A couple of years back, I decided I wanted in on the trendy mom club. My kids were beyond the toddler and infant stages. There was no excuse for not taking more of an interest in my physical appearance and perhaps even applying lipstick now and then.
In a fit of inspiration, I opted to get the cool new haircut all the trendy moms were sporting. You know the one. The sides are a little longer. The back is a little shorter. I had already grown out my mall bangs, so I figured there was no better time than the present.
I marched right into the $8 haircut place and excitedly ordered up my new style.
That was a mistake.
It was as if the stylist took everything I said and reversed it. She chopped my sides short. She left the back long. She re-instated the mall bangs.
I walked out with a full-blown mullet.
By the time I got home, I was in tears. My husband tried to make light of the situation by suggesting I take up ice hockey. I won’t get into my reaction. After all, this is a family publication.
Two years later, I am now on the eve of my 40th birthday. I once crafted a commendable list of all the things I wanted to accomplish by this stage in life. I was supposed to be fluent in French, have the abs of Gwen Stefani, and be able to express my anger without dropping a single curse word.
Sadly, those goals died with my third C-section, when I believe the doctor removed all of my abdominal muscles along with the baby.
My goal now?
I just want this blasted mullet to grow out.
I am very close. The sides are only 2 inches shorter than the back and my bangs finally have reached my eyebrows.
I do feel a little ashamed caring too much about a bad haircut. After all, I have watched friends and family lose their hair to cancer and disease. I know there is far more to life than worrying about looking like a member of the Chicago Blackhawks.
So when I review that old list, I am happy for the reality of what actually has been achieved. My children are kind and respectful. My friends make me laugh and bring milk when I run out. And most importantly, I have a marriage that not only can withstand a bad mullet, but quite a bit more.
I am going to embrace my 40s. I do not seek to conquer the world or learn to play bridge. There is only one goal on my list for the next decade.
No more $8 haircuts.