2007.09.06 The Empty Nest or why my hair looks funny

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

The youngest child went off to college with the hair dyer and left me with a little red jobbie that is perhaps the first hair dryer our family ever owned. I tried it recently and it blew out blobs of dust and smelled like it was on fire. I figure I could use it to dry paint on craft projects should the occasion arise. I’m not so crafty so I should really just get rid of the thing and buy a new one.

In the meantime, my hair now dries without the aid of warm blasts of air directed at its roots and bangs. I only aim the thing at my head not even half a minute, but that little bit makes a difference between a reasonable hairdo and chaotic locks. So, the immediate effects of the empty nest syndrome can be read on my head and it isn’t pretty.

I have a feeling the empty nest effects are going to keep popping up.

For example: outfit approval. David just cannot be relied on to give helpful advice. While getting ready Tuesday night for a library workshop the next day in Lansing, I tried on a variety of clothes. I walked into our bedroom wearing a tan skirt and a tan and green striped three-quarter length knit shirt.

“How does this look?” I asked.

I’d interrupted his half-hour of reading in bed before he goes to sleep.

“Are you wearing just a slip? That’s not a good idea.”

Maddie would have pointed out that the problem with the outfit was not the lovely swirley linen skirt that she had picked out for me on a recent shopping trip, but the shirt which had “gone wide.” Maddie and Rozee refer to problem shirts this way when they stretch out across the middle and hike up in the back. While looking in the mirror, I had to crane my head around to see what Maddie would have pointed out immediately. David is no substitute for the youngest child’s fashion sense.

And, for more than a week now, the smell of freshly made waffles has not greeted my nostrils. The Waffle Queen is gone. You could count on Maddie making a supply at least twice a week and reheating them daily.

I could console myself by making muffins, but whenever that thought arises I stop myself. David is limiting his consumption in the wheat/sugar department so there’s no appreciative audience for my baking prowess. If I did make muffins it would be blatantly obvious who consumed them all. I could freeze most of them, but what’s the point? Few things rival a blueberry chocolate chip pecan muffin straight from the oven.

So I’ve eaten a lot of chocolate bars this week—the good high quality dark variety currently proclaimed a health food, but full of blobs of fat and sugar nonetheless.

I spent Thursday night in a totally empty nest—David was at the football game in Hudson. I entertained myself writing letters while listening to really loud Putumayo music. Putumayo World Music puts out lots of CDs of music from all over the world.

I’ve never figured out why, but my usually open-minded multi-cultural-loving family just hates it when I play this and other international music. Out of kindness to them I don’t play it very often, but I just love the fast-paced toe-tapping tunes of Baka Beyond, Xtatik, Jamel Allam, Miriam Makeba, Touré Ku and other artists.

I had moved on to a “Greetings from Hawaii” CD when David walked in the house.

“No, no, no, you can’t do this to me,” he protested and immediately turned down the volume.

OK, I’m not a serious fan of Hawaiian music either so I didn’t really mind, especially since I was on the phone (ironically enough talking to Sybil about the empty nest) but that buzzard husband of mine sure was nervy.

It’s enough to make me wonder—is he going to be a tough bird to live with in this empty nest?

  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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