The 1990s Called and Want Their Pink Hair Back


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I know something interesting, awful, bizarre or ridiculous is about to happen when any of my three adult children yells, “Close your eyes…I’ve got something amazing to show you!”

And so it was last night when L’il Sis, a beautiful woman in her mid-thirties, called up the stairs to me before entering my bedroom. I was thinking, in the seconds I had to worry, that she’d had another shopping accident, she’d adopted five new beagles, or trashed my car and was coming to display the fender, the only part large enough to salvage.

Nope. She entered the room sporting a new hairdo — she was pretty in pink. I had an ugly flashback to the 1990s and the Manic Panic pink and blue hair that both she and Gill featured for some time. To put this new development in context, this was the same day that Crazy D was working in Manila with the typhoon raging around him and we’d heard nothing from him for two days. Before that, he had been sick and had to go to a back street doctor, through a dark alley, into a home — tiptoeing over the doc’s three kids sleeping in the front room, having to wait while his wife finished her shower in what was apparently ‘the treatment room’. Crazy D was quick to reassure me that the injection the doc gave him was done with a clean, unused needle. Really? Really? This is how I was going to end my day? With visions of my son getting AIDS and pink hair on my 30 plus-year-old daughter? I was imagining that, if I died in my sleep (these kids are killing me) the last image I would see was of pink hair!

Waking this morning, thinking it was a new day with a new start, I read a message from Gill. “I saw L’il Sis’ pink hair on FB. Wow, that takes me back. Remember the good ol’ days, Ma? We had a lot of fun back then.”

I’m trying to forget.

I did, quickly, when Crazy D sent a text saying that things were ‘okay for the moment but could take a bad turn’. He promised to send texts every 12 hours to let us know he’s okay…or that we can track his whereabouts online with this fancy spotting device if we haven’t heard from him. Where to begin? He mentioned in passing something about power outages and I added to the list of problems by quickly watching CNN to hear that there is widespread flooding, people are being evacuated and on and on.

For a brief few hours, Gill has reclaimed her status as ‘the good child’ since she has a good, stable job and London is not being bombed at the moment. (Okay, her Crohn’s has been flaring up recently, she hasn’t found a publisher for her latest book, and Catlady, her landlord, is driving her nuts in one of her ‘off her meds’ bipolar moods. But that’s just noise level stuff.) And London is probably being deluged with monsoonal rains, but again, normal. Nothing out-of-the-ordinary to worry about. But the other two offspring…a different story.

Crazy D, assuming he makes it out of Manila, knows that, when he returns home, he will be allowed to bring NOTHING into the house. After The Foreign Invader came home with him the last time, he will be required to strip naked in the garage, wrap all his gear in plastic and seal it with duct tape, steam all his bags, shower and put on the clean clothes that are on the stairs BEFORE he steps foot in the house. (How, you ask, will he shower in hot water outside the house? I don’t care…he can take himself through the carwash– it’s open 24/7 and they don’t ask too many awkward questions.)

We are placing The Pig as the sentry at the door to make sure he follows protocol. She is none too sure about her ‘uncle’ Crazy D at the best of times. These are not the best of times.


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