As the year draws to an end, people, religions and countries have traditions for giving thanks for all the good things in life they are grateful for, or in some cases, just for surviving another year. It is a time for giving gifts and, of course, in some places, a time for a Jekyll to Hyde transformation from a nice person to a wild-eyed shopper, whom retailers and economists lovingly call consumers.
I have never been much of a consumer. Probably the only places where goods are sold and where I am happy, is the feria, or farmers’ market and a Ropa Americana, or when I lived in the States, a Good Will or Salvation Army store. I have to admit that I like supermarkets because I can walk the aisles pushing a cart and not have to look out for potholes or irregularities in the floor and pretend to be shopping with no salesperson to help me.
I don’t mind seeing a lovely stack of apples or mangos, but for some reason, a rack of the same blue blouse in different sizes, one after the other in obvious abundance and excess, makes me uncomfortable. So many of the same thing depresses me, unless, as I said it is a stack of fruit or vegetables.
When it comes to clothes, I love the idea of being able to find a style from any recent decade, and not feeling as if I am putting on the uniform of the day. (However, I do approve of uniforms in schools, banks, etc.)
This year I did not leave my apartment to eat turkey or spread good will. I thought of fasting for a change, but then Sandy brought over a dish of her southern cornbread dressing, for which I am thankful.
I am thankful for many things: my friends, my family, my job, and on my list is that short hair styles for women are coming back. It is not just that I am weary of seeing so many women of every age with long, straight hair, which I am. I have other good reasons to be thankful.
It just seems a slavish obeisance to fashion, and it requires so much attention, time, suffering and ointments to keep it long and straight just to have your hair look like everyone else’s hair, except for the color. The faces are different, but long straight hair does not enhance any part of the face. Short hair is different.
Hairdressers can have a lot more fun with hair. Instead of spending hours straightening it, they can style the hair to fit
the face or bring out the eyes, and women suddenly will find themselves with more time to do something more than iron their hair, or have it ironed, or treat it for the damage done. And they can be original, with curly hair or straight, pixie or tomboy and of various short lengths. The possibilities are almost endless.
So my thanks go to Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Hudson and Jennifer Lawrence who have started what is going to be a big trend. And another aspect of this new trend (that only I seem to be predicting) is that with practice more beauticians will become adept at cutting short hair, and I can venture a chance with one instead of cutting my own as I have all of these years. I say this because years ago, not long after I arrived in Costa Rica, I was having my hair cut. I watched carefully as the beautician cut it exactly as I liked and another customer was making an admiring compliment to me.
I began to remove the protective cape and thank the beautician when she said, “One minute more,” whereupon she went for my bangs and ruined the entire haircut. Unfortunately, I am getting as bad at cutting my hair as she was. I am ready to hand over the job.
If you think this is a frivolous matter to be thankful for, just ask any man (and certainly any woman), how important they consider how their hair looks and therefore, how it is cut.
Aside from this concern, of course, there is much going on in the world, with little of it to be thankful for, whether here or elsewhere. I think we will have to wait for the Christmas and the New Year for peace on earth and goodwill enough among people so that those who don’t think exactly the same can sit down together for a peaceful meal and give thanks.