I’m not particularly girly, nor am I particularly high maintenance. I don’t get manicures or pedicures – on the rare occasion I paint my toenails, I do it myself. I don’t especially enjoy shopping for clothes, and although I like having pretty clothes, I’m more likely to be proud of a bargain pricetag than a designer label. I like shoes and bags, but with the exception of a single pair of boots, none of the bags or shoes in my closet cost more than 20 bucks. I don’t have a “stylist”; when I do get my hair cut it’s at Supercuts and it’s usually “just a trim”. My makeup (which I rarely wear except on stage anyway) is whatever’s on sale at CVS. I choose my shampoo based on what smells nice and costs less than 2 bucks a bottle.
Now, don’t get me wrong: There’s nothing wrong with having or enjoying any of those things. It’s just that I, personally, don’t get much satisfaction from any of them. I don’t begrudge anyone spending their money on that kind of thing if it makes them happy. But for me, it would be a waste, because I’m just as happy with a $15 haircut as a $150 one, and with $20 shoes as $200 shoes. In fact, I’m probably MORE happy with $20 shoes because I can buy TEN PAIRS of them for that same $200!! That’s practically a five-year supply!!
But today, I got girly for a little bit, and I totally changed up my hairstyle. For years, I’ve been growing out my hair, and for many months, I’ve been growing out my bangs. As a busy stay at home mom of preschoolers, it’s easiest if my morning hair routine consists of “throw into ponytail.” I liked my bangs, but a) bangs aren’t particularly in fashion right now, and b) my bangs stick up in 27 different directions if I don’t wash my hair every morning. So long bland hair has been the order of the day for a while.
However, after looking at literally dozens of photos of myself from last week’s vacation, I finally noticed: My hair is AWFUL. It’s not healthy. It’s not flattering. It’s a pain to wash, dry, and color. I look like I don’t care about my appearance. And although I don’t care all that much about my appearance, I do care enough to realize it was time for a change.
So while my husband and kids went off for the morning, I scanned the internet for some photos and went to (where else?) Supercuts, where a lovely stylist named Pamela snipped and fluffed and curled and flipped my hair into super cuteness.
I’m not going to be gracing the cover of any magazines with this look. It’s not exactly cutting edge. In fact, that I’m pretty sure the photo I used as an example was of an Eva Gabor wig (pretty, but definitely not the height of fashion). But it works for me; it’s a style I can mange, well, styling; it already looks healthier; and in a pinch, I can still slap it into a ponytail (a wee, stubby little ponytail, but a ponytail nonetheless). So it makes me happy.
It makes me so happy, in fact, that I splurged on the $42 shampoo/conditioner combo that the stylist recommended. Yes, I know the markup on that stuff is ridiculous, and I know that it probably won’t do much more for my hair than the 99-cent Suave and White Rain that I usually buy. But you know what? It smells AWESOME. And it makes me feel special, and indulged, and yes, PRETTY. And considering that it will last me an entire year, $3.50 a month is a bargain for feeling pretty. Plus, if I consider how much I’ve saved by getting $15 haircuts every 6 months instead of $50 haircuts every 6 weeks, I’m still way ahead.
So if you have some money in your discretionary budget and it makes you happy to get a $6 cup of coffee, go for it. And if it makes you happy to get a $25 manicure, do it. And if it makes you happy to buy a $100 pair of shoes, knock yourself out. I’ll be over here, sniffing my tea tree oil-scented hair and tossing my unfashionable but adorable bangs.