Saturday, March 26, 2011

Blonde for the Weekend: A New Adventure with Turkish Culture

I don’t know what got into me, but it was probably temporary insanity.  After 46 years as a conservative brunette, I became a dishwater blonde last weekend.  Mind you, I didn’t exactly plan to go blonde; it just turned out that way, and believe me, it was a shock! 

This photo, taken at night, makes my hair look darker than it was.

Maybe it was a mini mid-life crisis? How embarrassing.  I’ve always said I’d never dye my hair, I’d just let it go gray naturally. But maybe I’ve been living in Turkey too long now.  Some Turkish women change their hair color like we might buy a new spring coat.  They get bored with the same look, so you see a whole gamut of colors:  black or brown with highlights, bright red, eggplant purple, blonde, and everything in between. 

I think I just wanted a change because, in fact, I had little gray hair for a 46 year old woman.  I’d been plotting for weeks to color my hair while my husband went out of town.  My plan was to get highlights just a shade lighter than my normal brown color to camouflage the gray. 

It was definitely a new level of bonding with Turkish culture! I went to the hairdresser’s at 2:30 and spent the whole afternoon drinking tea and chatting with the hairdresser, Binnur, and another customer.    Binnur and I chose what LOOKED like a light brown for my highlights. However, I should have gotten a clue from her hair: blonde highlights over black. 

After two hours of foil and smelly solutions, I was shocked to look in the mirror and see that the entire top layer of my hair was a brassy dishwater blonde.  Binnur and the other customer raved about how great it looked. 

When I got home, my son howled, “Yoo hoo! Mom’s a blonde!”

 My 11 year old daughter cried out, “Mom, how could you do this to me?” And she ran into her bedroom and slammed the door.

Over the next days it was interesting to see people’s reactions.  My Turkish sister said, “It’s a nice change.  I think it looks great.” My Mexican friend asked, “So does your husband like drastic changes?” One really honest friend said, “That color is too light for you.  It makes you look older. You’d better go get a darker rinse.” The funniest thing was that some people said absolutely nothing. 

What to do? Should I break out of the ordinary and enjoy being a dishwater blonde for a while?  Surely my friends would get used to it. Or should I play it safe and go get the dark rinse immediately before anyone else could see me? My children, who by now actually liked my new hair, insisted I wait until my husband return to decide.

When Jose saw me, he laughed, and said, “What have you done?”  But he didn’t really care whether I stayed  blonde or returned to my brunette self. So the next morning, I went back to the hairdresser. Binnur was shocked and said I’d regret it.

I don’t regret it.  Three days of being blonde was enough.  I breathed a sigh of relief when I got the light brown highlights I wanted. Oh, I have momentary twinges of wishing I were a bit more adventurous.  But maybe adventurous as adventurous does.

I don’t regret three days of being blonde either.  It was kind of fun.  It’s good to break out of the mold, even for a short time.  Have you done anything kind of crazy lately for the sake of adding adventure to your life?


Angela said...

Glad you're happy with your new hair color, although it is fun to break out of the routine a little once in a while. :)
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I've never read the Henri Nouwen book you recommended, but I'm adding it to my list. I have a feeling I'm going to love it!

OliveTree said...

Yes, do read the Henri Nouwen book. The best one I've ever read by him, though, is compendium called "The Only Necessary Thing: Living a Prayerful Life." It has quotes from his books arranged in chapters according to topic.

Columba Lisa Smith said...

Adapting to a whole new culture, homeschooling your kids, learning Turkish - these are just not adventurous enough, Betsy - you should have stayed blonde,lol!

OliveTree said...

Yes, I think you're right, Lisa! I should have stayed blonde! The hairdresser said I'd regreat it. ha ha ha