Wednesday, May. 26, 2004
Dear Diary:

The daughter uses the Manic Panic line of hair colours. The fact that they proudly advertise that some of their shades Glow Under Black Light (italics theirs) pretty much conveys the fact that these are not your hair colours normally seen in nature.

At Christmas she'd been using a red that I've christened Kool-Aid red, because it makes me think of the summer beverage of my youth. The combination of her height and the red beacon hair makes her easy to pick out of a crowd, so when the bus disgorged its passengers from Montreal on Saturday and I didn't see the beacon, I assumed she'd wasn't there.

Then she turned around. She has a new colour. It involves blonde streaks and, uh, as I told the rest of the family, "She's decided to grow her hair out to it's natural purple."

This is definitely an unexpected colour. The funny thing is that when I was young, old ladies had something that was very close to that colour--they used to dye their gray hair either a pale pink or a pale mauve. The only difference between the granny mauve of the 1950's and 1960's and my daughter's colour is the intensity--hers is darker, but it's definitely in the same range. It looks lovely on her, too, because she has the spousal unit's gray-blue eyes and pale skin.

But it's purple. Purple hair.

Here in Quebec women of a certain age dye their hair. You will not see very much gray hair in this province. My hair is as much of a beacon as my daughter's is, truth be told.

The faux colour of choice here for older women is a dark red that comes fairly close to burgundy and is no where near natural looking. But somehow this fake burgundy hair on a seventy something woman is not nearly as startling as purple hair on a twenty-something woman.

Why? I wish I understood the answer to that, but I love it that my daughter has enough self-confidence that if she wants purple hair then she will wear purple hair, thank you very much.

Bet she fits right in there at the bank where she works.

Tee hee.

It was fun having her home for my fourth annual 50th birthday (yep, I turned 53 on the weekend), even though it pretty much rained for the whole long holiday weekend. *Sigh*.

I scored big time on the birthday. The spousal unit handed me cash and then endured several hours of wandering around greenhouses while I dithered over how I would squander my birthday loot.

He did his best to feign interest in the 2,432 varieties of hosta I considered, but hosta are basically leaves. How many leaves can one man who is more about building things than growing things pretend to care about?

My thoughts, exactly.

I dragged him into a few clothing stores to look for summer tops but his eyes were starting to roll back into his head, so I gave up on the clothing and settled on the plants--a gorgeous variegated Jacob's ladder, a burgundy leaved wiegelia and an insanely expensive hosta (no, hosta are not my addiction and I can quit anytime I want to. Really. I can.)

I know. You get all tingly, too, just thinking about them, eh?

You can't imagine my delight when I opened the daughter's gift box to find a wonderfully tacky inflatable shark for my pond, a stunningly fake flower whirligig, and summer tops. How perfect is that? Seriously.

I hate clothes shopping. The spousal unit hates clothes shopping. We both get cranky, petulant and snarky while shopping, but some new clothes are necessary because I've shrunk out of many of mine.

I can't do this shopping thing by myself because some unspeakably regrettable past purchases have made it clear that I am a woman who should never go clothes shopping without adult supervision. With those tops, the spousal unit is now off the hook.

The daughter has yet again saved the marriage.

I sent my $10 registration fee in yesterday, so I'm now officially enrolled in the Vermont Dairy Festival's 26th annual Milk Run on June 6!

The race starts at 9 a.m. and at my current speeds, I should wheeze into Enosburg just in time to catch the garden tractor pull at 1 p.m.

Oh yes, a garden tractor pull! I can feel your envy from here.

My decrepit knees and ancient hips are healed now, but I've been afraid to do any road running for fear of injuring them minutes before the run. So instead, I've been doing these one hour elliptical machine runs on a brutal hill setting, figuring that if I keep my heart and lungs strong I'll have the basic fitness for the run.

That would be the theory. I will just avoid that ugliness called reality until it smacks me upside the head on June 6.

I find the elliptical runs discouraging because I can't break 5.5 miles in an hour, and the Milk Run is 6.2 miles, much of it on hills. I'm just killing myself to get the 5.5 miles -- the machine claims I'm burning over 1,000 calories -- but I can't get over that hump.

There's even worse news. My trainer won't be there! Eeeeeeeeeek. Apparently her sister has had the nerve to hold a baby shower on that day and my trainer has to go home to New York state for it.

"Where are your priorities?" I demanded. "Surely your sister will pop out another kid sometime. You can go to that shower." My reasoning fell on deaf ears. The woman feels that family loyalty is more important than gym loyalty.

It's hard not to be bitter.

Oh, there will be a team from my gym, but it's almost all zygotes in their teens and early 20's. Some of them will run this race in under 40 minutes--I have seen one guy tear six miles off on the treadmill in 35 minutes.

Me? I will be crying tears of unfeigned joy if I can do this in under 70 minutes.

If any of you are of the praying persuasion, feel free to offer one up for me on June 6. Believe me, I'm going to need it, eh?


Mileage on the Marnometer: 424.3 miles. Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck. 25 per cent thereTen percent there rubber duck. Ten percent there rubber duck.
Oh man. This is going to be hard
Goal for 2004: 1,000 miles - 1609 kilometers

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