Blue Hair Dreams and Orange Reality

James arrived this week to spend his school break with us in China.. As we stood at the airport eagerly awaiting his arrival, Thom turns to me and says, “There is something you should know in advance so you don’t react badly when you see him.” What. The. Hell. Another tattoo? Piercings? Both popular in the Seattle college environment, I hoped that he had at least had the good sense to get them done in a place that can be easily covered with clothes as he expects to be a lawyer one day. God Willing.

Thom smiled and shared that James’ hair was now orange as a result of a self-induced hair trauma. Yes, no hiding it unless you want to wear a hat 24/7 but hair does grow back. Sure enough, sporting a mop of wild orange curls, James emerged from Chinese Customs sheepishly grinning. Thank God I had been warned so I didn’t scream in public and embarrass my “grown up” son.

The "before" look--it was orange in the bright light.
The “before” look–it was orange in the bright light.

“Are you stupid?” After a quickly arranged visit to my stylist Michael on his first day in China, James got treated to some blunt trash talk.   He didn’t really appreciate being called stupid by a complete stranger but since Michael was holding sharp scissors close to his jugular, James was wise enough not to bitch too much. He seriously explained that he had gone online to get instructions on how to color his hair blue for an EMT concert he was going to with friends. It was on the Internet so it had to be true, right?  Right?  The first step called for him to use peroxide on his auburn curls, which promptly turned them orange so he wisely stopped the process, not knowing what a coat of blue on top of that oranginess would produce. See, he’s not SO stupid. Mama didn’t raise no fool.

The "after" look-yes, I made him smile.
The “after” look-yes, I made him smile.

Since he is 21 now and legally an adult, I should have let him keep his damaged hair, to live with the results that he wasn’t bothered by in the least. In fact I think he thought he looked pretty cool.   However, since he will be introduced to people here in China that I work with, I advised him that a redo was in order for his current hair “situation”. Grudgingly but accepting of the situation, he went along with his Mom’s direction. Thank you sweetie! Threats of not paying any more college tuition were not ideal threats at all and he realized it. See, he IS smart!

Now, he is sporting a trendy yet socially acceptable “do” that is not the color of cartoon characters and I am $100 poorer. Lessons learned? Probably not-James is also very stubborn and thinks he always knows best. Where in the HELL did he get THAT attitude? Hmmmm…..


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