Sometime last fall I decided to start growing my hair out. I’d kept it pixie short for about 5 years, but since Cadel had been born, I’d been faced with sometimes difficult decisions about how I use the precious little time that I’m afforded for self care, and somewhere along the line, bi-monthly haircut got the ax (along with myriad other measures that need not be mentioned here; suffice it to say I have not needed to replace my razor in quite a long time). Fellow moms will understand dilemmas like this: Do I get a haircut or go for a refreshing swim? or, Do I get a haircut or read that book that’s been sitting on my nightstand collecting dust for a few months? or, Do I get a haircut or go to a coffee shop and write– or just sit! and do nothing!–for an hour? or, Do I get a haircut or get a massage? For me, the answer to these questions was never “get a haircut,” so I didn’t. (I’ve actually not scheduled that massage either, to tell you the truth. Sigh). Ironically enough, I’ve missed the convenience of my short hair that was pretty much ready to go after a brief finger-rustle in the morning, but on the other hand, ever since I stopped cutting it, I’ve been fantasizing about long, shiny hair that I can toss over my shoulder or put up in a high floppy bun on top of my head or maybe even tie in a side ponytail, just for kicks, like the cool girls did back in fifth grade. Hair is fun, feminine, sexy, and I was on my way to growing a beautiful head of it.
Or so I thought. Weeks and weeks and then months and months went by, and I got maybe 5 inches. Then one night it occurred to me, while brushing my teeth and staring at my not-short but not-long hair in the mirror, that I could use a brush. I own only a small, wide-tooth wooden comb that I bought at the Body Shop about fifteen years ago. I thought to myself that women with long, shiny hair probably brush their hair 100 strokes a day, at least. Of course. I needed a brush, and pronto. Brief online research into the topic led me quickly to boar bristle brushes, which are apparently the Holy Grail of long-tressed beauties everywhere. But there are about 2000 different ones on the market, and I couldn’t keep my eyes open long enough to make a decision about which to buy, so I decided instead to consult two of my mom friends who possess beautiful long locks.
I sent them an email and went to sleep, expecting to hear back about the boar bristle brushes they have used for years, and about their nightly routine of brushing their hair 100 strokes and infusing it with castor oil, etcetera etcetera. I braced myself to make some serious changes to my bare bones hair care routine. But the next day I received emails from both of my friends saying that in fact they do not use boar bristle brushes. One of them (with particularly gorgeous hair, mind you) told me she doesn’t even brush her hair, and the other one told me flat out: “Becky, you don’t have time to brush your hair.” I was flabbergasted. I felt like I think Anne Lamott must have felt in the story she tells about trying on dresses with her terminally ill friend with her. She puts on a dress she likes and shows it to her friend, asking, “Does this make my thighs look fat?” Her friend tells her, “Anne, you don’t have that kind of time.”
After I got over the initial shock of these emails, I felt somewhat relieved. Although the news from my long-locked friends did not bode well for the future of my hair-growing (if there’s nothing out there that I’m missing, then I think I may just be fated to have short-ish hair), they had done me a great service: bringing me down to earth. Some ideas are worth floating away with; others are not. It felt good to be back on earth. I was kind of starting to like it here anyway, even more so for friends that keep me grounded.
Chocolate Chip Scones (gluten-free)
Another friend of mine hosted a play date recently, and she served us a batch of chocolate chip scones that were fresh from the oven, with warm pieces of melted chocolate scattered throughout. They were such a treat. Her scones inspired me to make these, a recipe I’ve adapted from my favorite gluten-free blogger, the Gluten Free Goddess. You can add baking these to your list of “things to do that are more important than brushing my hair.”
1 C sorghum flour
1/2 C brown rice flour
1/2 C tapioca or potato starch
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg or cinnamon, optional
1/3 cup sugar, white or light brown, preferably organic
4 T butter + 2 T coconut oil*
1/2 C milk or milk alternative
1 tsp vanilla extract
scant 3 oz. bar of 65-85% cacao dark chocolate (a few bites for the cook), well chopped
Preheat oven to 350F (or do as I did an use a toaster oven, which does not need preheating).
Lightly grease an 8-inch cake pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients, including the sugar. Cut or rub in the butter and coconut oil until a mealy mixture forms. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and vanilla extract. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until a sticky dough forms. Gently stir in the chocolate chips.
Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Cool for 5-10 minutes on a rack before inverting the pan to release the scone. Cut into 6 or 8 wedges.