A fit of exhausted frugality.

It’s been a rough week. Something terrible happened to my body last week and it is in… shall we say… revolt. The proverbial wheels have fallen off the bus, and are currently speeding down I-94 on their own self-directed course. I am certain they’ll return eventually, when convinced I’ll welcome them home with contrition, tears, and no small amount of pomp. I’m hiring a caterer. Erecting a big tent and little white lights for ambiance. Installing an iconic “Eat Here!” sign on the roof of the shed. Solo life on the road has got to be getting lonely.

Of the many symptoms of my current ailment, I am more tired that usual. Not comatose tired, just ‘a nap sounds somewhere between good and necessary’ tired. I’m not a napper, but I have indeed had a few naps in past days. Impressive, drooling naps, naps that leave you hot and disoriented, naps that make you nearly miss your kids’ recitals. Good naps. I’ve been a little out of it a lot of the time, and the other day the whole situation came to an embarrassing head.

On this particular day, I stumbled out of bed, wishing that the clock was wrong, and set a reluctant and bleary-eyed course for the shower, the only thing that brings me to the land of the living even on good days. All my pre-shower rituals taken care of, I stepped into my day’s first chance at recovery.  I stood there for a minute registering the shock of being upright, tested the handrail for sturdiness (in the event that I might ever need it – it was looking a bit suspicious), and reached for the shampoo.

I was careful to grab the shampoo and not the conditioner, as I have proven experimentally that there is no commutative relationship between the two; the shampoo really does need to go first in order to achieve maximum potential from the pair.

Emily_2016_0519_025I was judicious in the volume of the blob I squeezed into my hand, as my recently shorn head still surprises me every day by how little shampoo it needs.

And I was meticulous in my additional checks of the beady-eyed handrail.

What I was not mindful of was the broader order of operations. The shampoo bottle that I have used every day out of the past 337 clearly states that shampoo is to be applied to wet hair, but on this particular morning, I found myself standing stock still, gooped hands poised and stuck into my bone-dry haystack, eyes darting to and fro trying to make sense of what had happened. And this is where things really fell off the sanity cliff.

In a fit of exhausted, yet stubbornly courageous frugality, I held my pose while assessing the best course of action. By my best guess, there were at least seventeen pennies worth of shampoo dripping from my hands and soaking into the drought of my scalp, and I was in no way going to let them go to waste. I bobbed into and out of the stream for the split second necessary to moisten the backs of my hands, unwilling to move them and have my liquid gold flushed down the drain. And then I scrubbed. If my locks were any longer, one might have mistaken me for someone working feverishly at the woolen method of giving myself dreadlocks, but as it were, in its short state, it was little more than an exfoliating rub. I scrubbed until I coaxed something like a lather out of those drops and only then did I duck back under the showerhead to rinse, satisfied that I had redeemed my own stupidity. I was, I am sheepish to admit, proud of myself for not succumbing to the wastefulness of the consumerist heathen, even in my stuporous and compromised state.

Alas, my greasy head told a different story. As the day progressed, so too did the demise of my fragile follicular integrity. I’m not one to care much what the hair atop my head is up to, but on this day, my cowlick gradually took on monumental proportions I hadn’t dreamed of. As it turned out, my day was destined for general crappiness, and the eraser atop my head did nothing to alleviate the pain or misery. It did, however, add an element of humility to my attitude and seventeen cents to my bankbook, so all was not lost.

Save your sympathies; I am not suffering from anything so heinous as… well, any number of things. I am just found in the midst of a minor structural overhaul, and my resources are very precious. My mind, for instance, cannot be bothered with silly things like showers, or common sense. Once I sweet-talk my wheels back home and ratchet them securely back onto the bus of my life, I’ll have plenty of time to make good decisions and reap their benefits. In the mean time, I’m seriously considering those dreads.

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