Seven Quick Takes: Small Talk Edition

1. Due to my complete failure to adhere to the Paleo diet or any other sensible regimens, I shall not be making my debut as Ruth Wilson-esque sylph anytime soon. I am sorry to disappoint you, universe.

WHO is Ruth Wilson? Really? You must not have watched Luther yet. It’s on Netflix/Qwikster/whatever.

So good.

2. But as a baby step towards Ruthification, I did decide to go a deeper shade of red this last round of hair-coloring. (Previous round: March. I am no Betty Beguiles in the fashion department.)

I held out against coloring my hair for a long time; I went through a brief period of redheadedness back in the late ’90s, which is when I met my husband – I remember meeting his grandmother and her asking “and WHERE do you get your red hair?” and I felt hollow as I responded, “from a box.”

Then there were the stripehead years, as I endured the growing-out process (my hair is a little bit red, in my defense). I was a new mother and wanted to crunchify my existence as best I could, and it felt wrong to read the La Leche League book by the lite of my glowing fake hair.

You know what, though? I think, as a nation, we have no idea what an average 37-year-old woman’s hair looks like, grey-wise, due to a vast Clairol conspiracy.

So I snuck the box into my cart at the grocery store and my three-year-old promptly put it in his dad’s drawer in the bathroom – perhaps he thinks Daddy needs a makeover, I don’t know.

Anyway: Tuesday was the day. I worried the children would be scandalized. Their mother, transformed into this brazen, auburn-haired…person. It would definitely require some Talking. Another big life change, on top of moving to a new place – it would be difficult.

Tonight at dinner I was explaining to my husband how the baby put the hair color in the drawer with his shaving cream, and my daughter said, “HAIR color? You put color? In your hair?”

I’m guessing it’s not all that brazen.

(Edited to add photographic evidence.)

I was going for "noir."

3. I’m not going to reveal the library system for fear they’ll no longer extend this special offer to me, but: apparently, if your kid loses one of the Geronimo Stilton type thin paperbacks, they just take the book out of the system. No fines. The overdue notice didn’t even have the title of the book – just “juvenile fiction paperback” and a serial number.

Oh, we’ll be finding that book REAL soon.

4. Can you be an extrovert and a homebody? I think that’s me. But then, once we actually LEAVE the house, I realize that all really is right with the world, and an ocean of possibility lies before me, and there are roads not yet taken that lead to adventures never-before dreamed of.

There may be a correlation between these feelings and the triple-shot grande Pumpkin Spice Latte from the drive-thru (half the syrup, because I’m Making Better Choices).

5. We went to a big homeschool group park day last week, which has put us all in a better mood about making new friends, etc. We’ve been here two months now and really enjoy our neighbors, but I do have concerns about my kids’ socialization – even though I know the Homeschooler Creed forbids mentioning this. I mean, it’s hard to be the new kid at school, I’m sure – but being the new kid in a new town at homeschool is a little more isolating.

I was concerned about my son, who can be overwhelmed in big gatherings where he doesn’t know anyone – you know, because he’s a human being. (I have learned to just say, “Hi, I’m new” and hope the person will forget most of what I say after that.) But this time around he got involved in a very animated conversation with another boy about Bakugan? Baku-gan? I don’t even know what this is, other than a magnetic toy stolen by his little brother, but it made him fast friends with this other kid. As much as I continue to sort of hate video games altogether, it does give them something to talk about at parties.

6. Oh, so – back to the library. Here is how it goes down at the library, with this kid. We’re there 15 minutes, his sister has already found five books and is halfway through one of them, and he is still empty-handed.

The librarian comes over and my son’s frowning, can’t find anything he likes.

“Why don’t you tell the librarian about some of the books you’ve enjoyed before?” I suggest/command. “Well, I mainly like to read comics,” he says.

And I know I’m coming across to her as one of Those Moms because I’m smiling with my sternest glare at him, “what ELSE do you enjoy reading? What did you just check out? What were you reading in the car on the way over?” and it’s all I can do to not say “He doesn’t just read GARFIELD, okay, he read this book about ARCHIMEDES, and things, and he knows LOTS of STUFF.” I try to gamely explain that he likes “adventure series” (although we haven’t ever gotten into the Redwall  series, which is too bad – because there are a lot of them!), which sometimes helps.

But my primary strategy is to let him check out whatever books he wants, and then stuff a bag full of about fifteen more books that I know he will enjoy for the rest of the week. Anything I suggest to him will be met with the fourth-grader equivalent of “Seriously? Seriously, Mom. Seriously?

