If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

20 September 2006

Splits and Ends

We've been together for thirteen years, Mark and I. We've been through two marriages, one divorce, countless moves, and the birth of four children.

I nearly cheated on him, precisely two years ago this week, in London - because UBlend dared me to. But the stakes were too high, back then.

But now we've been in a long-distance relationship for a year and a half, me constantly juggling my schedule to connect with him when I'm in the States. We last saw each other in June. There's something perfectly comfortable about our relationship - he's seen me at my worst, and at my most polished. He always makes me feel good about myself, but ... you know, the long distance thing hardly ever works.

As much as I didn't want to accept it, life does move on. People change. Lives change. And I looked hard at myself in the mirror last week and realized that I just couldn't go on any longer like this. A girl has certain, ahem, needs.

And so, I braced myself for the misery of finding someone new. I've heard terrible horror stories. The awkwardness of it all. How now I would be in that uncomfortable position of having to explain things to someone, in a language I'm not fluent in, that Mark always just ... knew, without asking. We had our own comfortable rhythm, a predictable banter borne of years of shared experiences.

Sometimes, life surprises you. You brace yourself for the worst, and every now and again, something amazingly magical happens. You find exactly what you were looking for, precisely where you'd least expect it: your very own tiny hilltop town in Italy. And today, as much as I really, really do miss him, tonight I am seriously grooving on my new amazingly sassy haircut and color, courtesy of the New Girl. The one who I looked at in a panic, when I didn't know quite how to explain what I expected from my color/highlights experience, and I simply said ... "I have complete trust in you, I am in your hands."

Three hours later, walking across the piazza just before lunch today, I got THREE compliments on my new 'do. And one very suggestive look up-and-down. Oh! I had forgotten what it feels like to LOVE my hair, it's been ... months... a dry spell, of sorts. Oh, the sheer, unbridled JOY!

Considering how fragile I've been feeling lately, there are not words sufficient to describe my palpable relief. Because I honestly don't think I could have taken the deflated self-image that comes from a hair tragedy, or - worse - a bad string of rebound hairdresser relationships, chairhopping through the Tuscan countryside.

And Mark and me? Oh, I know it's a cliche, but we'll still be friends. I'm sure we'll get together every time I'm back in town, old habits die hard. And maybe I'm just justifying it, but I daresay he'd even LIKE her.

PS: Are you in DC? Hating your hair? Go see Mark, PR@Partners in Tenleytown on Wisconsin Ave. Tell him that his favorite Italian resident sent you, and she misses him but she's gonna make it after all. ;>



Blogger ElleStarr said...

You simply cannot, and you know this, willy-nilly tell a story about fabulous new hair and a witheringly sexual look and not include some sort of a photo. It's just not fair.

6:44 PM  
Blogger tallulah said...

Hey! I want to see the hair! Where's the hair?

9:27 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

show me the HAIR!!!!

11:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so brave! You know, when you finally go to a hairdresser near your new house that means you are making it a home. Yay You!

I am still going to the hairdresser near where I grew up (with only a few emergency cheats). And that is after 2 years in Chicago, three years in VA. I am such a chicken.

3:37 PM  
Blogger mistressofchange said...

A great new cut and color is scary and fun and rejuvenating all at the same time. Post a pic so we can all be jealous of the jaunty new 'do!

8:20 PM  
Blogger I'm Just a Girl said...

Okay, there's all this talk about the hair. (And considering our hair history together, I think that's a topic best left un-exhumed!) However what I want to know is....WHO IS MARK!??!!??!

3:22 AM  
Anonymous Ublend said...

Did it cost more that 6 pounds? If so, you paid tooooooo much...SMILE! Yeah, we need a pic.


2:21 PM  

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