Saturday, August 22, 2020

Fucking Up the Blow Out

On a normal day, I'm not much to look at.

My eyes are too small, my nose is too prominent, my face too splotchy. 

Some days I make it to cute. The head-turning--that's for my sister. She can stop a fire truck with her good looks, even after age 50.

But there is one time, and one time only, that I turn heads. That is when I've just had a blow out. 

Ladies, you know what I'm talking about. But you dudes might be scratching your MMA-shaved heads right now. 

A blow out is when a stylist blows your hair dry. 

Usually Shark Girl ain't got time to worry about hair. I let it air dry. It frizzes and follows strange and circuitous cowlicks. But when I go to the hair salon and my stylist gives me a blow out, watch out, world. 

After my stylist has blown my hair into gloriously smooth silkiness, a transformation happens. Gentlemen vigorously wave to me from the next car over while we are waiting at lights. Old men hit on me in liquor store parking lots. Middle-aged men with dad bods approach me in therapist waiting rooms, right in front of my teenaged son. 

Yesterday, after my blow out, a handsome, much younger man eating Chipotle looked up at me from his cafe seat. His eyes followed me all the way to my car. And you know what? I knew they would. It was so predictable. It's the magic of the blow out. Shark Girl ain't much to look at, but give her a professional blow dry and watch out. It's like that old Salon Selectives commercial from the '90s. If you're too young to remember, here it is for educational purposes. Brace yourself. Commercials haven't been made like this since #metoo.

I'm telling you a lot about my hair and you may be wondering why. Here it is: A good blow out can last three or four days. I can't replicate it at home. I don't have the tools, the talent, or the time. So I schedule hair appointments for when I won't have wash my hair for a while, to maximize blow out longevity. That means I schedule them as far away from jiu jitsu as possible. 

I'm not alone in this, right? 

This week, the only available appointment was the day before I was doing jiu jitsu with my quarantine buddy. Oh no! I had a choice to make: Roll and wash my hair, or don't roll and keep my sexy blow out. 

I'm guessing you know which one I chose. I chose to fuck up my blow out.

After my roll with my quarantine buddy, my ponytail was a mess. Just to be clear, if you google "messy ponytail," you will get images of ponytails that are not messy, and have been teased and over-producted to look like Chrissy Teigen just had sex and then put her hair up. (See below) 

Not messy

This is not the kind of messy ponytail I am talking about. 

In fact my google searching could not find a picture worthy of my frizzy, disaster of a post-grappling scare-do Perhaps that is better for you all; no one needs to see that. The closest I came was when I looked for "hair" and "van de graaff generator."

As I left the gym, ready to wash the sweat and filth out of my hair and to destroy my sexy blow out forever, my quarantine training partner turned to me. 

"I like this hairstyle better," he said. 

That's why we're friends. 

So, ave atque vale, blow out. Until next haircut.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Shark Girl's (Evil?) Coronavirus Pact

So, after almost four months, I started rolling again. My jiu jitsu best friend and I decided to "pod" together. We only roll with each other. To do this, we discussed our coronavirus exposure tolerance and interrogated each other on our personal contact lists and our disinfecting routines. Then we made it official: we were exclusive. We would only roll with each other.

I am in a big, midlife jiu jitsu crisis right now. Switching gyms threw me. It shook my confidence in myself. It broke my social reasons for going to class. Sometimes I wonder why I am still practicing. My coach is a nice guy--a good teacher and communicator--but I came to him with a bloated brown belt. How invested is he in me? Certainly not as much as he is in the purple belt that he has cultivated since white belt. Not as much as he is in the new white belts that he needs to keep his cashflow positive. I broke into a community in progress. Where do I fit in? I'm not quite sure. 

I am friendly with everyone at my new gym, but I have not yet developed real friendships. Others in my new gym are missing the camaraderie of class; I'm not. To be fair, I was only there about six months before we closed. How integrated should I expect to be?

With my old friend, who is from my old gym, rolling is like a weathered loafer. It feels natural and normal. We know each others' moves but can still surprise each other, and are happy when we do. Of course, the danger is that we may not challenge each other enough. But I've found that I can roll for hours with my friend without even noticing the time. He reminds me of why I do jiu jitsu. (Which, after much soul searching, I have decided I do jiu jitsu because I want to be a creative badass. I think. I'm still trying to answer the question: Why does a petite 50-year old mother of two whose injury tolerance is waning by the month do jiu jitsu?)

At our last rolling session, we shared that we each felt the same at our new gyms. "Honestly, what if we quit our gyms, got some mats for our garage, and just trained the two of us?" Call it jiu jitsu monoandry. We tossed that around for a bit, but in the end rightly concluded that having a black belt who was current, practicing, learning, teaching, and competing was significant to our development.

My gym is still doing solo drills only. I appreciate the effort. But, I need to be on the mat. Or I might never return.


Shark Girl Is Ready to Pull the Plug on Her "New" Gym

I need your jiu jitsu therapy again, o vast and all-knowing readers.  About a year Before Covid (BC), my native gym closed down--the one whe...