I love it when life takes a turn for the surreal. A couple of Fridays ago, I headed out for lunch, and while I was crossing the Amazon headquarters courtyard, was suddenly confronted by a pair of slender giantesses, clad in pink and silver skintight spandex, doing a sensual dance number to the tune of ZZ Top’s Legs. (They were dancer/acrobats on stilts.) Their motions were so gracefully awkward, that they reminded me of giraffes.
I goggled for a moment, it was so unexpected. I don’t know which was more entertaining: watching the performers, who did some absolutely amazing things with their bodies, or the audience, which was completely gobsmacked. It was the strangest performance in that the dancers would finish a stunt and where normally there would be a round of applause, there was only silence. I felt kind of bad for the performers after a bit. I mean, they weren’t getting appreciation, not because they weren’t good, but because the high-tech geeks they were playing to were so completely out of their comfort zone, fascinated, but completely unnerved. I have no pictures of the performance, because I was on the way to lunch, and didn’t have a camera. I did make a point of going up to the performers when they were done and saying, “That was weird and wonderful, what a great thing to run into in the middle of my day.” She beamed and told me that was exactly what they were striving for. When I came back later, with my cell phone, the dancers were still there and posed for a picture in the Amazon courtyard. I was again amazed at her skill. You know how hard it is to balance and hold perfectly still on stilts? Their “feet” were about the size of the bottom of a normal walking cane.
Giant pink-haired giraffe women seemed an omen to me that it was finally the day I should go do something I’d wanted to do for 17 years, every since I attended the Clarion writing workshop, go get my hair made weird by the pros, Scream on Capital Hill in Seattle. A man named Nigel cut and colored my hair. He didn’t want to talk much, but asked me questions as if he was Sherlock Holmes, deducing amazing amounts of information about my life from minimal data, and not once being wrong. He’d say things like, “You’re not from Seattle, where are you from?” I was trying to explain what I wanted in a hair cut, not having the vocabulary, and at one point he said, “I already know just what you want.” And darned if he didn’t. The most fun was planning the colors for my accent streak. I had come in with the idea of purple, not because I wanted purple especially, but because the purple came in a color that fluoresces under black lights, and I wanted glowing hair for the Friday night skate that Kai and I regularly attend.
The idea of glowing hair set my geeky heart a-pitter-patter. After playing with a wonderfully large selection of fun colors, we ended up with are magenta (Violet Rose) and orange (Nuclear Orange) bleeding one into the other like a painted warp. I love it! These are two of my favorite colors together, but usually I can’t wear them because they don’t suit my complexion. As just a streak in my hair, however, I can have my favorite colors near me and in my peripheral vision, and it’s perfect. For the rest of my hair, I gave up blonde and went back to something close to my natural color. The blonde was fun, and people’s reactions to the blonde were fun (people really are nicer and more understanding of blondes) but the upkeep takes a lot of time, and all that bleaching was turning my hair into straw. It’s been both shocking and grounding to see my dark hair again. I’d forgotten how near to black it was. It will be interesting to go back to work on Monday and see people’s reaction to the new hair. In the past being brunette has meant more respect, but less slack. I wonder if that will happen again?
The psychology of color is an interesting thing. I’ve gathered a lot of anecdotal evidence from friends who’ve made a hair color change that it affects how people treat you. I wonder how much of that is a change in the viewer’s reaction to the new color, and how much of it is because the person who colored their hair now acts and carries themselves in a new way?