I am at heart a practical person. I have my vain moments & a quick glance at my shoe shelf will reveal that I own a number of very impractical pairs, but by & large common sense tends to win out over vanity. It has always had, at bare minimum, a 50-50 chance of coming out ahead, even during the worst of my 1980’s excesses (and I was 13 in 1980, so I got to experience the whole glorious decade in full). Commons sense said that one really wide belt was sufficient, even if everyone else was wearing 3 at once. So was one necklace and perhaps 2 layered shirts instead of a Mr T starter kit and 4 shirts in varying states of coverage. However, there were bad perms a plenty in the 80’s and some truly huge amounts of teasing and Aqua Net went into my hair. But those choices were as much common sense as vanity. I didn’t think my hair looked particularly stunning with 5 inch tall bangs and wings out so far they made taking off a t-shirt impossible, but it was the look. No one just had, you know, hair. Hair that just sort of hung there, washed and ready to go. Common sense said hair required lots of work in the 80’s. Then the 90’s came in with the grunge look and common sense said "really?!? You can just let it go?!? Awesome!"
Ever since 1990 common sense has been slowly gaining ground over vanity. I had my last perm in 1992. I had my last permanent hair coloring in 2001. I had my last highlights done in 2004. Most of my shoes are realistic for my child chasing lifestyle & budget. I am well aware that this time around, leggings are not for me & however cute that tiny tee shirt is, it is completely wrong for my body shape. There is a 75% chance these days that common sense will quell the pleas of vanity.
Commons Sense:"Yep, that’s a wonderful dress. Perfect color, great shape. YOu do look nice in it. Where are you going to wear it? Do you have shoes for it? Seems a bit much for a night out with the kids at Chilis. When was the last wedding you were invited too? When was the last date night to a really nice restaurant (because you can’t afford it AND a babysitter) Dancing?? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Seriously. Where are you going to wear that dress? You have better uses for $100"
Vanity: sulks and puts the dress back but consoles itself with a $15 shirt
Lately vanity has been thinking about hair color. Common sense usually stomps on that pretty quickly by shouting "DAMAGE!!! HORRIBLE DAMAGE" and vanity cannot deny that in the long run hair coloring always ends up with washed out fuzzy hair, so vanity drops the issue & consoles itself with some pretty hair clips.
But it’s October. Vanity for some reason, gains strength in October when it comes to hair color. Vanity actually had me standing in the hair coloring aisle of CVS this morning, staring longingly at all the pretty red-brown hair dye. Common sense was catching up from behind.
Vanity: Look at the beautiful colors!!!
Common Sense: Have you ever been happy, really happy, with a color from a box? Honestly?
V: I always like the colors
CS: For 2 weeks tops. Put the Crushed Garnets down.
V: Sometimes longer. Anyway it’s been years. There have been advances.
CS: No there haven’t. Not in boxes. Put the Auburn Espresso down. Maybe in salon color but it always ends up the same . Fuzzy brassy washed out hair.
V: I do have time now. I could go to a salon. Remember how pretty my hair was in 2002?
CS: You have no money. Put the Mocha Raspberry Glow down. Yes, your hair was pretty for a few months that time, but remember how it looked when Havoc was born & you couldn’t afford to keep it up? Brassy, washed out. Fuzzy.
V: See it says new improved formula
CS: You choose NOW to believe marketing ploys? Put the Rad Red Brown down. It always ends in tears. Why are you doing this?
V: It’s fall! Look how pretty the trees are with their red, gold & brown leaves!
CS: You are not a tree. Put the Medium Auburn Brown down. You have mouse brown hair with gold undertones. You do not now, nor have you ever had red hair. You are always ultimately unhappy with the results of reddish dye.
V: (fingering a bit of ponytail) I hate this part.
CS: ah yes, the huge brassy highlights left over from the last time you failed to listen to me. Put the Dark Rich Auburn down. If you hate it so much cut it off. A missing 2 inch chunk of hair will look no worse than faded brassy fuzzy hair & it will grow back, unlike the dye, which you will be stuck with until you cut it out.
V: *sulks* Maybe you are right about the red. Maybe just a brown would be better
CS: (seeing victory escaping as I head to the check out) No it won’t! It’s still dye. FUZZY!!! You will have fuzzy hair inside a week!! At the very least get temporary dye.
V: No, then it really will look washed out in a couple weeks and we won’t know who is right
(yeah, vanity’s logic is amazing isn’t it)
I bought the box of permanent Rich Brown L’Oreal hair color and common sense fought a valiant rear guard action the whole way home, which mostly consisted of shouting FUZZY! and bringing to mind images of all the fuzzy hair I have ever had as a result of hair dye.
Right now we are at impasse. The dye sits on my counter,with receipt, while I consider fuzzy hair and the possibilities of semi-permanent hair color. The thing is, common sense knows darn well I am unlikely to return the hair dye, it’s a long drive back into town & senseless to make just to return a $10 box of hair dye. It would have to wait until I was going into town for other errands. And the longer the dye stays in the house, the more likely vanity will win.
I’ll be interested to see how it turns out.