Vanity

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Sooner or later

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

I went to the dermatologist yesterday.

I have an age spot.

At least, I’m calling it an age spot.  The doctor called it a “sun freckle,” and I was like, lady, I’LL SHOW YOU A SUN FRECKLE.  This spot is 5mm by 4mm – much larger than I am comfortable chalking up to just a “sun freckle.”

(To be fair, let’s remember that I have a flair for the drama when it comes to physical woes.)

I wanted her to burn it off, but she said no.  (Why does no one ever indulge my desire for the quick fix?  *pout*)  Instead, she gave me some bleaching cream to use twice a day for 3 weeks.  If it doesn’t help, then I’m supposed to stop using it because if I use it for too long, it could cause paradoxical darkening.

“What’s paradoxical darkening?” I asked, doe-eyed and naïve.

Well, Annie, paradoxical darkening turns out to be exactly what it sounds like.  The cream is supposed to fade the spot – but if you use it for too long, it can have the opposite effect and make it worse.  Get it?  Paradoxical darkening?  Get it?

In any case, it made me think of one of my favorite quotes – one that I’ve written about before, but surfaces frequently enough in my thoughts that it’s worth mentioning again:

Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.”
-C.S. Lewis (The Silver Chair)

Indulging my feelings is all well and good for a moment or two.  Everyone needs a good cry.  Everyone needs the freedom to acknowledge when they feel left out, or left behind, or unwanted, or unseen, or just tired and sad.  But at some point, it’s time to decide what to do – otherwise, the very thing that was supposed to make you feel better only winds up making you feel worse.

I’m making a plan.

And in the meantime, I am bleaching the devil out of this spot.

Who wears short shorts?

Monday, June 29th, 2009

We have a small crisis at the JAM house.  One of us (I’m not saying who) got some bug bites (I’m not saying where) that are now inflamed (I’m not saying how).

(Okay, I am saying how.)

Never put Nair over top of bug bites.

I’ll let you do the math.

Nair is an evil, evil invention.  It DISSOLVES HAIR.  You do realize that that is the same job description held by Drain-O?

Let’s change the subject.

Actually, let’s just leave it at that.

The in-between stage

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

You don’t even have to say it.  I already know.

You are desperate for an update on the growth of my hair.

Ever since I cut off my hair over a year ago, I have been longing for it to grow out.  I have patiently not so patiently endured the days, the weeks, the months of the “in-between stage,” feeling dowdy and frumpy.  I have kept you up to date with the growth progress – all I can say is, lucky you.  It is now long enough to put in a ponytail without bobby pins, to French braid, to even do a fancy side knot thing when the occasion calls for it.

But I have a haircut appointment today during my lunch hour.  And – so help me – I am THIS CLOSE to chopping it again.  People, I do not have the PATIENCE for the in-between stage.  I remember back to this stage, and think, “That was cute!” even though we all know that at that point, I sure didn’t feel like it was cute.

But right now, my hair is an unruly mane of mediocrity.  It’s kudzu-gone-crazy.

I’m stuck.  I know that if I cut it off again, I’ll be starting back at the top of the downward helix of discontent.  If I just get a trim, and let it keep growing, I’ll continue being drab for a few months – but then again, maybe by the end of the summer, I’ll have flowing locks like Liv Tyler.

What should I do?

You have until noon, central time, to weigh in on the matter.  But then, it’s the moment of truth.

All in the name

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Facebook has these silly quizzes that are always circulating: Which city do you belong in?  What kind of a dog would you be?  What kind of cocktail are you?  Which TV mom would you be?  Let it be known that I do not participate.

But last night, a friend of mine completed one I hadn’t seen before: What should your parents have named you?

And the answer that it gave her?  ANNIE.

And then!  The description of girls with the name Annie: You are nice, caring, and you love being with your friends.  Boys drool over you and you are hot stuff.

You know it, Facebook.

Like an orange on a toothpick

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

What do I do when I come home to an empty apartment at 1am?


19 lbs. from Annie Parsons on Vimeo.

Flip-flop spirituality

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Last night at church, I sang with the band. I was wearing my Kenneth Cole wedge sandals – which, incidentally, are very cute but not very comfortable – and thus towered over the other girl I was singing with. She was wearing flip-flops.

I was so jealous.

I get a lot of comments on my shoes. I own three hanging shoe-bags full, and even still, I don’t have enough room for all of my pairs. I have hiking boots and cowboy boots and black leather riding boots. I have red heels and blue heels and strappy heels and heels that never should have been invented, they are so painful. If the government ever wants to really punish a terrorist, I have a horrendous pair of black peep-toe wedges that they can make him walk around in. I’d give him a few hours before he cracked and gave up all of his information, unable to take the raw rubbing and the blisters.

My point is this: I have shoes for every occasion, and a reason for every pair. Each pair serves a purpose. I like the practicality of it all: this pair for working out, this pair for making my legs look longer, that pair for the days when nothing but flats with a green ostrich print will do.

Flip-flops, on the other hand, serve no great purpose. No purpose, that is, except comfort.

I am convinced that we can draw direct parallels between our feet and our souls. So often, I want to cover up my feet, or encapsulate them in sometimes-painful casings for the sake of vanity. I don’t want anyone to see me with my guard down, and so I mask my anxiety with leather and rubber and color. In the same way, I like to keep the ugly parts of my personality carefully contained, out of sight of the general public. I cover up my flaws with a shimmering personality and a cute bow. Or if things are really bad, I will simply elevate myself to appear above it all.

When I wear flip-flops, I am forced to not be a control freak. I can’t hide my chipped toenail polish or my calluses or my cracked heels. I can’t ward off the wet dirt creeping onto my feet from the recently watered lawn. I can’t run fast and far. It’s just me and my dirty, unglamorous feet.

But it feels good. It feels good to let it all out there, bug bites and all. It feels good to be kind to my poor, aching feet. And it feels good to not care what they look like.

So thank God for flip-flops.

…okay, and thank God for these, too.


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Bonus feature:
Here’s a little weekend update video for you, recorded yesterday afternoon. Why a video? I don’t know – because I can.


Weekend Update from Annie Parsons on Vimeo.

Lamenting the bob

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Hair grows.

It does. I know it does.

And mine grows quickly, like a weed – about an inch a month.

Still. These days, I am regretting the decision to cut my hair.

Sure, it was spontaneous and cute and spunky for awhile – an “I am Annie Freaking Parsons” moment. But now, it’s shaggy and a little bit shapeless, and not short enough to be cute, but not long enough to be hot.

I am a PTA mother.

I miss the days of showering at night, sleeping with wet hair, and waking up with a picture-perfect mane. It was so easy, with the ever-advantageous feature of being long enough for a Liv Tyler ponytail. These days, my ponytail is an inch and a half long, with the underside being too short to reach the rubber band, and thus, sticking out wildly, like prickles on a cactus.

I could trim it up and give it some oomph, but I so desperately want it to Be Long again. I cut it on February 23, and 10” were hacked off. So if I want to get it back to a state of glamour, this means that I will be in the process of growing until Christmas.

Christmas 1987 – a hand-made dollhouse, crafted by my Grandpop
Christmas 1993 – a kitten named Cassie
Christmas 2000 – keys to the Honda, which my parents helped me get into
Christmas 2005 – Dolce & Gabana Light Blue perfume
Christmas 2008 – my femininity