You sort of get the idea you might be in for a rough week when it starts off with your hair on fire.
That's not some clever euphemism. My hair was on fire last weekend. Literally. I had it coming, really.
You see, it all started when I made the decision to fight nature by having my normally unruly locks straightened into submission at the salon last Saturday. I've got to hand it to my stylist. It's not easy going deep into the wild and taming the Medusa which rests atop my crown.
I mean, lesser gals have thrown in the towel far earlier in the process, citing work hazards that include carpet-like burns about the hands and forearms and an overall bodily allergic reaction to steel wool. Indeed, it takes quite a bit of valor to don industrial-strength, titanium-fingered work gloves and dive into my mess of a mane.
And you have to understand that the straightening process comes only after the excruciation that ensues whenever one attempts to color my 95-percent gray tresses. Oh yes, they've been a most unsightly shade of off-white since my early 20s; I just perform a quick root touch-up every five hours or so to keep up on it. But I digress.
As you may or may not be aware, gray curls have an attitude; guess they figure they've earned it after all the years of being tugged, teased, dyed, etc. They did, after all, at least remain attached, which is more than I can say for so many of their colleagues who've clogged my drain over the years. They're sort of the crab grass of hair, I suppose: resilient, unrelenting and just angry enough to survive even the strongest strain of weed-killer, er, hair color.
So, after spending about 22.7 hours at the hair salon, I went home to begin preparing for a family dinner for my brother Dan's birthday. He loves homemade bread, sauce and meatballs, so I got quickly to work. And, as I leaned just a hair too far into the oven to determine if it was sufficiently warmed, I smelled something funny.
"Hmm. Better clean this sucker out before Easter," I remember thinking in the .07 seconds it took to singe off my newly-brown bangs. "WHOA!" I screamed.
All right, I said something a little harsher but it's Lent and I'm not cussin'. Anywho, I'm OK but am sad to report that one beloved dish towel didn't survive.
Hmpf and nuts!
Next came the mall misstep(s). Kyle and I were there the other night to get my niece Alexis something special for her 21st birthday. Finally, we found just the right earrings when suddenly my son decided he was in need of a Chick-fil-A sandwich.
"Come on, Mom, it's right next door," said he. Now, I've gone to that mall a bazillion-and-a-half times in my almost 44 years on earth, and I knew it was on the other side of the complex.
Yet, the directional-impairment from which I suffer gave me a half-second's pause - thereby causing us to do one full circle around the entire Southern Park Mall.
As if that wrong turn wasn't enough, I did the exact same thing two nights later when I went to pick up the engraved items I'd ordered for my company's charity ball. The only silver lining on my long way to pick up the silver stars? The detour went straight past a pair of leather boots that now belong to moi.
And speaking of the ball, it capped off the weirdest week I've had in a while by falling on the only truly winter's day we've had all season.
Yes, never mind the balmy 50-plus-degrees Fahrenheit weather we've been enjoying and the wall-to-wall spring fest that's had many of us running outdoors in shorts or getting that base tan for spring break. No, no, our ball fell on the one day in the last 90 to have included blowing snow and arctic breezes - of course. Perfect for those of us in strapless gowns and open-toed shoes.
Brrrr and one last hmpf.
It's like my pal and Trumbull County native Charleen Scott always tells me, "Honey, if that's the worst of it, we're in for some pretty smooth sailing."
I knew she was right when I looked at my healthy family and smiled at all the blessings in my life. It really is, as they say, all good. Sigh.
Heck, besides that, now I've got some sweet new boots to kick around in when the snow finally arrives in May.
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her with anecdotes of angst at firstname.lastname@example.org.