You can go to the Weather Channel if you like. You can consult the ol' home barometer or listen to the radio for storm updates. Me?
I’m relying on my hair.
It’s a family thing, a gift, really. My mother has the gift, as does my sister, this ability to predict the weather with our hair. Of course, we’ve yet to find a market for it – or even someone who will listen to us talk about it without absentmindedly checking their Blackberries, but I remain confident that this is my talent.
If I could only convince my bank that it’s an asset.
Do you know about this gift of mine?
Some people are naturally slender. Some people can add long columns of numbers in their heads. Me?
I have weather-forecasting hair.
It’s simple, really.
If my hair has gone from semi-controllable waves to Oh-My-God-Are-You-OK-Pearl? then it’s humid out. It’s the look of the mad woman, the look of someone who’s just gotten off a rollercoaster or recently volunteered at the Science Museum for something undignified. When you see this, you know to change to cooler clothing and avoid crowds.
If my hair is plastered to my forehead, it’s very hot out. Seek the shadows.
And if my hair goes completely straight and flies about my head as if trying to warn others of danger, it’s dry and most likely cold enough outside to keep meat. There's not actually any danger, but you'll probably want to check the snowblower and make sure there's food in the house because you're not really going to want to go outside for a bit.
Oh. And you should probably moisturize.
There are other hair-related signs, of course, if you're paying attention, that are more indicative of where we are in the year.
For example, if my hair is braided and twisted around my ears it's most likely Halloween, and I think I’m Princess Leia. Either that or it’s Oktoberfest, I think I’m German, and I’m gonna drink a lot and want to engage in swaying communal singing later. (There’s no real “weather watch” connected to that one – it's just a warning in general.)
There are others, of course, with this gift. There’s a woman who gets on the bus several stops after I do who has The Gift. Our eyes met this morning, the sympathetic look of strangers who feel each other’s pain. We exchange the Grimace of Acknowledgment: a thin-lipped smile, of sorts, passes between us, a look that says “I know you had hoped to look better today, but the lack of humidity…”
Neither one of us left the house looking like this -- it created itself in the streets between the front door and the bus stop. Today's lack of moisture requires leave-in conditioners and a ride to our respective stops; and since all I require of myself in the morning is that dress myself and lock up on the way out, what were the odds that I’d have time to wash, dry, and style my hair?
Let's not be silly.
I'm not alone. There's comfort in that.
Minnesota? Tomorrow will be dry and cold, followed by more dry and cold.
And you? What's your hair saying today?