I’ve always been kind of a dull person in terms of my appearance, no tattoos and only one set of piercings, eternally a decade or two behind current fashions. A few months ago, I thought I’d jazz it up. Live a little, you know. I dyed my hair bubblegum pink.
I was pretty pleased with the dye job. The effect was fun, but subtle. A little pinker than strawberry blonde, and a good introduction to dyeing. Alas, the dye wore off too soon, so I started looking for a more permanent dye. I thought I’d found it with something called “Splat Rebellious Colors Luscious Raspberry.” The color on the box looked a little deep, but what the heck? I’d thought the same thing about the Manic Panic dye and that had turned out okay. What could possibly go wrong?
Nothing, as it turns out, if you like purple. If you don’t like purple hair, well, that’s another story. Also, if you’re turned off by a scalp dotted with bright pink/purple spots like the coat of a psychedelic Dalmatian dog, that could be a problem.
Well, I thought, “at least it covers the gray.” This morning I duly walked the kid to school and took the dog for a walk. As usual, the dog did his balking thing where he lies down and glues himself to the sidewalk when he doesn’t want to walk in a particular direction. I did my usual thing where I pick him up and drape him over my shoulder for a couple of blocks until he’s had a chance to rethink his strategy.
He isn’t a huge dog, maybe 40 pounds, but he’s long, a basset-dachshund mix. And me, well, I don’t think about it much, but I guess I’m short. The dog’s body covers me from waist to shoulder, leaving stubby little legs and a hound head propped up above me.
As I walked down the street, which was bumper-to-bumper with rush hour traffic, I noticed something. Motorists pointing at me and laughing. Motorists jostling each other and trying to get their kids’ attention.
Here’s what I learned: if you’re short and have purple hair, don’t walk down the street with a basset mix slung over your shoulder. Otherwise, people will laugh at you.