Sunglasses, scrunchies and spiked hair

Laughter is a bargain and it’s recommended medicine for what stresses us as we come back from COVID isolation.

A college friend called me on FaceTime the other day. Tara had a tale to talk about.  Getting ready for work is a meticulous endeavor with her as is with most of us.

At night after showering, she clumps her hair into scrunchies, one, two, three, four and five of them.  These scrunchies are like cloth rollers for building waves and soft curls. After reading from her Bead journal, she pulls the covers up and sleeps until the morning alarm for breakfast, dressing, brushing her hair and powdering her nose for her busy day.

She can’t see the beach where the Gulf of Mexico laps up to the sand and hotels along the Galveston Seawall; but she looks out of her second-story windows to see the sunrise and hear the chickadees tweeting to each other.  After enjoying that first cup of java while the sea air wafts into the apartment, Tara begins to put her day together in her mind.

Standing in the bathroom, she brushes her teeth, washes her face, and then her cell rings. She steps away from her get-ready station, to catch the fourth ring. “At this hour, who can that be,” she questions out loud. It’s a wrong number and she is back to prepping. She thinks, “Is that you little kitty? Interrupting my routine?” Her elderly cat had died over the weekend, and she held her close in her memory.

Unraveling one scrunchie, Tara realizes the hair isn’t dry yet. So, she rewraps the scrunchie and pours another cup of coffee and dresses for the day. She applies her sunscreen, slips her arms into her blouse, legs into her slacks; then she finds the earrings for the day.

She loads her briefcase with the paperwork she worked on and pulls out of the driveway. On her drive to work, she pulls into the Starbuck’s drive-through to order a medium Caramel Macchiato. “This will get me through the morning,” she thinks to herself as she dons her zebra-striped mask.

She smiles at the docent in the window and notices, some startled eyes greeting her.  She pays and drives off to drop by the bank.  She goes through the business line and the maskless teller smiles like the Cheshire Cat. Puzzled, my friend wonders what’s up with these responses to her.

Reaching for sunglasses, Tara gets a glimpse of herself in the rear-view mirror as she touches her hair realizes that her hair is still in scrunchies. Spiked hairs just out of the scrunchies. “Oh, my God! I look like Pebbles or a punk-haired skateboarder. That’s not what I was going for today.” Quickly, she pulls the scrunchies out of her hair and shakes her head.

So, these are the states of humor we face coming back better from COVID-19. Indeed, some of us will unload pajamas for suits or scrunches for stylized hair, and paint lips with lipstick instead of Chapstick. We might still want to wear pajama bottoms with double-breasted jackets if we work from home on Zoom; but still, it will laughter, that bargain medicine, that will get us through all our oopsie-daisies.