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May 12th, 2006

I got my hair done this week. This requires over an hour’s drive into Milwaukee, since when we moved 10 years ago, one of the things on my list of ‘not going to give up’ was my hairdresser, Kevin.

I knew Kevin, when he was a shampoo boy. Actually, I knew him, when he was just the boyfriend of a friend. Now he’s a salon owner, with oodles of class and a hot location in Shorewood. And a couple of dogs, which roam around the salon and allow themselves to be petted while the dye is processing. I think he should charge extra for pet therapy. Like a day spa, but with animals that you don’t have to walk.

He should charge everyone extra but me. Since I thought of it, I should get a pass.

But I have fabulous new hair, with highlights just around the face that I like to think of as going prematurely blond.

On the way home, I got lost.

I’ve been going to the same salon for 15 years. I’ve been living in the same house for 10. It’s not like they blindfold me and move them around. I just have a short attention span and a lousy sense of direction.

Surprisingly, my husband and I never have any of those husband/wife navigational fights that I always see on TV. The first year we were married, he let me read the map on our first trip to LA.

Did you know, you can get to Anaheim from Hollywood by going through the middle of LA?
It looks shorter on the map.
But really, it’s not.
And you probably shouldn’t do it at midnight.

This was kind of the gold standard in our marriage, for bad navigation. Nothing I could ever do can compare to that. And he didn’t yell at me then. Although his voice did get a little shrill when we had to go around the police barricades.

It’s 22 years later, and I think he’s still in shock. We never argue in the car.

But the other night, I turned East instead of West, and ended up going 5 miles out of my way, looking for a place to turn around. And maybe an ATM and some fast food, since my favorite deli, where I always get chopped liver on rye after my haircut, was closed because it was so late at night.

So, I’m driving around in the dark, looking for a wide spot in the road. And finally, I give up and pull into a gas station. I buy some gas, since it will make me feel less stupid. And a couple of diet iced teas and some pretzels (exciting dinner out to celebrate my new hairstyle).

And I’ve already checked out, when I see it. On the counter next to the register:
My new hip flask.
Stainless steel, with a funnel and a hinged cap. Probably designed so I can’t lose it while riding my motorcycle.

Which I don’t have, by the way. But I think the attractive, black and white enamel, flaming death’s head kind of says ‘motorcycle gang member.’

To some people, anyway. To me, it says “romance writer.”

I wonder if it fits in my evening bag.