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I have long harbored the secret dream of being a hairstylist. This is something that I only admitted for the first time about a year ago. My best friends, who I’ve known for 12 years, were shocked to hear this, although my brother said he always suspected. When the time came to make decisions about what to do after High School, I didn’t want to admit that I wanted to be a hairstylist, so I went to college instead. Also, I’ve never had any desire to go to hair school. I’ve always hoped that someone would discover me and apprentice me to Jose Eber or some other important hair person and then I would invent the new “must have” haircut, become famous and retire at 40.

Over the years, it has become apparent that I’m not going to get discovered, certainly not in North Dakota. Also, does anyone really get discovered to be a hairstylist anyway? So I started entertaining the idea of actually going to hair school. I went so far as to tell MK that that was what I planned to do after I finished my Master’s– she was horrified.

The reasons that I haven’t really pursued the hairstyling thing are as follows:

1. not wanting to go the actual hair school
2. not wanting to make the inane banter that you have to do when cutting someone’s hair
3. not wanting to look like a hairstylist.

That third one is fairly new, but I’ve noticed that you can always tell a hairstylist just by looking at her. Their hair is styled so meticulously that half the time it looks like a wig, and they seem to love to do these ridiculous highlights that just look clownish. I have had some silly hair colors, but I don’t think I’ve ever looked as extreme and ridiculous as some women I’ve seen. Yesterday, I was at M&H filling my car with gas, and this girl got out of her car. She was dressed in sloppy sweats, but had her hair completely styled and her face full of make-up. I already have issues with women leaving the house in sweats, but with full make-up and fully styled hair..? What’s that about? If you have enough time to do all of that other stuff, why not just put on some nice jeans? Unless you’re so exhauseted from doing all of the other stuff you just don’t have the energy to dress better. Maybe they think if their make-up and hair is garish enough, no one will notice that they’re dressed like a slob. Seriously.

Really all being a hairstylist would do for me is put me is very close quarters with women who spend a lot of time thinking about their appearance from the neck up, and that would never work for me. So the dream has died, and all it took was seeing some girl at M&H. It would be nice to know how to cut hair though.

I got an email from the nice people at the Fargo marathon the other day. I guess when I signed up the run the 5K this past spring I gave them my email address. At the time I assumed that they would remind me when it was time to sign up for the upcoming spring because how many emails about an annual event can you really send out? Turns out they have a monthly newsletter.

Why would a marathon need a newsletter? After the race they sent out a link where you could look at the pictures they took of you sweating, struggling, and cursing life as you work through the race course. I did not find any pictures of myself, but it was thrilling to look at other people and realize that I don’t look so much like a jackass when I run.

Since then, I’ve gotten plenty of emails, which I just deleted imagining they said something like “Only ten more months to go!” This month’s had a pdf attachment of a brochure about an upcoming race in Fargo sponsored by the marathon. Intrigued I opened it up.

2.62 miles–thats kind of cute, not much of a challenge I can run the whole thing at top speed and leave people panting in my wake!

Run across the bridge–oh how scenic and lovely. Especially in the fall

Starts in the evening–again how lovely

$20–fuck that. Wait! I get a free long-sleeved t-shirt.

When I ran the 5K in the spring, I also received a free t-shirt. I misread the information on the website and thought that if you were only running the 5K, you didn’t need to go get a race packet at the FargoDome. I was wrong, but thankfully the whole Tieman brood was in town that weekend, so my parents and brother went and got it for me while I was at work. I was giving my brother my license to legitimize their picking up a racing packet that was obviously not for any of them (mom, dad, brother), when my mom asked “What size shirt do you need?” I shrugged, “small.” My dad shook his head frantically and responded, “Oh no, you need at least a medium, maybe a large.”

I am used to my mother calling me fat, or hinting that I’m fat, “Do you really need to make another trip to the salad bar?” The salad bar, for gods sake! Thankfully, my dad never before hopped on this particular bandwagon of hers. Conspiracy theories abound in my mind: Oh my god, have I gained weight? Is he just parroting what hes heard mom say so many times? Do they talk about my size when I’m not around and lament how I’ve let myself go? Have I let myself go without realizing it? I kept this all inside my head and presented what I hope was an expression of indifference and apathy. I shrugged, “medium, whatever.”

The medium was huge, thank god. It was mostly huge in a weird, poorly made t-shirt kind of way in that around it was too big, but mostly it was just way too long. I really don’t know if a small would have made that much of a difference, but I do resent the fact that I didn’t get to make that decision for myself. After trying on the t-shirt and seeing how long it was, I decided to just cut it off to normal length. It was just for running, I didn’t care if it looked good. After I did that it rolled up to just above my navel so I looked like a less fashion-savvy Gwen Stefani. I do not show my stomach unless I am in a bikini, and no amount of unrolling and ironing (ironing a t-shirt!) would get the damn thing to stay where it was supposed to. I threw it away.

Now I’m offered the chance to buy another crappy t-shirt for the low, low price of $20 and 2.62 miles. What a racket. And the amount of trauma caused by reliving the previous t-shirt debacle isn’t fun either. I might have done this race if it was $10, or if it was $20 for the race and the t-shirt with the option of not getting the t-shirt.

