Monday, March 21, 2011

A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action

I have spent today in total embarrassment. See, I am in desperate need of a hair cut and color. This is not one of those, "ooh, my bangs look a little shaggy, maybe I need a trim," kind of deals. This is serious. My last haircut was before Christmas, and my last coloring was, oh, Thanksgiving, I think. Right now, I'm sporting a look that could be best described as Swamp Witch, and that's on a good day. There are currently 210 hours until my appointment, and this morning, all I could think was that it couldn't get here soon enough.

You see, around these parts, you have to be strategic with your hair appointments. Right after Christmas, all the really fantastic stylists are immediately booked for Mardi Gras balls, debutante cotillions, and all the other high society shenanigans and goings-on of the Carnival season. My stylist, who is one of the best in town, is a childhood friend of mine. This time of year, she's completely stressed out, with no shortage of clients. Had I been in on the festivities, then sure, I'd have booked an appointment well in advance, but I wasn't, so I didn't. I could wait. However, wedding season is fast approaching, so I had to try to hit that sweet spot in between, or risk being confused for a withered old crone until August. The horror!

Yeah, you could say I've put a lot of thought and energy into how to keep my hair looking decent. This morning, I put in all sorts of oils and creams to try to make the end product of my blow-out less Wookie and more Supermodel. That turned out about as well as I'd expected, so I spent the rest of the morning trying to hide my frizz behind my purse; a miserable failure. I was so worried about how horrible it looked--hence the countdown clock.

Then I got a wake-up call. A very wise woman was recently quoted, "A girl doesn't need hair to be beautiful. It's the inside that really counts, not the outside."

A wise woman at the ripe old age of eight.  Color me embarrassed.
Anna Tarnowski, 8, of Sheboygan, WI, just shaved her head for a friend. The pretty little girl lost her caramel curls at a St. Baldrick's celebration fundraiser. Anna wanted to show support for 14 year-old Alyse Zabel, who is fighting myeloid lukemia. Anna understands the importance of the gesture, since last year, her friends and family shaved their heads for her.
That's right. Anna has only had her head full of hair for one year. Up until that point, she'd been on chemotherapy, fighting the same disease Alyse now battles. She said she was used to being bald, so this was nothing new. As Anna's locks hit the floor, Alyse held her hand.
St. Baldrick's is a charity organization that raises funds for children's cancer research. It started as a St. Patrick's Day challenge among 20 friends to raise $17,000 for cancer research by shaving their heads at a party. They ended up raising over $104,000, and the St. Baldrick's (get it?) organization was born. Now, all over the country, folks are having shaving parties* to raise funds. The events are fun, celebratory, and anything but somber. Yes, a few tears may be shed, but the overall tone is joyous and hopeful.
Anna's parents were a little struck when she announced her intentions, but her dad pointed out, "She has certainly earned the right to do whatever she wants with her hair. If she wants to buzz if off or paint it pink, I don't care because honestly it doesn't matter as long as I've got my girl." Then he and Anna's thirteen year-old brother met the razor themselves.
Anna's planning to do it again next year, too. With inner-beauty like that, who cares about something as silly as hair.
I'm going to stop complaining.
*To find a St. Baldrick's even near you, click the link here. To organize your own, click here.

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