nose up at it.
But, I’ll have more time to ponder that at another time. Now…now, I need to figure out a way to churn out a big freelance story. Immediately.