Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Confessions of a Shopping-Happy Butternut Blonde

Okay, I have two confessions to make.
1) There are times I really like to shop. One day last went to the hardware store, dollar store, drug store and natural food store and bought things like deck cleaner, stain, dish soap, shampoo, (and make-up! I so love buying make-up) and quinoa and absolutely loved it. I just really like standing there trying to figure out of the more expensive waterproofing is really worth it. I dislike clothes shopping most of the time, but had another great day this week driving into Charleston, dropping off the recycling, hitting 7 vegetable vendors at the Farmer's Market and pricing fans and back-to-school items at Target. I had to take myself away from the "storage solution" section.
2) I care about my hair color label. My hair continues to darken as I age. This is normal for blondes except white-blonde tow-heads. Sometime in my twenties, I remember reading an essay about blondes in their thirties and how they are all fake and meet with both scorn and envy from people like the author who was a blonde in her twenties but no more. I thought at the time "that won't happen to me", but then, I was a natural blonde in her twenties.
Anyway, I like the color of my hair. I've always liked the color of my hair, including the times when it was a sun-bleached light blonde and the times, like most of high school, when I thought that I could only fairly refer to it as "blondish". I like the color of Jennifer's hair, which is just a touch darker than mine, and I will be proud to have that color next. I am not about dye my hair. But I want to be considered blonde. The actual word is most of the hang-up.

This is weird to me because usually I am a realist. I will buy a piece of clothing that fits well even if it is the larger size, and I've certainly never purchased anything because of vanity sizing. Sizes are just numbers, as are most labels. But I really want to cling to "blonde". Maybe it's because I don't fit in with a four hair color universe (while definitely not black or red, my hair is really not brown or even light brown.) So for now I am calling myself "butternut blonde". I have no idea what butternut blonde is, but they make a shampoo for it so there must be lots of us.

Sorry if I've disappointed you, Sally's Sister.


Jennifer said...

Isn't it strange how we get hung up on words. I am the same way, my hair is not brown and I am so used to thinking of myself as blond that it is hard to give up. Our friend Criag did describe my hair as "dirty dishwater". I still have not quite forgiven him for that. I have been having thoughts of dyeing my hair red.

Sparkling Squirrel said...

Last December I was looking at my hair and thinking "this is not blonde anymore" and said something about it to the mister, who said something like, "Well, I never thought you were blonde." I gave him a perplexed look and he added, "I know that you consider yourself a blonde." It was not said meanly, but it caused me to tear up (of course, that might also have something to do with having been at my grandfather's funeral and serious PMS).
Fortunately, when I mentioned this to my now former co-worker (sigh), a white blonde, she just looked at me, "Well what other color would your hair be? Of course it's blonde." I never loved her so much as that moment, even when she saved my lab by bringing in squid.

Jennifer, I have always considered you blonde, by the way. And nobody has dishwater colored hair-- I've seen plenty of dishwater in my time and we don't have it.

Irene said...

Sparkling Squirrel, I always thought of your hair as blonde. And enviable!

Jennifer, your hair is certainly not dirty-dishwater colored! I've always figured it was in-between blonde and brown, which we don't really have a good word for I guess.

My hair is definitely in the brunette category, though if I'm outside a lot in the summer, the ends turn a color that would probably be considered blonde if the rest of my hair matched it. I've sometimes thought about dyeing it lighter or darker, but I'm convinced that deviating much from its natural color would look strange with my skin tone.

Sparkling Squirrel said...

I wasn't actually fishing for blonde assessments, but it was helpful today when I was getting my hair cut and the stylist commented, "I bet your hair was blonde when you were young," to think "Irene has always considered me to have blonde hair."

I'm apparently getting used to having long hair, because I feel completely naked after this cut, and it's not that short (the short layer is long shoulder length and the long layer several inches shorter), I just suddenly can't do a double loop pony tail or a quick bun and I'm shuddering about the lack of possibilities.

Abby said...

You know, it's really funny how two reasonable people can have entirely different but equally strong views on something that seems so minor. I also am hung up on the word blonde, but for the opposite reason. When I was younger some people would occasionally classify my hair as blonde (and even more often strawberry blonde), and I hated it. Hated it in ways I can't describe. I refused to acknowledge that my shade was anything even close to blonde (even when it lighted up in the summer). So I'm rather glad that I lost the blonde in my hair (though I am still sad that the red left too...). I'm rather happy that I have light brown hair and that no one would ever classify it as blonde anymore. Though I have been thinking about getting red highlights to bring back that shade in my hair....