Old at heart.

I had a hair appointment this week – thank god, something had to be done about the orange straw and grey roots – and as I was getting my colour rinsed out, an older gentleman came into the salon. He explained that he was Marjorie’s son, Marjorie being an elderly lady who gets a weekly hairdo every Friday morning. He had never been in the salon before, but he drives Marjorie every week. What a good son! Except that he had made arrangements for her to go out of town to visit her granddaughter this Friday, which meant that all was ashes. How could he take her out of town with undone hair?

And so this gentleman was coming into the salon personally to see if there was any chance Marjorie could be squeezed in on Thursday. The salon I frequent is a busy one – I book my colours months in advance – but they accommodated his request. After he left, my hair therapist smiled and said, “Oh, those old ladies. They hate to have their schedules messed with. It ruins their whole week!” I nodded sympathetically, all the while thinking, I can relate.

You see, I am not elderly, and yet I too find myself getting worked up when my schedule is thrown out of whack. I can only imagine me in forty or fifty years. Changing a weekly hair appointment would be akin to burning down the nursing home or running out of hot water and lemon in the dining room. We don’t have much time left, I am not leaving this earth with messy hair.

Digression: what kind of food will they have in the Home in forty or fifty years? Will it be things that are trendy and popular now, like kale and quinoa, or will we all just start eating mashed potatoes and veal cutlets? I cannot imagine that I will ever tuck into a plate of veal cutlets, but what kind of vegetarian options will they have for the elderly, circa 2060? Also, will we all naturally just slide into Sears’ “pull on” slacks and blouses, or housedresses? Or will we be clinging to the styles we like now? Will we be a generation of skinny jean wearing, kale chip eating old people? Will I still wear coconut-scented lotion or will I just start wearing Lily of the Valley talcum powder? I’d like to think I’ll go straight to Chanel Number 5 but really, who can tell?

In any case, I don’t do well with schedule interruptions or changes. Case in point: the painters. We’ve been talking about painting the kitchen and bathrooms. We’ve had a colour consult with the painter who painted our basement and exterior. The only thing we didn’t have was a firm date. Sometime in early April, was what had been settled on, when we got an email from the painter saying that he might have to change that around. Well, we had nothing firm anyway, so I blithely went on with my life.

At least, until Tuesday night, when my husband informed me that the painters were coming the very next day at 9:00.

In retrospect, this was the best possible scenario. I had a meeting, but not until 11, the kids were staying for lunch for Tech Club, and I didn’t have time to work myself up into a frenzy about omg people working in the house! I was able to be home to let them in, the day was sunny and warm and so I could lock the dog outside, everything was fine. The colours turned out beautifully – photos to come – and as of Thursday morning everything was finished.

And yet. I am the crabbiest person to have people working in the house. Maybe it’s my Type A personality, which makes me feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest when I see drywall dust on the kitchen counters and tiny scraps of paint chips on the floor, and the furniture all askew. Maybe this is a sign that I need to look into my control-freak behaviour when I physically have to leave the room so that I don’t implode and wither to the floor when everything in the house is chaos and I cannot even get to my water bottle or use the bathroom without explaining myself.

Well, it’s all over now, and as I said, it’s beautiful. My husband claims not to be a Type A person, but he is quite a perfectionist, especially when it comes to handy work. He is very handy – if you’re not handy yourself, you are best to marry someone handy, is my motto – and has done a great deal of work in our house with his own two hands. He’s the ultimate “measure 20 times, cut once” guy, everything has to be exactly leveled and exactly centred and there is no eyeballing involved. MEASUREMENTS COUNT, PEOPLE. It works out great, because he is very exact. The only problem is that if someone ELSE does the work, then he can find fault in about thirty seconds flat. He’s the one who spots the tiny piece of roller fluff that got painted onto the wall, or the slightly-less-than-perfect paint line. And the biggest problem about this is that I am the one who is at home, so it is my job to inform the person working on our house that their work is suspect. I don’t like that job. There was a not-great job done in a not-too-prominent part of the bathroom which resulted in some coloured paint being on our cream trim, but my husband threw up his hands, decided he was going to just repaint the trim and door himself, because he could do a better job. This kind of defeats the purpose of getting painters in, but maybe it’s for the best.

Princess problems, am I right? I guess it’s time for me to work on my mental flexibility. Either that, or just continue with my deep ujjayi breathing.


  1. I hate having my schedule messed with because it is the delicately balanced schedule of 6 people. Your booster meeting is not all I have going on in my life! Don’t send a slip of paper home with my child at 5:30 and expect me to be there at 7!

  2. I suspect the Baby Boomers are going to SHAKE THINGS UP when they get to the nursing homes. My mom describes her generation as “accustomed to getting our way.”

    I hate having people in the house, too. HATE IT. I wish I could pay someone else to do it—but then there’d be TWO sets of people in my house.

  3. My stepfather (now retired) used to be a contractor. He’s such a perfectionist he spent 20 years renovating my mom’s and his last house. Then when he got it just the way she wanted it, they moved. True story.

  4. You make some very good points about what we are going to be like when we are old. I can totally picture old people in skinny jeans and Nirvana t-shirts, man buns and hipster beards, all of us desperately clinging to our youth. Instead of war songs, the song-alongs in the homes will be a mix of 80’s hair metal, 90’s grunge and everyone’s favourite pop and Garth Brooks songs. I kinda hope that the food doesn’t remain trendy though. I’m not a huge fan of the quinoa (don’t hate me). I would like to have rice pudding and creme brûlée instead of butterscotch pudding and jello though. Sorry, apparently I have a full picture in my head of us all as seniors. 😉

  5. Lululemons and yoga tops on all the 80 year olds! This is what I am now picturing.

    Thank you. Thank you, very much.

    I *really* need to get back to hot yoga! I need to be in yoga pant shape for the bridge tournaments and crochet circles.

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