Friday, September 21, 2007

blonde seeking blondes...

Blonde? Got a story to tell? I want to hear it!

Would you or a blonde you know like to take part in my research for the Undercover Blonde book? This can be done via email, and completely at your convenience. Contact me at

Thanks in advance, and Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

dinner with mom & dad

It is Saturday night. My father's birthday has just passed, and we are meeting them for dinner at Toro to celebrate. They are a few minutes late, so we wait for them at the bar, and have a drink. When they do arrive, this is how they greet me:

MOM: Our dear, sweet, beautiful daughter! You're our favorite daughter you know (I am their only daughter.) Oh, honey, you look so pretty tonight. And just look at your hair, it's so pretty and blonde!!!
DAD: Yeah,it looks great, honey! You just look SOOOOOO much better as a blonde!!!!
ME: Gee, dad. Well, that sure is an enthusiastic endorsement. At least I can count on you guys to be honest.
MOM: (backpeddling) Oh. honey, we just mean that when you were a brunette, you didn't look like yourself.
ME; Interesting, because brown is my natural color. As a brunette I essentially was myself.
DAD: Nooo...
MOM: No!!!
DAD: Your hair was almost black! You just looked so pale, so washed out all the time. It looked terrible.
ME: Terrible? You guys...
MOM: It just wasn't you, honey.
DAD: Yeah, not you at all.

Well, I guess we now know who to blame my blonde fixation on.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Jason, where art thou? Part deux

From Joanna Pitman's ON BLONDES, describing a hair trend started by the beautiful daughter of the Emporer Titus the first century AD:

"Professional hairdressers were employed, devoted teams on whom powerful beauties depended utterly for their reputations. Touching epitaphs still survive, composed by ladies mourning the deaths of their most able and loyal hairdressers. These women, highly skilled in their intricate art, mixed the thick hair dye, slapped it on to the hair in a slick of shining slime, rubbed it vigorously into the scalp and then scraped it all off hours later when dry. They washed the hair, dried it, applied further colouring powders and then embarked on the tricky business of styling. This was a task in which success brought rich rewards, while failure sometimes resulted in stabbings with bone hairpins or worse by disgruntled mistresses."

Times have not changed so much, have they? Just days ago, I mourned the "disappearance" of my stylist Jason. My dear, sweet, Jason, who for some reason, no longer works at the salon that has been my second home for two years....

And in the same breath, I cursed him. If he were here right now, I just might stab him with a hairpin for failing to deal with these disastrous roots.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Happy Birthday to me!

Happy Birthday to me, Happy birthday to me, Happy Birthday dear Kit-ty, Happy Birthday to me!

Today is the anniversary of my birth. People who know me will call me with good wishes, offer to buy me drinks while we are out, bring me presents, and generally make best efforts to ensure that this otherwise totally arbitrary day is a special one for moi. But one thing that these well intended folk are probably not thinking about: I am actually half of a pair. I have a twin brother, a brown haired Undercover Brother out there, and he and I have shared this special day since our time on this earth began.

I'd like to take this opportunity to discuss my Undercover Brother, and the curious dynamic that is our twinship. You see, Undercover Brother is my twin, sure, but we are about as opposite as opposite can be. Let's review:

Undercover Brother is quite and shy; I am outgoing and personable.

He is obsessively self-disciplined; I am peer pressure's easiest target.

He is very strong and works out every day; I count lifting my wine glass as bicep exercise.

Undercover Brother is a doctor. Like, he's been officially referred to as Dr. Undercover Brother on a daily basis as of this past June, when he graduated from med school. I am a publicist and a writer and also a waitress. And I'm officially referred to as "Miss Kitty" half of the time.

Undercover Brother is good at math and science and...cutting people open. I am good at grammar (ha!) and writing and liberal arts and "spin."

We are as different as different could be, and shared everything there was to have before we moved away from home to go to college. Until then, on every birthday there was a cake that featured two names, mine scrawled across it in pink frosting, his scrawled across it in blue. When I was little, I wondered what it would be like to have a birthday cake that is only pink: pink flowers, pink icing, and just one name, mine, written across it?

But now, as a grown-up, I miss our two-toned cake, our yin & yang life. And I miss him.

I don't think I'll be having birthday cake on my birthday this year: we're going to dinner at a fancy restaurant, and my "birthday cake" will be whatever dessert I order. But if I were to have cake, I'd want both of our names to be scrawled upon it, in pink and in blue. Even if Undercover Brother is 3,000 miles away in San Diego, locked up in a hospital working on his residency. Even though he doesn't eat sugar because his primary focus is "getting ripped."

