That's me on the porch of our bungalow earlier today.
It's probably not too visible between the oversized shades and American flag but those are PIGTAILS sprouting out of my head, placed there to contain the voluminous and anarchic nature of my hair, which I am seeking to grow this summer.
Call it my midsummer midlife crisis: a stab at long hair.
Since childhood, I've always been a shorthaired girl, with brief forays into Joan Jett-like shaggy overgrown do's and a few grade-school years of long straight hair and bangs, which invariably ended up being cut too short by my mother.
A layered bob has been my classic look but for some reason I was inspired to grow out my locks this spring and have therefore added several inches to my hair...both horizontally as well as vertically.
You see, my hair tends to grow sideways and even upwards.
Hence the pigtails.
So far, the hair has gotten rave reviews but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that getting it to look good takes waaaay more time than I am used to expending on grooming matters. I'm a squeeze of the eyelash curler, swab of the eyeliner, swat of the lipgloss kind of chick. I have never had my hair styled and frankly scoff at women my age who have such low regard for their time as to spend it inside a beauty parlor.
(For the record, I have no problem with regular mani-pedis and consider them essential to mental health. But hairstyling?????)
So, there it is -- my midlife crisis: my hair.
No fancy red sportscars, no dalliances with younger men, no running off to "discover" myself.
I already have a black Honda Accord, two fabulous younger men in my life and discovered myself a long time ago -- around the age of nine, to be exact -- when my mother broke the shocking news to me that I would never turn into a boy.
Though I was stuck being a girl, I vowed to become a spy and traveler, writing my adventures down.
And that is what I do, snug as a bug in a rug in my bungalow, late into the night.