Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Fringe Benefits

It's a coincidence that the day my friend Schlotty posts about the new fad of Hammer pants I had planned on posting about another 80s fad--fringe bangs. Yup. I have bangs now! My stylist convinced me that it was the "thing" to do. Correction--he strong armed me into the decision and used the most primitive cutting tools--his hands and mouth. Payment was old school, too. Bartering--bangs for boobs.

Okay, the jig is up. My "stylist" is none other than my almost (gulp) 11 month old son. You see, he is obsessed with eating and pulling my hair. I have discussed in a previous post and provided photographic documentation. (Please oh please don't let this be the start of trichotillomania or some other neurotic obsession. I am just getting over the fact that he is still not crawling!) Well, the hair that was ripped out of my forehead hairline has been slowly growing back--straight up rooster style. For quite some time I doused my whips with some Aveda mega-hold styling spray so that they stragglers would hibernate beneath the weight of product and hair that has yet to experience the wrath of 4 budding teeth. Recently this no longer cut the muster (mustard?). So, I resigned to the fact that I will have 80s fringe for a good few months. Perhaps this is a subtle hint from Miles that he thinks his mom should get a proper haircut, and if not, he'll take matters into his own mouth. October 2008 is the last time my hair was serviced. I am not 7 days late with my April Fool's joke; it is true. And I think I have purchased all of 4 items of clothing since BEFORE I was pregnant. The cool thing is that things are so old, they start to look new again. Vintage, yeah...that's it.

The reception to the fringe has been mixed:

Husband: didn't even notice until pointed out
Co-worker: laughs every time she walks by my office, telling me she just pictures him eating my hair.
Mom of Miles's classmate: didn't quite compliment them, but acknowledged them saying, "hey! you cut some bangs."

My new canned response: "Thanks for noticing. It's obligatory fringe. My son eats my hair."

I was hoping that the whole, "no one notices mom anymore once she has delivered because of the a yummy baby" would last a good 12 months, or at least until I get a proper haircut and walk out of the house feeling presentable. Alas, this is not the case.

There was, however, one redeeming night that made me pause and realize that feeling like a prime candidate for What Not To Wear was not a cogent line of thinking. Eric and I had a date to a Marist "Event." It was actually called "The Event" and consisted of a silent and live auction, cocktail reception, buffet dinner, music and an empty dance floor. Attire? We were told anything from a Bill Cosby sweater (okay, I added the Bill part), to black tie. That is not helpful-especially for a mother who is tempted to go in gym pants and a dri-fit t-shirt. But, I pulled out a dress I wore for Schlotty's wedding (a simple, timeless J.Crew steal that will make an appearance for at least 2 weddings this year), slapped on some pearls and make-up, flat ironed my 1 inch fringe, and found the highest heels I could. The night was fun--watching other people hemorrhage money (for a good cause) was entertaining. We bid on some estate planning during the silent auction part, but got out bid by about 5 other people--I was tempted to join in the live auction for the trip to Cabos retailing for $17K, but wisely got a second serving of dessert and just watched. It was about the first time I had a night where I felt physically like my old self. Every mom of an under 1 year old has gripes about her looks (at least I hope they do, or I am just an awful complainer), whether it be weight, hair (check), frumpiness (check), bags under the eyes, resilient acne (check), sagging milk jugs, varicose veins (check), so when you have glimmering moments of unabashed compliments, you let them sit in your consciousness for quite some time. I had 3 such moments, and shamelessly admit that recounting them can be construed negatively to some readers. But listen, they keep me showered every day and confident that looking in the mirror before I leave the house can be a good thing.

Upon entering The Event at the Hyatt in Buckhead, we were accosted by "The Event Historian" as she titled herself, and got our picture taken.

Ego Moment #1:
Historian: You are too thin to have just had a baby.
Mama: Well, I didn't just have a baby. He's almost 11 months. But thank you.
Historian: You look amazing. Let me get your and Eric's picture.

Maybe she didn't notice the fringe? Regardless, it was a great way to start the night--even though I tend to be uncomfortable with similar comments. I don't know where that photo will surface, but I'd like to see it to see how fringe photographs.

We quickly found ourselves some drinks and fraternized with parents of Eric's runners. I am lucky that Marist breeds a culture of "family" and we have gotten quite close to many of the parents of kids whom Eric teaches and coaches. If we had not known some couples at The Event, it could have been a LONG night of us wandering around, pretending to look at items to bid on.

Ego Moment #2:
Marist Father: Hey Ali and Eric! Look at you, two--Ali, you don't even look like a runner, you look like a model!

Maybe he didn't notice the fringe? The best part is that he considered me a runner. Heck, I don't even consider myself one right now! Perhaps it is all of the sweats and dri-fit shirts I wear to XC and track meets that fools them.

I also got to meet many parents I had not met before. Primarily, they were of Eric's students as I don't have access to them as much as the parents of his athletes.

Ego moment #3:
Marist Mother: It's nice to meet you Ali. [Marist Mother goes on to tell us how much her son Danny adores Eric's history class.] I have to tell you Ali that I asked Danny if he had ever met Mr. Heintz's wife, and he said, "yeah mom, she's HOT." I would have said pretty to you, but you know high school boys don't say that."

Perhaps she didn't notice the fringe? I don't care if she was 3 sheets to the wind, it was well received. In thinking on this more (remember, I recall these moments to encourage my efforts to look presentable), I am struck by a few things: is it wrong to be flattered by a high school boy's comment? And the thing that boggles my mind--when has he ever seen me? I have NO idea who this Danny kid is.

It was a good night; the kind of night you want to sleep in your dress and make-up, hoping tomorrow you can pull it off again.

Easter is upon us, and we are expecting Grandma, Opa, Aunt Heather and Uncle Ryan from Ohio on Friday. Since it is the weekend of miracles...let there be a miracle that our house gets cleaned...and that 80s fringe will come back into style.

For the far away family: Nothing groundbreaking, just a video of Miles just being Miles.


  1. WHTA?! No pictures of the fringe You're gonna leave us hangin' like that? you should scan in your model picture with daddy-o from the Event. I doubt we'll even notice!


  2. Mama, you've always been a hottie model type. I'm with Bec - no pics?! c'mon!!

  3. I expect pictures from the event and a close up of the fringe. Who knows? It might result in a nomination for Hottest Mommy Blogger in the Blogger's Choice awards.

    And I hate to break it to you but things don't change all that much when the 'baby' turns 2. You will still hold on to every compliment that remotely implies you are more than a mother! In a totally good and constructive to your self esteem sort of way.

  4. You ARE definitely one HOT mama!

  5. I may have to go get that Aveda product. My fringe is a little longer than an inch at this point, too. I end up using bobby pins and/or headbands. Really, I had to go to Target and stock up on "nice" headbands to have any hope of avoiding the Rooster look.

    I'm so glad you got out to see the world and hear the well-deserved compliments!

    Hugs from Ella!

  6. I never crawled in my babyhood! Apparently, I rolled places until I figured out how to walk. I'm so chill like that ;).

    I'm glad that you got to go out looking and feeling good. I'm not surprised that you received so many compliments. You're beautiful!

    Love & hugs.

  7. You should ask Mom about crawling among the three of us. I'm pretty sure I never crawled. Don't get me started about hairloss.