7. Did anyone watch Person of Interest last night? We forgot to – but I think it looks good, plus: Benjamin Linus and Jim Caviezel.

We’ve started watching a lot more TV. I am currently okay with that. I mean, I don’t know if I mentioned this or not, but my kid reads lots of, you know, big books and stuff.

(Thanks, as always, to our hostess, Jennifer of Conversion Diary.)

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    • Dorian Speed says

      I’ve actually always wanted to try that. Apparently, nobody around here notices anyway, so should give it a shot.

  1. says

    We recorded Person of Interest, hopefully we’ll watch it sometime in the next week! :-D. Last night I was trying to catch up on “Castle” so I can watch the season opener that was aired on Monday. And then the debate was on… :)

    • says

      What did you think of “Castle”? I was kind of disappointed. I guess it was all about setting things up for the season, but it seemed like they were trying to go much darker with the storyline and I like the sparkling wit aspect of the show.

  2. says

    You’re lucky that they just take the cheap paperbacks out of the system. At our library you have to replace it with another paperback. On the other hand, I think they’ll take any cheap, crappy book you have at home that you want to get rid of!

    • says

      In our old library system (which was admittedly quite good), you couldn’t put books on hold if you had any fines. Needless to say, I never put a book on hold.

  3. says

    We did watch “Person of Interest.” Actually, my husband watched. I sat and read, and tried not to watch, because I don’t need one more show to feel that attached to.

    As for hair color, here’s a story. My grandmother, a mom of 10, started dyeing her hair fairly early. One day she accidentally picked up the wrong box and–poof! Red! I mean, Ronald McDonald red. But Grandpa liked it. And he made her keep using that color. And until he died, when I was a teenager, it never occurred to me that all my brown-haired aunts and uncles didn’t have an orange-haired grandmother. She went gray after her husband died. :)

    • says

      That is HILARIOUS! I actually first went red sorta by accident. The school at which I taught had school colors of orange and black (yes) and I tried to do a very temporary orange color for an end-of-the-year pep rally. It came out reddish and I actually liked it, which is how the whole thing started.

      I still feel a little odd when I meet a person who naturally has red hair.

      • says

        there are fewer natural redhead than you think :) Each of my girls has gone through at least one red phase, and the color looks great on them. I’m too lazy to color my hair and luckily my husband loves women who let their hair go gray (but I’d do it even if he didn’t!)

  4. Monica says

    I will be happy to be the poster child for 37 year old (hey, you aren’t 37 yet are you?) year old gray hair census. It is extensive. I think I remember the beginnings of your red stage…

  5. Robin says

    Sorry, Children’s Book Nerd here.

    To get your children into Redwall, check out the audiobook version, with the author as the narrator and a full cast of others. I had one who started and loved the series, and one who did the turned-up nose thing. So, I got the audiobook version, from the library, and popped it into the van stereo wherever we went. Turned-Up-Nose child folded her arms and said, “I won’t listen” and got totally sucked in by Chapter Two.

    Hey, we moms have our own definitions of success!

    • says

      You know what? I think it was because we didn’t like the audiobook that we couldn’t get into the series! In fairness, it was on a long cross-country trip and we’d just finished Peter and the Starcatchers, which has a bang-up narrator and is quite funny in places – so the Redwall book was comparatively difficult to follow and not as fun to listen to. We’ll have to give it another shot.

      I hope we can still be Internet friends despite this.

  6. says

    No pictures! I want to SEE the red Ruthification!

    I sometimes have the homebody/extrovert conundrum. For me it’s lack of energy. I love going out to meet people, but sometimes it’s too much trouble. Besides, you can always just talk with people on social media right?

    Nice chatting with you.

    • says

      The Ruthification is really not all that impressive, but perhaps I shall take a photo later…

      Edited to add – for the benefit of the entire commentariat: doesn’t Ruth Wilson have the BEST HAIR EVER?

  7. Amy Giglio says

    I love having red hair, but the last time I went red, I failed to mix the solution properly and I would up looking much like Strawberry shortcake. That would not have been so bad if it had covered my whole head, but I had spots of blond and brown thrown in. The 8th grader girls at the parish thought it was cool. My hairdresser thought I was kidding on the phone, but she gasped when she saw me. It took 3 hours in the chair to get it to a color found in nature. I’m going to have to wait till all of the bleached stuff grows out till I try again. And I will try again! 😉