IMG_3086“Change your hair, change your life.”  This has been my motto since my college years.  Back in the day, I couldn’t afford to go and pay the $12 to get my hair cut so I cut it myself.  Yup.  Mirror and scissors, the masterful tools of little girls who played Barber Shop on their brothers back in the day.  Thanks for being my first client, Michael Nichols.  (Shout out to my bruh!  Love you!) (He probably won’t read this until I tell him I’ve named him in my post.)  The only ‘traditional’ color hair I haven’t had is platinum blonde.  I always think I’ll look too washed out with my freckled skin.  (Don’t be surprised if that comes in 2017.) Yes, I have gone black (not the best color for me), that’s when I had a pixie cut and worked at Cappuccino Charlie’s in La Verne whilst going to school to get my teaching credential.

Today I got my hair cut again, and on a whim, I decided to cut a little more.  Correction, I asked Mareese to cut a little more.  (Before you know it, I might be super short-haired again and platinum, the way this is year is going.) I love my hair stylist Mareese.  She listens to me and is a master chemist when it comes to mixing color.  In probably 1997, after those bad self-haircuts, I decided to go to Regis in the mall and pay real money for color and cut because I was getting a real paycheck.  I’ve been with Mareese for over 20 years.  I’ve followed her to salon after salon.  Because she’s good.  She listens.  She’s a badass.  Her hair has been asymmetrical since before it was cool, long and bright red on one side, cut short and blonde on the other side.  And she has Asian hair, the kind of hair that is hard to color just right.  You might be afraid of her if you went to her for the first time thinking, (Uh, she’s a little too punk-rock for me) but she’ll do whatever YOU want and need.  That’s the prerequisite of a great stylist.  One that knows their craft and listens to their clients.  (Mareese isn’t giving me kickbacks for this advertisement.  Right, Mareese? Love you.)

See this surgery thing, you know, the gastric bypass I had back in March 2016, well, part of the package was a prescription of Ursodial, a medication to prevent gall stone attacks.  I’ve been faithfully taking it because the idea of having to go back to the hospital for gall bladder surgery removal would really cramp my style right about now.  One of the major side effects of this medication is hair loss.  I know those of you who have seen me lately, might think, “Uh, Joy, you have enough hair for two people, losin’ a little ain’t gonna hurt.”  Yeah, you’re right.  That’s just what I did today.  I let Mareese work her magic.  I always tell her she’s got a special talent with ‘the hairs’.  She knows what they need.   I trust her with my hairs.  She knows how wild and unruly it can be and she now sees how much I’ve lost over the past few months.  (Everyone, take a moment of silence for all of Joy’s hairs that have fallen, of late, and clogged all the drains in her house. Maybe you should take a moment of silence for the drains and the carpets that have had to become home to the unwelcomed hairs. Ew.)  


Long hair phase in my epic blue thrift store dress with Holly, Sarah, and Allyson.  Sarah’s was from the thrift store too.  (Remember the ‘seam incident’ from dancin’ too hard in that dress Sarah?) Good times.
Anny and me in my black pixie phase
Aimee and me in our short hair chic phase
Merry and me in our hippy phase.  She gave me Pink Lightning. (Long story.)

Shout out to Aimee, Merry, Anny, Allyson, Sarah and Holly. I love y’alls.  I had crazy head tilts in almost all these photos.  Waasssup with that?

So the theme of this post is…change.

Change happens.

Change can be good or bad.

I was thinking back this week to this tree in my front yard on Turner Street in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  Today, I wanted to go back and climb that tree all the way to the top and perch myself up there for awhile to escape for a bit from the chaos of this school year’s chaotic beginning (see my last post if you’re curious as to what I’m talking about.)  To quote my most recent favorite quote from a Walking Dead character, “When you care about people, hurt is kind of part of the package.” Change and the accompanying hurt have been a theme these past few weeks.

That tree had a protruding branch that was almost at a 90 degree angle, wide enough to bear hug comfortably.  It was perfectly at my 9-year-old arm height.  I’d hug the branch, run up the side of the tree trunk, swing my leg over and mount that branch like I was sitting on a horse.  Then I’d climb the branches as high as I could and escape for a little while and free myself from all my third grade worries.  We moved from that house and consequently, that tree, at the end of third grade, one of many changes throughout my childhood.  Change happens. Change can be good or bad.

So, in light of the recent beginning of school year bliss at an elementary, middle and high school, the past few weeks have been full of school supply purchases. (Thank you Avery, Elmers, Crayola, Post-it, & Bic for allowing me to break the bank buying school supplies over the past few weeks. You are too kind.  We didn’t need to eat this month.)  Really? An agenda with corresponding quality note space area is $30? Really?  Consequently, the conversation that ensued post-purchase, went like this, “Son, you lose that agenda, you’re buyin’ yourself a new one!  That was $30!” It really wasn’t a conversation, it was more like a commandment.

(Thank you Staples for jackin’ up the prices in August and making us feel like we’re getting a good deal by offering a few items for a penny.  I’m watchin’ you.   I’m watchin’ you.  Not sure what I can do about it.  But, I’m watchin’ you.  Next year, could you sell agendas for a penny? Pretty please? I’ve got about 8 more years of buyin’ those suckers.)  So, did I tell you that I shopped for school supplies for all three kids and my classroom students?  I think I spent at least 3 hours walking the supply aisles looking for just the right Crayola Twistable 24 pack, three prong folders of varying colors, art supplies (blending sticks, What ARE those?), 2 inch folders, 1 inch folders, erasers, red, blue, green, and black pens, highlighters of specific colors, reams of paper, kleenex and this ain’t the end of the list. Ugh.  I actually spent over an hour one night shopping for 2 of the kids’ supplies and realized when I got home that I hadn’t looked at the 3rd child’s supply list.  I had to go back, so the third child wouldn’t feel like the third wheel.  The items I couldn’t find that night, I proceeded to purchase on Amazon.  Thank you Amazon, for having my back (because I have have to navigate that school supply aisle one.more.time, I might run out of the store in hysterics and lie in the parking lot in a fetal position.)  Change happens.  Change can be good or bad.  Sometimes change makes you crave a dark hole and a long winter’s nap.

Back to my hair.  Cutting it is a way of controlling something.  I feel the need to control something right now, and my hair is the lucky (or unlucky) culprit.  Change happens.  Change can be good or bad.  You can decide if you like it.  Just don’t tell me if you don’t.

Until next week.  Love you loves.

Gastric Bypass Update:

I’ve been walking as much as I can these past few weeks to relieve the stress I feel at work and with all the beginning of school year responsibilities.

I’m down 74 pounds.  It’s hard to believe.

I eat normal foods, just less. During my hair appointment today Mareese brought over some Peruvian food from Mr. Pollo on Azusa.  Great food. The parsley-garlic-chutney-salsa-esqe topping was delicious atop the rice and chicken breast. Yum. I made you hungry, huh?  The great part is, I actually really enjoy the food I do eat.  It’s not about the quantity anymore.  I can appreciate the quality.




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