I’ve been trying to come up with a low-maintanence money-making scheme for months now, and I think this might be it. Have a race, give away crappy, poorly made t-shirts, get sponsors, charge a fee. Its so simple. Runners are crazy. They pay for the privilege of running on ground that belongs to everybody who pays taxes. I could make a killing.

I went wedding dress shopping the other day. Not in a crazy “Muriels Wedding” kind of way, though. My friend Kate who actually is getting married asked me pretty, pretty please would I come with her. “I know this isn’t really your kind of thing, but I’d really appreciate it and I’ll make it as painless as possible,” she promised. So I acquiesced, because I am nice, I had the afternoon off, and I was mildly curious about what the big damn deal about big white dresses is.

Weddings, or the appeal of them, has always been something that I just don’t understand. I’m sure marriage is lovely if you look at it as being with the one you love the rest of your life rather than as being chained to someone you can barely tolerate but its too expensive to leave them. If I found someone I wanted to marry who wanted to marry me, I would do it. What I hate is when people get married just for the sake of being married, or for the joy of throwing a wedding. Smug marrieds.

As soon as girls my age got to college they all seemed to start husband shopping. Obviously these are not girls that I hang out with, but a lot of them seemed to be around me at parties and class etc. and they were so vocal about it, wedding planning, getting engaged, that it just made me ill. If you’re in love, and youre happy, and you want to be with that person the rest of your life–super. Why the big hurry? It’s a lifetime, you can put off the “big day” until youre older and have more money. And when you’re planning the “big day” you can still retain your personality and talk about other things. Kate has been with her fiancĂ© for five years, they are getting married for the right reason in my mind, so I can support it.

I supported it by going to David’s Bridal with her and watching her getting laced up into giant, heavy, gowns that drag on the floor and have makeup stains all over inside of them from the hundreds of women who’ve put them on before you, welled up and said “This is the one.” Then something happened around dress seven; I liked it. Not the experience, the dress. It was a princess dress, it made my stomach flip, and I wanted it for myself. Maybe it was just being in a store for that long made me feel like I needed to buy something, maybe I’m going through the change in life.

Two days later I’m still regretting the fact that I let the salesgirl take it without me trying it on. I couldn’t try it on, that would be crazy. That’s the kind of thing I make fun of girls for. If I had tried it on and looked like an asshole, this whole debacle would be over, but what if I didn’t look like an asshole?

Am I going to start coveting people’s children next? I called a little girl sweetie the other day because she said “please” and “thank-you” to me and I was completely overcome with the love of parents who teach their kids manners. What is going on?

I have never lived in LA or New York or the glamorous places people in movies always flock to to pursue their dreams. I have lived in the Midwest my entire life. In the “sensible” part of the country where nobody is “too much” and if they are, you certainly dont talk about it. Because of the sensibility of this region, I have seen very little plastic surgery, also because of the sensibility (presumably) I have seen very little bad plastic surgery.

Plastic surgery fascinates me. I love watching Plastic Surgery Before and After, When Plastic Surgery Goes Wrong, Dr. 90210, and Nip/Tuck even though it’s fake. The day I gave up the Discovery Health Channel was a dark one for me. Most people who know me know this and may or may not be disturbed by it, but regardless, simply because of the sheer number of plastic surgery procedures I have watched over the years, I think I can consider myself a bit of an expert in sniffing out what people have had done.

My self-appointed expert status really has nothing to do with this anecdote because the woman who inspired it is so poorly enhanced that anyone could tell. I waited on her at the coffee shop yesterday and may have actually jumped a little when I got a look at her. This woman had the scary face. The one that makes you quietly lean over to the catty girl next to you and hiss “look at her _____?” I’d put her age at about 50; the age she’s trying for is 26. She’s very blonde, very tanned, very aerobicized, shes also had a very botched eye job, a nose job, and possibly a mid-face lift. She’s also one of those women who are constantly running around in workout clothes. This begs the question: What is the point of trying so hard (working out) and paying so much (plastic surgery) to look good, if you dress like youre at the gym all the time?

Sure her workout clothes are “outfits” and “coordinated” but they’re still fucking workout clothes. They exist for one purpose and to try to plug them into other areas of your life does not work. Much like my undergrad rage at the fat girls who would come to class in pajamas and pull their backpacks along the ground on the wheeled luggage things; women in workout clothes are my new teeth-clencher. I don’t go to the movies in a ball gown, why go to the coffee house in your sweats? This was not an isolated incident, by the way, I saw her at the coffee shop yesterday, and then today at Target both times in workout clothes. Similar, but different outfits. The first time was not a fluke; just like the class pajama-wearers, this is a behavior.

This is a behavior dictated solely by the need for comfort. The reason you don’t see people at the movies in ball gowns is because ball gowns are not comfortable (and other reason not to be gotten into here). Is this a Midwestern thing, where no one is expected to show off, so people regress in completely the opposite direction? Who needs to be that comfortable all the time? I personally don’t want to be so comfortable that I could fall asleep at any second. I don’t want to have the option of being able to go the gym on a whim just because I’m dressed for it.

Jeans are comfortable, and you don’t look like an asshole.