Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Welcome To Reality Salad


I left work early, determined to finally run some errands. The summer months had come and gone, and it feels as though I spent my hours hopping cars on a train of one commitment followed by another, trying to get to the engine up front. With frazzled nerves, I finally decided that this train has no engine, instead it runs on coffee and stress alone. So after a morning of lab work, I took an afternoon break and simply never went back.

It was a feeling of freedom, the kind that a child experiences when the radio announces that your school is canceled due to snow. I managed to hold on to the feeling while cleaning out my car, which is a testament to the theory that freedom is an attitude and not an achievement. I joyfully wiped coffee grime out of my cup holders and vacuumed sunflower seeds off of the floor mats, happy to be working toward something that fits in the category of self care.

While driving home, I noticed a sign for a hair salon that I have never noticed before, called "Chop". On impulse, I decided to see about have a hair adventure. The salon was upstairs, in what looked and felt like an apartment of a 20 something. The wooden floors were uneven. The walls were painted lime green and decorated with black and white photos. There was an Eiffel tower painted directly on the wall along the way into the bathroom. The decor was a mixture of pottery barn and ikea. The shelves were lined with astrology books and containers of nail polish.

"I feel like I am hanging out at a friends house" I confessed to my stylist.
"I know" she said "we used to serve wine too, but then..." she trailed off, leaving me wondering. "So where do you work?" She asked.

From the confessional booth of my chair, I told her everything. As she relieved me from my tattered ends, I let go of some gnawing stress and mentally recommitted my energy. Sometimes I forget what I am working toward until I am forced to explain it to someone I have just met.

My stylish stylist shared some of her stories too "I had my palm read when I was younger, and I was told that I would have twins at 25. I never did have twins, but I did meet my now boyfriend back then.. and he IS a twin. AND he is a Gemini!" She shrugged and held my gaze as though to say 'come on, who wouldn't believe in psychic energy after that'
"How long have you been together?" I asked, unsure how else to respond.
"Well I am 33 now so.."
"Wow, you don't look 33" I interrupted. She looked to me to be in her early 20's, with dyed red hair, that she sometimes wears up in a mohawk.
"Well I sleep a lot" She told me. That was the moment that I noticed my own wrinkles, and I shot my stylist a sleep deprived look of desperation.
"Coffee?" She asked, and I nodded slowly.

I called Christina on the way home. "I am starting to look older" I said. "Do you think I should start getting more sleep?"
"Welcome to reality" Christina replied. "It's good to have you back."

Welcome to Reality Salad
Mix together:
2 Tbsp tarragon
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
the juice and zest of 1 minneola tangelo (substitute orange, or meyer lemon)
1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries (find some that you like the taste and texture of on their own)
1 large carrot, diced
1/2 cup romanesco, broken into small pieces
1 Tbsp grape seed oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
:and serve!

Christina's vote: "A fine crisp blend"

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