Happy Birthday to us both!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Jason, where art thou?

My stylist has gone missing. Well, not missing exactly. In fact, I know exactly where my stylist is:

Not working at Liquid any longer.

Due to circumstances beyond me, which are presumably none of my business, my dear, sweet, devoted stylist Jason is all of a sudden, no longer employed at the salon that has been my home for the duration of this project.

We ran into one another the street the other day, while I was getting my morning coffee. He seemed upset, so I tried my best to quell my reaction to this truly disastrous news. When he said, "I no longer work at Liquid," I said, "Oh, okay. Well, where do you work now?" I tried to play it cool. I, in fact, even offered my support to my dear, sweet stylist/friend. "There, there," I counseled, "when it's time to move on, it's just time to move on. These things are usually for the best."

What I thought, but did not say: "Your ass best be moving on soon, honey. In a week, I'm going to have roots down to my cheekbones. And when that time comes, you'd better have a chair."

That time has come. It's undeniable. My roots are like a line of dark, glaring brown, drawn beneath my light, yellow hair, marked there as if to emphasize the fact that my color is fake, fake, fake. I've been in denial about it, lying to myself really, pretending the roots "blend" and "look okay". But today, they seem to have grown beyond the pale. I measured them: they are an inch and a half long. They scream for attention, and where am I to turn?

What the hell am I going to do???

Monday, September 03, 2007

a lot in common

"Hey you done in here? Can I ring something in?" I ask Juan, who is standing in front of the computer by the coffee station, staring off into space.

"Sure, go ahead," Juan nods, staring up at the shelf where we store the coffee cups, his jaw locked tight in frustration.

"You sure," I say, realizing that Juan actually looks pretty pissed off. "I can wait if you're still working...."

"No, no, I'm done," he says softly, steps aside, and glances down at the floor. He seems pretty rattled, so I ask him what's up.

"Table 42 is...fucking bullshit!!!" he says, gesturing with a nod towards a four top of drunk, khaki-clad guys about six feet away. Minutes before I heard the ring leader bellowing his order at Juan, "You didn't forget to put that paella in now, did you???" in the same patronizing tone a dad might use when imploring his teenage kid to put gas in the car. Juan seemed to be handling the situation just fine from a distance, but now at the computer, I can see that these guys are getting under Juanito's usually thick skin.

"Are they really bad, Juan?" I ask. "You know, if you can't deal with waiting on them, I can take that table over..."

"No, no, it's fine," he says. "They're just stupid...drunk. Fucking assholes, man."

I glance over at the ringleader, who is laughing heartily at his own joke as he reaches over to pour more wine in his already full wineglass. He is seated at an angle, elbows splayed out into the narrow aisle, knees spread way apart, making it impossible for other patrons to get by him without shimmying around his knees, his loafers, or his arms en route to the bathroom. It's as though his sense of entitlement is too big for his body, can barely be contained in his skin, let alone his khakis or the tiny tin chair where he'll spend the next 2 hours, presiding over his table and torturing poor Juan.

I look back at Juan, whose face is glowering with frustrated anger. Juan is 21, but doesn't look a day over seventeen. He's skinny, one of those people with a crazy metabolism who has to eat every three hours or they feel like they're going to pass out. And to top it off, he has braces, which could make even an 80-year-old nonna look juvenile. He just started waiting tables, and he's really very good--knows a lot about wine and food, more than I did at his age. But Juanito doesn't stand a chance in hell of getting any respect out of the "fucking bullshit assholes" at table 42.

"I'm sorry, Juan," I say, "They're treating you like you're stupid and like you don't know anything because you look young, right?"

"Yeah, it sucks," he sputters. "Fucking bullshit."

"I know, it is bullshit. It happens to me all the time, too, especially with guys like that."

"Yeah?" says Juan, surprised.

"Yeah, all the time. They think I'm dumb because I'm a girl, and I'm blonde, and I'm friendly and smiley and stuff. They think I don't know anything about wine or food, and like I'm just some little idiot waitress, even though I've been doing this for almost ten years now."

"Wow," Juan says.

"Yeah, but it's okay. He's just trying to compensate for the fact that he has a tiny little penis." This makes Juan laugh.

Who'd have thought that Juanito and I have so much in common? Or maybe it's just that those kinds of guys are all alike: drunk, rude, something to prove. All you can hope for is that they'll tip like they have manners.

Fortunately, these guys did. Juan showed me the charge slip after table 42 wobbled out of the restaurant, a big, juicy 2o% tip scrawled in the ringleader's barely legible drunk handwriting. He seemed surprised, but I wasn't. He deserved at least that, if not more.

We all do.