While I feel obliged to write about the issues of nepotism as it relates to my inability to get a job at the Embassy, and why this has contributed to my two month blogging lapse, I have a much more pressing issue to deal with. My hair.
Just as I had had the expectation of securing one of the EFM (Eligible Family Member) jobs at the Embassy, I also had the expectation of finding someone to deal with my extremely curly, frizzy hair in Prague. Not so easy in the land of straight, blond ponytails where these treatments are almost nonexistent. While I appear from my cover photo to at least have semi-straight, manageable hair, this is contrary to the reality of my hair going nappy on me at the slightest hint of humidly. Curly hair can be luscious under the perfect set of circumstances, including a bit of relaxer……..
…….But upon moving to Prague last year, had the misfortune of a stylist unwittingly using a permeant straightening solution on me — the result of which is now having a head of hair that is half curly and half straight. As it painstakingly grows out I would love to don a baseball cap or wear a “tea cozy” as I once resorted to as a hair covering solution. Ok, so maybe not the most attractive option……
But if you are a Diplomat’s wife needing to “dress the part” with conservative up-do’s multiple times a week — you cannot depend on hats or the weather for hair cooperation. Currently, I have no plans to travel back to my usual stylist in the States (who I miss terribly) until Thanksgiving, and as such have resigned myself to either cutting it very short and curly (not my preference) or using hot tools to tame my locks into submission for many months to come.
So today, while sitting on my balcony studying Czech with fresh-out-of-the-shower wet hair, and while musing about absurdity of how unruly I appeared in contrast to the official lunch across the lawn where the president of the Czech Republic was dining with the Ambassador and my husband — my neighbor, who is also a friend and Embassy spouse, arrived with her 4 year old daughter to hang out with me. Happily discarding my Czech text book, I vented my frustrations over missed job opportunities, bad hair days, and the often misunderstood role of being a diplomat’s wife. I, being the wife of the DCM (Deputy Chief of Mission), often hold many unpaid jobs and responsibilities (summarized quite accurately in an excellent article titled ‘Life as a DCM’s Spouse‘), in addition to that of being the “listener”. Today my friend listened to me, as did her daughter who offered a solution to my hair woes. And so began my two hour long beauty treatment.
In the end, I was adorned with a black headband, one large pink bow, 3 small pink bows, 15 flower clips, 8 plastic barrettes, 2 rubber bands and 35 colored drinking straws – one of which was perched close to my face like a snorkel in case I needed it for a quick drink!!
The end result was “as pretty as a basket of flowers”, and certainly practical if I get thirsty. My new hairstylist also warned me to be careful when I go to sleep tonight so as not to poke “Mr Steve” in the eye while we sleep – wisdom that can only come from a lovely little girl, who keeps slugs as pets and who collects feathers for her garden. Perhaps she will use those as embellishments next time. It is amazing the perspective you can gain from a 4 year old. While I may not have a permanent solution, at least today was a great hair day.