Black and Blue Envy

Parental Warning: Fostering creativity and allowing freedom may backfire.

Our daughter’s been encouraged to paint on our walls, her sneakers, the driveway, and every imaginable surface. At 8 years old, we listened to the Ramones the entire road trip to Disney World, from New Jersey to Florida, and back. When she decided to become a WWE diva, I let it run its course. When she fell in love with Jack Atlas and thought cartoon characters were hot, I followed the same method of inaction. After Christmas last year, an ominous cloud descended upon the rainbow in her closet leaving exclusively black attire: black jeans, black hoodies. The hood covers her hair during all non-school/non-swimming/non-showering hours.

I’ve never taken appearances seriously. My husband tattooed diamonds on his middle fingers so when he flips someone off it means that much more. Diamonds are forever. What did it matter if she only wore black? My sister reminded me to, “Be happy she’s not coming home dressed like Snookie.” And I was–until her daily routine included makeup.

Her heroin-chic eye makeup and black nail polish we’re unfitting for an eleven year old. Brian and I understood her need to express herself, but also saw no reason why she should head off to middle school daily looking like she was going to a Cure concert. I love Robert Smith, but that doesn’t mean I want to feed and house him. After the objects responsible were confiscated, she  covered her nails with black Sharpie.


The thermometer hit 80 degrees Fahrenheit last week and she refused to stop wearing a hoodie, or the hood. When she had a nuclear meltdown over having to wait until she hits 18 to get snake bite piercings, the freedoms had to stop. She was thinking she’d be allowed when she turned 13. That was it.

I’ve removed all black clothes from her and am thinking about banning all black clothing from our home entirely. I may also ban black coffee and black olives just to be fair. At this point, Brian and I are seconds away from adopting a family wardrobe: blue polos, khakis, white Adidas shell tops.

Having to become the fashion KGB and police her outer wear deeply pains me. I never desired to be THAT MOM. I love that she despises that color pink and Justin Bieber. A part of me also loves that she has already designed her prom dress–black leather with stitches up the sides. The other part of me is fighting for oxygen. When she’s twenty and her Emo Ice Cream T-shirt Company becomes disgustingly successful, the chain connecting her nose ring with her nipple ring and her face tattoos won’t bother me…I think…in theory…maybe…

Her fit made me want to rock black nail polish and black clothes. That would show her how cool she was. I could actually make this all very uncool! I hadn’t had time to use my burgundy dye and now I wish I had bought black, the color she wants. But Brian? My suggestion was well recieved. “Sweetheart. You should dye your hair black!”

“Screw that. I’m getting blue.” Why not? He’s an art student. And he’s 36, which last time I checked is over 18.

He looked in our local mall and hoped to find his old friend Manic Panic. His search ended unsuccessfully. Hot Topic was no longer there.

I told him, “They sell blue hair dye at Walgreens. I’ll pick you up some when I go get Fritos.”

Poor Simon

Brian and I are proud that we cut our own hair. It’s not brain surgery. Of course, we both have our share of hair disasters. Simon wouldn’t sit still last year and ended up resembling most of my ex-boyfriends. I’ve accidentally cut bald spots in my head, permed just the roots, and managed to achieve an iridescent green color (instead of red) with henna. Combine our talents and greatness could only happen. And it did.

For a mere $7.99, I purchased a box of Splat. The color? Blue Envy.

To protect his skin from getting dyed, we applied petroleum jelly around his hair line as illustrated in the picture below. This also prevented the surrounding hair from absorbing the dye.

Manic Panic has a consistency similar to finger paint which made covering just the hair, not the scalp, easy. Splat flowed like water. These pictures do not clearly demonstrate his smurfy scalp, but it’s very royal. Blue Man Groupish.

Did we achieve our desired outcome? Mali wondered, “How come everyone but me gets to dye their hair?” Was she blue with envy? I doubt it.

Simon on the other hand told us, “I want my hair blue!”

The circle continues.

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