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April 21, 2014 / Tina

Life is Not a Bowl of Cherries. It’s a Pie. By Geralyn Rownan

GriananLife is not a bowl of cherries. It’s a pie. That’s according to the fifteen self-help/self- improvement/self-development/it’s all about me books, now helping me enormously by holding up my bedside lamp. Yes, it seems that Life is a Pie. The segments of the Pie are; Work, Relationships, Hobbies, Family, Travel, whatever is important to you. The instructions in Self Help Manual#7; Get some paper, draw a circle, mark out your segments, label them and think about them. Write about them. So that’s what I’ve done. Here are a few slices from my Pie. I hope you like them. I’ve indicated where pieces are fictional.

ME, MYSELF and I kind of stuff

On being a Bed-Head

I regard the state of my hair as a metaphor for the state of my life. Many times have I said to myself; No wonder I can’t control my life – I can’t even control my hair. Probably as I sailed into yet another business meeting attired elegantly and appropriately in a nice business suit and sensible shoes – topped by hair that made me look like I had been dragged through a vortex backwards. Here are just some of the hair-related remarks that have punctuated my life;

At school; Sr. Benedict, the nun who wouldn’t have disgraced an SS Regiment. “You…”she’d say as she dug her knuckles into my shoulder. (A move I’ve seen martial arts practitioners use to paralyse people). “You…don’t come to school again without brushing your hair.” Useless to protest that I had already shed tears that day as my poor mother strove to untangle the riot of curls with a comb.

At work; a male colleague remarked that he could always identify me from the back – as no one else on the workforce had “leonine” hair like mine.

My brother-in-law; “It’s funny but that kind of scraggy hairdo or whatever you call it, suits you.” Was that actually meant to be a compliment? And I think “bedhead” is the correct technical term, Bro…

The postman; “Are you just up?” This at 2.30 in the afternoon…

No, I don’t have neat and tidy hair. But then, my life is not neat and tidy either.

I had to get my photo taken a few months ago for a CV. The instructions for women were; no jewellery, plain dark top, straight hair, not pinned up. So I went to the hairdresser and got my hair straightened for the photo. The result? A photo of me that doesn’t look like me, to show people what I look like in real life, only of course I don’t.

A while ago, I decided to try a different hairdresser. Got stuck into the coffee and magazines and paid no attention to what my new hairdresser was doing. The result? By the time I surfaced from photos of the royal wedding I had been given a short-back-and-sides and scrunch dried. I looked like a dish scrubber. Lunch time hair activities over, I went back to work. One of my Company Directors observed me in silence for a few minutes before he came out with; “I don’t know how to describe it, (allow me to describe it for you – dish scrubber) but it suits you”. Later another Director came into my office; “I like the new hairstyle –it takes years off you Oh God I suppose I shouldn’t have said that”. Hello? Do I normally look a hundred and ninety and just hadn’t noticed? I had to stop him in his tracks before he upset himself. It didn’t bother me in the slightest, not after all these years. The piece de résistance? One Christmas Eve I had my hair done and headed straight from the hairdressers to visit my Mother in her Nursing Home. She took one look at me and said: “Are you not getting your hair done for Christmas?”

I rest my case.



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