Thursday, November 4, 2010

What's the Matter With Kids Today (Or Adults, For That Matter)?

My mom and dad always told me to enjoy being a child while you can.  You're an adult for most of your life, but childhood is only for a little while.  Smart folks, those guys.  Unfortunately, it just seems to get harder and harder to be a kid.  Don't get me wrong--it's never been easy.  You've got hormones to deal with, a limited income, and restricted, you're short.  Being a kid, for all it's carefree wonderment, can, in a word, suck.

Now, though...these kids have it rough.  I mean that with absolutely zero sarcasm.  When I was a seventh-grader, if a kid was mean to me at school, it was awful, but I knew that as soon as 3:00 rolled around, I would be away from it.  Not so, anymore.  No, sir.  My brother's in the seventh grade, now, and between texting, emailing, Facebook, texting--and did I mention texting?--there's no escape!

I mean, when I was a kid, if I did something stupid at school (fall down, say something idiotic, accidentally let it slip who I liked), the rest of the day might suck--maybe even the rest of the week--but the kids forgot and we all moved on.  Now, if a kid makes a misstep, there's an entire evening of texting and facebook messages coming at them, and it's all anyone can talk about the next day.  Sometimes, it's not even making a mistake, though.  Sometimes, it's liking the "wrong" sports team, or having a hobby that's not cool this week.  Sometimes, it's just being yourself that's the "mistake". 

The circumstances were always different--maybe it was body-type, grade point average, financial status, whatever--but it's happened to just about everyone I know.  I could tell stories, but they aren't mine to tell. What amazes me, though, is how much of the bullying came, not from the children, but from adults who should have known better.  Boo-ing, name-calling, even discrimination.  With all that going on, where do kids turn when the other kids are mean?         

Nothing has changed.  It still happens, but now it happens at school, online, and on your phone.  You can not get away from it.  Too many kids have been bullied to death.  A friend of mine's daughter just lost a good friend to the epidemic, and I'm sick.  Just sick.  Bullying is not just a fistfight or stealing someone's lunch money.  It's not just calling someone a nasty name.  It's making life difficult for someone simply because you don't like them.  It's having to watch your back for no other reason than just being who you are.  The perpetrator can be a child, teenager, or even a teacher or principal.        

Had my parents not been the amazing people that they were and are, constantly reminding me that I could be anything I wanted, and that who I was was good enough, I don't think I would have the can-do spirit I'm so proud of today.  I like to say that I've gotten my strength and determination from having to fight for every accomplishment.  Honestly, though, if I'd had to go through it all over again, but in the tech-heavy present, I don't know that I could have done it.  I fear for my brother.  I'm just thankful that he has a wonderful mom and step-dad to turn to.  Plus, he always has Sis and Thomas to talk to about anything (and I promise not to blog about it).

My friend, Tara, posted this on her Facebook page today, and I just had to share it.  This woman's five year-old little boy wanted to dress up as his favorite character for Halloween.  His favorite character, however, was Daphne from Scooby Doo.  He's five.  He's a baby.  He wasn't coming out or anything like that.  This was not his way of announcing his stand on gay rights.  He just liked Daphne.  What's interesting, though, is that none of his little classmates thought anything of it.  His teacher didn't bat an eye.  The other mothers were the ones throwing hissy fits. 

I like this mother's stance.  How many football players dress up as cheerleaders for pep rallys or other goofy school activities?  How many frat boys dress in drag for parties or university events?  She pointed out that no one would have cared if her daughter had dressed as Batman, and, "I am not worried that your son will grow up to be an actual ninja so back off."  The thing that saddened me, though, was that through this all, her little boy, at five years old, knew that he would be made fun of.  He just wanted to wear that costume so badly that he was willing to deal with it.  That's a brave kid, and a brave mom for letting him express his individuality.  He now knows that no matter what he wants to do in life, his mom's got his back. 

Kids, be yourselves.  Don't let anyone tell you that you're not good enough simply because you don't agree with them.  Like Star Wars, sports, books, Mozart, cheerleading, makeup, board games, stamp collecting, watching tv, acting silly, being serious, whatever!  You are worthy.  You are amazing.  You are you, and that's something that no one else can ever be.  Be proud of who you are, and don't change because you feel you have to.  Talk to your parents (they really do care about you, and they're not completely dumb), ignore negativity, and enjoy being young.  And please, for the love of God, grow up and grow old. 

Well, that is not the blog I started out to write, but sometimes these things get away from me.

Actually, I had planned to write about hair color.  Seriously.  So, with that, let's leave this dreary topic and move onto something more fun, shall we?

So, this morning, I touched-up my roots.  It's not something I really wanted to do.  I'd much rather have made an appointment and gotten them taken care of professionally, but that wasn't an option, and I have stuff going on this weekend.  These suckers had gotten to the point that they were embarrassing, so I had to take matters into my own hands.

Walmart only had one dark auburn root touch-up kit, so I had no real choice but to go with L'Oreal Root Rescue.  The kit was a little less than $7, and came with a bonus trial size bottle of L'Oreal EverPure Shampoo.  I've used that before, and it's actually a pretty darn good shampoo.  It's no Fekkai, but as far as budget brands go, it's a keeper.  Smells good, helps keep color from fading, and leaves hair soft.  Not bad at all.

Anyway, back to the haircolor.  The kit comes with instructions, plastic gloves, plastic eyeglass protectors (nifty--never seen that before), color, and a developing lotion that's housed in a neat plastic tube.  Set up is super-easy.  Add the color to the lotion, replace cap, shake to blend, then remove the cap and replace with a comb applicator.  To apply the haircolor, part your dry, unwashed hair as usual, then squeeze the tube to dispense color as you comb the applicator through your roots.  Wait ten minutes, shampoo, and style.  Your roots should match your haircolor, be it at-home or salon brand. 

As I said, the set up was easy.  The application less so.  I found that the color was difficult to squeeze out of the tube, had a tendency to go where it wanted (and not where I was trying to put it), and was impossible to keep off of your scalp.  I did the best I could with what I had to work with, but I was nervous.  Once I shampooed, I was even more nervous.  My hair looked polka-dotted!!  Some places were definitely brighter than others.  It looked like some spots had been missed entirely.  My scalp was stained in places, and I wanted to cry.  What had I done?!

However, once I blow-dried, I realized that things weren't nearly as bad as they had first appeared.  Yes, my scalp was stained slightly (I think it should fade with a good scrubbing), but the uneven spots had all but disappeared, and the roots really did match my color.  I feel much better, but I'm still a little unnerved by the whole roller-coaster of an experience.

Overall, I think this is a decent temporary quick-fix.  By that, I mean, it'll get you by until you can make an appointment for a color, but don't think that you can get out of a trip to the hairdresser's by using this on a regular basis.  Yes, it all worked out in the end, but it felt like a gamble that I just happened to win this time. 


  1. PREACH. seriously. well-said.

    i dyed my hair again the other night, the next step in my broke grad-student path back to red hair from nearly black. i'm really finding, after a lot of bouncing back and forth, that good ol' loreal superior preference does about as close to my old salon guy as i can get out of a box. when i have a job, i'll go back to letting the pros work. but the classics are classics for a reason, i guess...

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  3. Thank you ma'am. Sick of this.

    I'm a L'Oreal Color Expert girl, when I can't get it done by a pro. Starving artist, and all that jazz. Not bad, if you have the time to really do it right. :)


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