The sole reason I went to barber school, way back when, was to be able to cut my own bangs. Yes, it's like going to culinary school to learn how to boil a perfect egg but in the end, my license for overkill paid off. It happened last Sunday, after I gave the boys their haircut and my six-year old became unusually excited about his new do. He jumped off his chair and studied his reflection.
"Cool!" he said and took off into the bedroom.
Two minutes later, he strolled back to the bathroom and stood in the doorway. Feeling his presence, I paused in my obsessive-compulsive-hair-cleaning frenzy and acknowledged him.
He had changed into his I Train To Bring You Pain t-shirt and a pair of jeans. He was busy pressing his hair into his hands, molding the top of his head into a Mohawk and giggling like a crazy monkey.
"Ah, what did you put in your hair, mister?"
"Huh? Oh, you know..." He cupped one hand and with the other pressed on an invisible pump. Obviously, he doesn't know that things have names.
"You used the body lotion?"
"Uh-huh," he said, apparently forgetting how to speak a language at all. He confirmed his grunt with an exaggerated nod.
In his mind, he was styling his hair to look like one of the Japanese Power Rangers known as "Kamen Riders." Most of the actors in the show are ridiculously skinny young men - boys that would be mistaken for a waif in this country - tall, perfect complexion and highlights that must've set them back fifty-thousand Yen.
Fortunately, we can save on the expensive highlights since my son got Daddy's light hair genes. But with the wacky faces he was making, I was now staring at a miniature version of Ace Ventura.
On the bright side, at least he started to care about his appearance. Every morning, it was a battle to get him to tuck in his shirt, put his shoes on the correct feet, fix his underpants so they covered his frank and beans because he didn't care about how he looked. So, I was grateful for this baby step forward, regardless of its narcissist undertone.
Realizing how stiff his hair was, I figured he must have used a lot of body lotion. Although I saw nothing wrong with using body lotion it was the fact that it was the Aveeno body lotion that prompted me to ask him not to use that in the future.
"This stuff's expensive," I said. "It's not like Mommy's generic CVS brand for $4.99!"
I promised to pick up real hair styling creme for him that afternoon because I had an ulterior motive. An anti-aging cream that had been on my wish list, waiting for that elusive sale which finally came in the form of a 20 percent off coupon. It was now or never.
With the added urgency of my promise to get the midget his hair styling creme, it seemed nothing was going to stop me now - not even the whole gang tagging along.
I told my husband that I was just picking up two little items. With emphasis on the word "little" he probably calculated the spree would cost him all of ten dollars...at the most.
I stood in front of the self checkout kiosk with my stuff. This is it...just make the transaction and the Fountain of Youth is MINE! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-haaaa!
I forgot how loud that kiosk talks. "WELCOME! PLEASE SCAN YOUR FIRST ITEM!"
...blip...I scanned my little tube of miracles. "TWENTY-NINE-NINETY-NINE!"
My husband - who was busy swatting the boys hands off the candy rack - spun around on his heels like Michael Jackson.
"What the hell are you buying?" He said.
"Oh, if you think that's bad, listen to how much this hair styling creme is," I said.
His eyes widened with disbelief. Two little tubes - twenty ounces of cream altogether. There was nothing "priceless" about this Visa purchase, at least not for him.
But for me, I can delude myself for eight weeks hoping this miracle creme will do what it says. Perhaps the splurge was a little over the top but I did provide a service for free - a service that would have otherwise cost us, not so much as the anit-aging creme - but close. Maybe I'll take up highlighting next.