Generally speaking I’m a bit of a creature of habit. Maybe not habit so much as when I find something that works I like to stick with it. I like the certainty of knowing what to expect. I also like to minimize the risk of something going wrong. I tend to plan things out and I like to throw in a few practice runs just to make sure things will (hopefully) work out the way I plan them out in my head. Take for instance, preparing for Mrs. Colorado. Not only did I practice walking in heels, I practiced in THE heels I would wear. When my much anticipated gown showed up at my house I took it and practiced walking in THE gown with THE heels – and the jewelry too. I’m driving to Mrs. America next week. If I could take a practice drive today to know where to find a Starbucks and where to stop for the night, I would do it.
I approach my hair the same way. I know how to do it, I like it, and for the most part it’s been the same for a long time. If you look at pictures of me over the last fifteen years you’ll see what I mean. I have long hair, it’s usually coming forward over my left shoulder and to the back of my right. The amount of curl and hairspray varies, but it’s long hair that has evolved over the years while staying true to my long hair preference. Every now and then I’ve tried something new: like in 2008 when I cut it off above the shoulders – that was great for about two weeks…..then I wanted my hair back. Or the time my friend asked me as I stood in his house trying to decide on the minute details of a gown, how I felt about trying to put my hair over the other shoulder (gasp!). It turned out I liked it and every now and then I live dangerously and my hair comes forward over my right shoulder. Crazy, I know.
My hair really hasn't changed much......1997 - 2015
But sometimes change goes terribly wrong. The summer before 8th grade I was inspired by those pretty blonde girls in the “Sun-In” ads to spray my hair (quite thoroughly I might add) with that devil spray. There may have also been some hydrogen peroxide involved in this ill-advised experiment……..Anyway, what I was left with was something rivaling an orange crayon. Even I could see it was a disaster. One I was eager to undo. Unfortunately my mom was determined to teach me a lesson, (I should probably mention here that she had forbidden me for months to do this exact thing) so she would not allow me to just dye my hair back to its original color. The disappointing thing about my plan was not just that I had brassy orange-ish hair, but that as it grew out it looked RIDICULOUS. This is immortalized in my 8th grade picture where I literally have hair that is two very distinct colors. (No, I will NOT show you the picture!) Needless to say I never made the Sun-In mistake again.
There have been plenty of times I’ve tried something new over the years. Some turned out to be smashing successes, like the time I insisted I would not try on the “nightgown dress” my friend Gayle wanted me to try on (which became my Miss Louisiana and Miss America gown) only to fall in love with it and abandon the gown I had thought I would wear. Yet as I mentioned above there have also been some awful and many times hilarious mishaps……..which brings me to my tribute to the raccoons of the world.
Now don’t get me wrong, I like raccoons. I find them adorable and at my previous house they would actually swim in our pool at night. I loved it. I loved them. And apparently last night I looked like one. In my defense, I didn’t actually resemble a raccoon in person – but in pictures it’s a whole different story! The tribute began when I accepted a sample of a setting powder I’ve never used before. Makeup is the one area where I’ll try lots of new things. Makeup is fun. It’s not permanent and at the end of the day you can wash it off. It’s fabulous! There’s really no long-term commitment. As Mrs. America has gotten closer I have been trying new things to see if I like them and get used to using anything new that I decide I like. Yesterday it was this darn powder. Everything else I used was a product I regularly use. I used this new “incredibly light diffusing and perfecting” powder (the cosmetic professional’s words, not mine!) under my eyes. Voila! Lovely……maybe I do look light diffused! All day it was fine. All night it was fine. Until the cameras came out. Then my Mrs. Colorado America sisters started posting the pictures from my Mrs. America sendoff party on Facebook. I look like I have applied reflective tape under my eyes!! In EVERY PICTURE!! Seriously, go look. It’s hilarious!! People who run at night from everywhere are sending me messages asking where to get this stuff. Not really, but that’s only because they haven’t seen the pictures yet. No set of headlights could miss me – this stuff is better than the reflective letters on a stop sign! Remember back in the 90’s when people would take pictures and even though they looked completely normal in person, if they took a picture their entire face looked eight shades lighter than the rest of their body? That’s what this was – just only under my eyes. It’s not a good look. Take my word for it.
I guess my point is that we should always be ready to try new things. Sometimes you discover something you love and you make it part of your routine. And then sometimes you crack yourself up with how terribly wrong some of them go. Sometimes laughing at yourself really is the best medicine! I can say though that I am ever so grateful that I like to practice run everything. I would much rather be a raccoon eyed weirdo in pictures now as opposed to next week at Mrs. America. Today I went back to the powder I know…….and I think I’m just going to leave well enough alone.