Bizarre Even For These Days; Twenty-Seven Weeks In

This has been a bit of a bizarre week, starting with a phone call cancelling an appointment due to an unbelievably scary accident, happily segueing to a midweek birthday, followed by a letter summoning me to jury duty, and then finishing with a pre-dawn visit from the fire department due to our carbon monoxide detector going off. Happily, there was no carbon monoxide leak, the screaming detector was, apparently, at the end of its life span. Thanks for letting us know so dramatically, carbon monoxide detector! Your replacement has been installed.

I was scheduled to get my hair cut this week for the first time in six months, and when I heard the voice mail from my hair therapist’s colleague advising that she needed to rebook my appointment, the first thing I thought was She’s Got Covid. During the brief greetings I waited to hear the words, only to listen instead to the awful details of my hair therapist’s husband’s accident that entailed airlifting, and intensive care, all in another province, and with the usual difficulties around Covid protocol, after which the colleague cheerfully said, “So I have to rebook your cut and colour!” At that point, it seemed like the least important thing ever, and I told her so, as she pencilled me in for later this week. “Wow, thanks for being so understanding, you’re being so GOOD about this!” the colleague said in a voice that made me wonder: what are OTHER people doing? Are other people NOT being understanding? What is happening to our society?

I’m going to go out on a limb and say something that might be strongly disagreed with: this pandemic has been GREAT for my hair. I know! I know. For one thing, as we all know, I’ve been colouring at home and saving so much time and money, it is not even to be believed. I picked up a couple more boxes of Garnier at Superstore and they were on sale for $4.99 each, plus I got PC Points; more about points later. Four dollars and ninety-nine cents, people. The other part about the pandemic is that after not cutting my hair for six months, it has grown out beautifully. Pro tip: if you want to grow out your hair, stop cutting it. It’s true that I need a trim, as the ends are pretty dry and damaged, but I love the length. A while back I wondered if I should grow it out or not, and the decision, like so many others, was taken out of my hands.

The above were taken at the end of February and the middle of March, so you can see that my hair was above my shoulders at the time. This is from the weekend:

With mask-wearing and yoga teaching, I have my hair in a bun a lot, and it’s so much easier to put it up with the extra length; in other words, I don’t need twenty bobby pins to hold it in place. I’ve decided to follow in the footsteps of my good friend Denise (HI DENISE) who gets a professional colour semi-annually, and my friend Nicole (HI NICOLE) who gets a cut the on that same schedule.

In addition to my long, not-exactly-luscious-but-definitely-convenient Covid hair, I have developed Efficiency Skills when it comes to grocery shopping. I have never before received so many Gifts With Purchase as I have during this pandemic, and I am just now, twenty-seven weeks into this, that I am calming down about Buying All The Things. There are not many shortages of food or other necessities, and so I have finally relaxed about having backups of staples such as pasta or flour. ONE backup is all that is necessary, although I still have three bags of flour in my pantry purchased in the spring, which should get me through to Christmas at least.

I was at Superstore for my weekly shop, and you know how there are some employees who are REALLY good and dedicated when it comes to their jobs? I appreciate that so much. I remember when I waitressed in university, a customer said to me “You must really love your job! You’re always smiling!” I agreed, although I did NOT love my job. I mean, have you ever worked in a restaurant? It’s hard. Smiling was just part of the job. So, I really appreciate when others, no matter what their job is, embrace it, which is why I felt lucky to have the most cheerful cashier ever this week, who exclaimed over the quality of my produce, like I actually grew it myself and didn’t just pick items from a bin. “Do you collect PC Points?” she asked and I scanned my app for her. “You can use your points when you shop to get good deals, and don’t forget to check back every Thursday for your new offers!” I paused for a moment, imagining a world in which I did NOT spend time figuring out the offer algorithm, and subsequently making my weekly list based on when I was most likely to get points and for what items, and what I would get points for the following week, a world in which I did NOT wake up Thursday mornings and think, yay, it’s PC Points day!, a world in which I did NOT text my husband excitedly to tell him my points balance. Instead, I just nodded and said “Yes, you bet!” God bless that cheerful employee. I’m going to seek her line out next week.

