Life with teenagers is always interesting - although perhaps that's not the most apt word. Particularly for us during this last week where my oldest daughter turned 18 with all the obligatory festivities - including a family get-together where certain members hadn't seen each other for 14 years and would have happily continued that way. And why does the newly-minted 18-year old get all the congratulations? All she did is get older (which is something my mirror tells me I'm doing effortlessly at a rapid rate), whereas I'm the one who kept her (a) alive, (b) relatively normal, and (c) reasonably educated and trained in basic social norms. I mean, just feeding and hydrating a child is a never-ending task, let alone coping with the addition of a third basic need once puberty is reached - and I'm talking about the accoutrements here. You know, like mobiles, ipods, and the need to be draped in appropiately labelled clothing at all times.
But this week was made even more challenging by the fact she was getting her hair professionally coloured for her party, something she'd been looking forward to for months. Well, I don't know what happened but an attractive young lady with bouncy, light brown hair (with some blonde highlights) entered the salon but, three hours later, what emerged looked like a street-walker. And a physically ill one at that.
The colour could best be described as 'Platinum Mildew Ash', except that I'm guessing they would then get few takers (in fact I suspect she was the first anyway). Overall, it was a dead, flat platinum, with a hint of old-woman grey and some pond-green tinges whenever it caught the light. Have I mentioned that this particular offspring is quite a pale child? Well, now she looked like a corpse. And not a particularly fresh one either.
As you can imagine this event was followed by several days of varying degrees of loudly articulated fury (okay, that was mainly me), interspersed with a litany of muttered angst (that was her). But anybody who has spent time with an unhappy teenager will have some idea what the atmosphere is our house was like. And if you're wondering why we didn't go back to the salon - we did. And I have to say they were very supportive and didn't charge anything for the further three hours spent putting in a quantity of lovely honey-brown foils that were meant to give some depth but were almost immediately consumed by the Platinum Mildew Ash. I have never seen a hair colour so voracious. It should be launched onto the stock market forthwith - it'd devour Wall Street (and all those greedy CEO's) overnight. So anyway the salon was a waste of time because despite their best efforts, back home I went, still accompanied by the manic-depressive corpse bride.
The situation was eventually (somewhat) resolved by an emergency run to the supermarket for hair-dye but I can tell you it was a stressful few days. So congratulate her? Huh! I should get a bloody medal.