Once upon a time, when I filled in at Toro as a host, I'd have nothing to do at the end of the night in the period after the yuppies had stopped clamoring at the door for tables, but before I could be released from my guardpost. Always a multi-tasker, I'd use this opportunity to circle the restaurant and take inventory of the number of blondes in the room, as "research" for my book. I'd walk slowly around the room, and take notes. I found some just the other day, in a box that is yet to be fully unpacked from my recent move. It's written on the back of an old discarded menu and reads: "19 women out of 38 = blonde...98% = obviously dyed...97% have visible roots."
Now I work at Toro as a waitress, and I'm typically too busy for this kind of record keeping. I still take mental note of the blondes in the restaurant, though, and at least twice I week I'll find myself thinking: "look at all these dye jobs!" at some point during the night. Sometimes these women number half the women in the room. Sometimes more. Sometimes I inspect their roots from where I stand taking their order, high enough above them to look down at the crowns of their heads, but still at the perfect height to get a good, close look. From here, I appraise the quality of their highlights, note whether the blonde has been employed to cover brown hair or grey hair, and assess how much longer these women have before they need to hightail it back to Newbury Street for a foil.
Sometimes, when I see a really good set of highlights, like the ones that Zoe, our hostess, rocks, I feel jealous. I long for the days when I, too, was the hostess with with long blonde hair that always made me feel special, like I was pretty and sparkly and something to look at.
But most of the time, especially lately, I find myself struck by how artificial all of this unnaturally blonde hair looks. I look around and I wonder to myself, "Do these women think they're fooling anyone? Because they so aren't. They all look fake."
The fact of the matter is, I am 100% sure that these women don't care how fake they look. I know this because back when my hair was that blonde, as it was in this picture, looking natural was the last thing on my mind.
In fact, when my hair was that light, I embraced the fakeness. I rocked it. And for some reason, it make me feel oh-so special.
This candid, snapped by the Mathematician in Florence's Boboli Gardens, is one of 100 random pictures from the trips we've taken since we started dating. It flashes across the screen of my work computer as a part of a slideshow screensaver of all the pictures on my Iphoto, a feature I turned on a few months ago by accident. Every time the screensaver comes on the pictures go thru their cycle, and visually rehash our first trip to Prague, our Xmas '05 odyssey in California, and our second trip to Italy and Prague in Fall '06. My hair gets lighter and lighter with our travels. I like watching the screensaver, and I'll just let it run sometimes, when I'm on a call with a client or chatting with my roommates. And whenever I get to the Italia-Praha 2006 photos, I am shocked at how light my hair is. It just looks so...fake. I thought I'd miss those goldilocks so desperately once I became a brunette, but the fact of the matter is, I don't.
Now, at Toro, I look around the room at these blondes and I don't feel jealous, as I thought I would in the eleventh anxious hour before my de-blonding. Nor do I feel struck by how "pretty" these girls and women look with their fake blonde locks. What interests me is that I usually feel nothing at all when I take note of these blonde women. I stare and I scrutinize, and still, the only thing that comes up for me is an ennui so deep it would be the envy of even the most affected Williamsburg hipsters.
So, my question to all the brunettes out there is this: is blonde actually boring? Are the only people who buy into the whole "blondes have more fun" thing blondes, themselves? And men with blonde fetishes?