As a runner, I always smile in solidarity when I see other runners in the street or pathways, even when not running myself, which probably means that I am perceived as the Crazy Smiley Lady much of the time. Well, I have become appreciative of a good smile, since we are masked so much of the time. Anyway, I was out walking Barkley, doing our forty-minutes-to-go-merely-two-kilometres pace, and I saw a young man running on the street perpendicular to me. I slowed our already-not-exactly-super-sonic-speed so that he could pass with lots of room, when I noticed something odd: he was not wearing shoes. He was perfectly clad in what I would call Real Runner Wear: a tidy ball cap, a sweat-wicking sleeveless tee, and running shorts. All that was missing was shoes. And socks. I watched him go up the street, making great pace, occasionally looking at his smart watch and occasionally brushing gravel and debris off his feet. What even. What is happening here.

So it has been a surreal week, more so than normal, but there was delicious cake, and some good books, and a smokey but lovely long walk with a friend.

Pandemic Reading

As soon as I finished this I went to the library app and bookmarked all of Emma Straub’s other books; this was SO good. Again, the slice-of-life book is the type I love best, and this had to do with adult sibling-and-parent relationships, families, and finding love.

My longtime friend Tracy (HI TRACY) recommended this book and it is FASCINATING. From Vietnam vets to survivors of child abuse, this book examines how trauma changes our brains and also our physiological makeup and also explores different therapeutic approaches to working with traumatized people.

Well, hello to Monday and I’m looking forward to what will hopefully be a less bizarre week. Take care, stay well. xo


  1. Beth and North have been cutting each other’s hair, but what with North’s seizures it doesn’t seem safe to let North do that any more, so Beth’s hair is longer than she likes it.

  2. NICOLE I SAW THAT MAN TOO! I mean, probably it wasn’t the same man, considering that I don’t live in Canada. But how could there be TWO men running shoeless???? This was a few weeks ago when Carla and I went for one of our walk/bike combos to a nearby park. It was so bizarre that I had to do a literal double take to make sure I hadn’t just mistaken flesh-colored shoes for feet. But nope! He was running completely barefoot! How??? And WHY?????

  3. p.s. Yours looks great!

  4. So scary about your hairdressers husband; but who wouldn’t be patient about something like this?

    I love that you get excited about your points and actually look forward to your Thursday shopping experience; it’s the little things for sure!

    Oh, and your hair DOES look fantastic; short or long, you have good hair!

    I can hardly walk through my house without shoes, so I can’t imagine RUNNING barefoot. What in the hell?

  5. There really is a ‘thing’ about barefoot running and hiking! Definitely not for me; I have actually reached a stage where my feet hurt when I walk around barefoot, so it’s all slippers & flip-flops. As a long time runner, I appreciate how inexpensive the sport is; the clothing lasts forever, so $200 or so a year for running shoes out of the equation it’s basically free!
    Nicole – I think you have the same granite as me – I can only see bits of it but are there some large spectacular veins of orange and gold in it? And I just noticed the same chairs with the harp shaped back. Mine are pretty beat up at this point -hoping to replace soon.
    I’m in the middle of “All Adults Here” at the moment & loving it as well. And I have 3 boys – I’m basically an older version of you;)

  6. Ahh pandemic hair…mine is currently about as long as yours, maybe longer when straight. I looked it up, I last had my hair cut in December and I distinctly remember telling her the length was fine…famous last words.

  7. Guy running in no shoes . . . OUCH! My shins and my arches are aching at the thought.

    How awful and scary that your hair dresser’s husband was in such a horrible accident. I can’t get over the tone of the phone call – who would not be understanding? Bazaar.

    I had my hair cut July 1st since January (?)- but just a trim, because I am embracing the length that was a gift of the pandemic. My hair is super thin, so I don’t let it get really long because it gets stringy and weighted down and then my scalp becomes very noticeable. Sigh. But, I have not had hair this long in forever and my hair dresser is working with me to do light layers, etc to help my situation. Your hair looks great.

    Very interested in both books. As we consider adoption, trauma is a big focus of the training process. Any child we adopt will have experienced trauma and it seems like this is a book I should read. We also believe that Lad’s current issues are a result of small traumas that he struggled to overcome over the years. Hard to come to terms with considering we tried our best to be dedicated parents, but the reality is Lad is wired different than our other kids. And quite possibly wired different than most other people. I don’t think it was an accident that you would recommend that book.

  8. I’m so happy for your pandemic hair benefits. I haven’t coloured mine and I mind that less than I thought I would, but the growing out was definitely a no-go – I have cut it myself multiple times.
    I find the barefoot running thing odd enough when it’s just the Olympians running on a track – out on the street? OW.
    I’ve read a few books about trauma and its effects on the mind and body and it is fascinating, and so important to understand for people who have experienced trauma.

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