More Thank Skin Deep: Staying blonde for a lifetime

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Dear Scott: My new husband complains all the time about how much I spend on myself. My last one did that. I have always spent a lot of money to maintain my appearance. It makes me feel good to do it. I make my own money, and he’s about to drive me crazy. I was a bleach blonde when we met, and I’ll be one when they put me in the ground.

I told him my hair was naturally blonde when we met, and now he knows, and every time I have my hair done, or go shopping for clothes, he tells me to quit spending so much money on myself. What would you do if you were me?

Answer: Nora Ephron, the author of When Harry Met Sally, Silkwood and Sleepless in Seattle, gave her take on the cost of being a blonde: “…the amount of maintenance involving hair is genuinely overwhelming. Sometimes I think that not having to worry about your hair anymore is the secret upside of death.”

I try to put myself in the shoes of the person I am working on or, in this case, an entire gender. Meeting with so many women on a daily basis, in times of deep speculation about the complexities of society as a whole, I sometimes wonder what I would be like if I had been born a female.

In no way would I want to experience or see what I would look like as a woman. So don’t take this speculation the wrong way. I am very happy just the way I am. But, as a man, I’m pretty basic. Not conservative but also not way out there, either. My grooming habits are a bit compulsive but still in the range of your normal, egotistical male.

As a female, all that would be a different story. Shoes, clothes, jewelry, handbags and coats – with all the stuff it takes to look spectacular and special every day, would be me. My hair would be a different color and cut all the time. With the makeup to match. And, of course, nails – and maybe some wigs.

I can’t imagine how much it would cost to be me. But I do know that it is expensive to be a woman.

I would also be making enough money so that I could support the impression of the person I would figuratively be.

So, if I got married again and my new husband told me to quit spending so much money on myself, I would tell him that if he didn’t stop and start telling me how pretty I am instead, he would soon become my next ex-husband.

Tip of the week: Nora Ephron also said in an interview, “Do you know why 40 is the new 30, and 50 is the new 40? Hair color.”


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