I do this thing where when I feel like things aren't quite right and I think I want a change but I can't quite figure it out so I change something that has nothing to do with the underlying issue. Anyone else? After I had my son my change was going in for a trim and a highlight and chopping off all my hair into a little pixie instead. All of my problems were solved.
We can get to the joys (complete shock to the system) of going from a kid that can put herself to sleep and ride around the block on her bike alone and sleeping in to going back to baby some other time. Right now? Hair.
In the past I have been known to take the unknown state of my life out on my hair. It's been really long, really short, black, brown, blonde, blue, purple, red, I've had extensions, clip-ins, you name it. But because my hair is so thick and the only other time it was this short I was 15 and without Amazon Prime, I have never ever considered a wig. Until last week.
I was reading myself a bedtime story the other night when a beautiful mermaid wig popped up while I was cruising through the "fun gifts under $20" on Amazon (really dangerous bedtime story, fyi). I was mesmerized. Did you know you could get a wig for less than $15? Me neither. I began the search and landed on 3 different styles and colors added to cart and hit the "purchase now" button. As a fun extra, there was already a kimono in my cart from a different bedtime story on a different journey and so now I was less than 48 hours away from owning THREE wigs AND a kimono for the low low price of less than $72 (my husband just fell out of his chair--Amazon Prime? Most talked about issue in the US during couples therapy, source unsubstantiated).
The REAL luck though was that the wigs and the kimono showed up on Valentine's Day and I had plans to meet my man for lunch. My husband--luckiest man a alive. My son went down for a nap. I showered. Dried my hair, did my make-up, put on my surprise kimono and got to work wigging out. Look at the options??? I had no idea which to choose. I put on my wig cap and got to work.
If you know me then you know that I love a good mystery. I prefer my mysteries to include crime because it raises the stakes. I have gotten into so many different crime, mystery, forensic, spy shows over the years that listing them would be impossible at this point. I also regularly have daydreams of being a crime fighter, undercover agent, and having a double-life in which I am a total parkour-ing, ninja, non-gun using, bad ass that saves people and the world in my spare time. My most common double-life alter ego is Skylar Black--she kicks ass.
Watching "The Americans" and seeing Keri Russell put her kids to bed and then throw on a wig and some glasses and become someone else entirely was honestly one of the best things about watching the show. The costumes and personas were incredible. I would sit there and think about how they would just throw on a wig and some facial hair and all the sudden they were someone else. I would also think about how they made it look so easy but really they probably spent hours in hair and make-up to make the changes they seemed to make in minutes.
As it turns out, you can throw on a wig in minutes and become someone else. You might not end up looking as incredible as Keri Russell, but that's just a truth I've had to come to grips with.
Anyhow, wig cap in place, I started with the pink bob. OMG. It was not as realistic looking as it was in the customer photos in the Amazon reviews, but holy hell was it fun. The length was incredible, I thought about how this would have been a nice step between my previous length and the pixie. The bangs were hard to sort out from the long bits of front hair and I could see that I would probably need a lot of trips to the bathroom to check on them. The pink was definitely pink but also very subtle and magical. I felt like a princess, but edgy, but feminine, but like I could probably do a lot more things now that this was on my head. The magic pink hair.
Next, it was onto the silver wig. This wig popped up alongside wigs that were made to look like Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, on "Game of Thrones". I chose to go with this flow-y version with bangs instead of the braided and pin-straight Khaleesi version. The end result made me feel a little like a Jenner trying to be a Kardashian. None-the-less, I felt like it was someone I could be. The bangs were much easier to manage than the pink wig bangs, so in my personal wig expert opinion, longer bangs for a wig are better for low maintenance.
Finally, I went with the hair that most resembled my own hair when I had hair and it wasn't subjected to my current state of early mid-life crisis. One thing that I noted right away was that the part was hard to deal with. Now that I am a wig expert, the benefit to a wig with bangs is that the part is less noticeable. Obviously, if your wig cost more than $16 your odds are probably better or pulling off no bangs. At any rate, as fun as my other wigs are, I decided this one was going out to lunch with my husband. To counter the awful part, I went with a turban style headband. Then I heard my son start to wake-up so that was the end of my fashion sesh--back to reality. But my new reality was in a wig.
I named my new self "Claire Santoro". From the mid-west, married a foreigner so is exotic by proxy, very openly liberal, takes full fat milk in her lattes, loves the world, volunteers for everything, does yoga, pilates, and at least one 10k + race per year. Very down-to-earth, but her shoes still cost more than your mortgage.
My son took to Claire, did not seem to skip a beat when Claire got him up from his nap. Mostly, he was excited to try and eat Claire's do. To give credit to the $15.99 wig that made Claire, Claire, the wig stayed in place. I did almost ditch the idea of taking her in public though because how would I deal with having my wig ripped off by my baby at Valentine's Day lunch in public? I decided I've been through worse (over trusted gas at Lowe's with both kids in tow), packed a diaper bag, and set off to Donkey to meet the hubs.
While I was styling myself to be one of these three women for the day I was texting back and forth with a pal. We were both very excited for my husband to see me in a wig and for the reaction. I left the house early to get to the restaurant early to set my phone up to catch his reaction. As you may have noted, there is no video in this post. The one time my husband was on time was on this day when he (unknowingly) met Claire for lunch.
Claire and Jason saw each other on the street for the first time. Jason greeted Claire and said he was looking around and then saw me (Claire) and was like "yep, that's my wife". Of course he didn't react to the wig because he knows me and knew what he was getting into when he married me (and Claire and anybody else I decided to be). Kind of a bummer but whatever.
We went in ordered some chips and guac (right up Claire's alley), then Claire ordered a Paloma because she didn't give up sugar for Lent like an idiot (Lisa did) and Jason and Claire and Baby Sullivan had a lovely chat over chips while the other patrons ooed over the cute baby and Jason and Claire decided what to eat.
At some point between the chips, the Paloma, and the tacos, Jason pointed to Claire's head and asked, "How much did that cost?
Claire responded "$15.99".
"$15.99??????" sputtered Jason, "that seems like a lot."
"For this? That's a steal!" Claire replied.
Then, while Claire was feeding her baby guacamole off from chip spoon it dawned on her. OMG, he was referring to the headband...
He didn't notice the wig. Again, he didn't notice the wig. Scroll back up to the 4 inches of hair that I do have and then back to Claire's luscious two-feet of hair.
He didn't notice the wig.
Just to clarify, I asked him if he noticed I was wearing a wig, and he laughed and said "nope!".
So, what did I learn on Valentine's day? Both men that encountered Claire were not phased by her and could not actually discern between Claire and Lisa. Babies like guacamole. Hipster Taco joints don't have highchairs. $15.99 is too much to pay for a headband. If you're going to change your hair, do it for yourself, your husband won't notice.