Thursday afternoon I was walking down the street from the coffee shop back to our car at the library, pushing the stroller and trying my hardest to keep everyone out of the street/flowerbeds/ashtrays without totally losing it when I noticed that a new salon and spa had opened up downtown.
Under forces completely outside my control, but certainly related to THE PACK OF CRAZY WHO GO WITH ME EVERYWHERE I GO, I walked through the door and up to the counter where I proclaimed that I would like to schedule a haircut and pedicure for Saturday afternoon, please. As Wes and Charlie noisily jockeyed for position on the massage chair in the sitting area, I scheduled an appointment for 4:00.
This is kind of a big deal for me. I like to get fancy, girly haircuts where they offer you coffee or tea while you wait, but it just seems so inequitable with what the rest of the family does (I line them up at Great Clips like sheep at the county fair. Ryan included. And then pay with a coupon.). To compensate for the fact that my haircuts cost five times what theirs do, I only go like four times a year. And the last time was only two months ago. And my hair still looked pretty normal, which is all I really care about. But still, a tiny island of femininity in my testosterone soaked world sure sounded nice. It would be a bonus haircut.
I could cancel up to twenty-four hours in advance, I reasoned. But then yesterday at 4:00 came and went and suddenly, I was COMMITTED.
I looked forward to it all day today. Even though I spent the whole day happily working alone at my desk with a warm beverage, I still kind of felt like I deserved an hour away. Just an hour! At 3:30 I couldn't take it anymore so I grabbed some magazines, hopped in the car, and left. I tried not to behave too gleefully as I left the house, but I don't think I was successful.
While I waited in the quiet, zen looking reception area, a nicely dressed hipster type brought me a hot cup of tea and asked if I would mind if she gave me a complimentary hand massage. I did not mind, as a matter of fact, bring it on. Then the stylist came and led me to my chair. We briefly discussed what style I wanted (chin-length stacked bob, as always, how original) then it was time to wash my hair and massage my scalp with wonderfully minty shampoo and conditioner. "This is why I don't go to Great Clips" I thought as I struggled to stay awake and keep from thumping my foot on the ground like a Golden Retriever.
When she was done cutting and styling my hair I was a little startled to learn that it was already 5:00 and I still had my pedicure left to go. Startled and a little giddy, I mean. I called Ryan and told him not to hold dinner then fired up the massage chair and opened my In Style. Sixty (!!) glorious, QUIET, minutes later I had pretty, coppery toes, freshly styled mom hair, and my very own bottles of minty shampoo and conditioner.
I was starting to feel a little bit bad for Ryan. I had not expected to be gone for two hours, especially not THE two hours before dinner, the worst two hours of all. So I called him. He answered on the first ring. "You'll be just in time for dessert," he said "I couldn't wait any longer. The core was melting down." I could hear screaming in the background. It was in stark contrast to the aromatherapy lotion that was I had smeared all over my feet.
The kids jumped all over me when I got home. "You got YOUR hair cut, Mama!" exclaimed Wes. Charlie snuggled into my lap and observed "You smell MINTY." They both were totally enamored with my toenails and fancy disposable shoes.
We ate brownies together and then put them to bed. And now I am happily back at my desk working on the conference paper while Ryan works on work stuff at the kitchen table. I haven't had this much energy in WEEKS. I think I better go back to that place weekly, just until the paper is done. We'll call it a professional expense.