The Back-up Hairbrush

From “Random Inspired Essays”


Have you ever unintentionally impressed or amused someone and then felt undeservedly proud of it?

I did once.

Okay, I’ve probably done it more than once, we all have. It’s all good fun. It’s just that the brilliance of this most recent event is worth sharing.

Now, no one is remarkable across the board. I’m certainly not. For instance, I can watch horror movies without flinching but then go all Scooby Doo over what turns out to be a tangle of dog hair and lint in the corner. That said, I do tend to be a prepared person, and every now and then it works out so remarkably well that I can’t help but smile and shake my head. I’m still giggling over my husband’s expression, his face was priceless!

(Maybe I’m building this up too much. Whatever, it’s still funny.)

So the hubbins and I were fresh out of the shower and jabbering away as we toweled off. (Keep it clean, guys, we were being economical.) I applied my various lotions and salves and then began my most recent hair regime.

My hair is…it’s an ongoing experiment. It’s fine, curly, fluffy, and a bit particular. I’m in the process of growing my hair out for my next donation, so as it’s getting longer I’m having to adapt my methods. Currently, after a good blotting, I apply my goo du jour (presently an anti-frizz serum) and set to brushing it through. I do brush it in the shower while I condition, but what with this new post-shower procedure I began keeping a second back-up brush handy. It’s not my favorite, though, so I just keep it tucked into a wire rack hanging inside the door of the cabinet beneath my sink.

(You with me? Can you see the brush inside the cabinet door? Ok, moving on.)

Now I’m brushing with my main brush, still chatting with the hubbins. He’s all done with his singular product application and is standing nearby wearing his towel around his waist, leaning against the wall like the self-assured hunk from a deodorant commercial. I flip my head forward and begin brushing upside down, gently pressing my hip against the counter for balance.

As I’m working the brush through my dripping, tangled tresses, my brush hits a snarl…and this, my friends, is where everything turns into slow motion. My hand still slick with anti-frizz serum, I lose my grip on the slippery brush handle mid-stroke. With a flick of the wrist that proved a bit too forceful, the darn thing goes sailing through the air, ricochets off the mirror, and clatters noisily into the sink. “Whoop!” (I actually said “whoop.”)  Meanwhile, as the serum-coated hairbrush is enjoying its airborne adventure, I have reached down into my cabinet (I was hanging directly over it) and slid my back-up brush out of the rack. Without missing a beat, I manage to flip the handle of the second brush into my palm and resume my process, the rhythm of beauty production completely unbroken. It was unequivocally seamless.

My husband stopped talking mid-sentence. “You-that…where…” he stammered. “Deidre!”

I flipped my head back up and found him standing there with his mouth agape, pointing at the magical brush-producing cabinetry.

“What?” I said.

“What?!” he cried in disbelief. “That-that! That was phenomenal! You were like a drummer who dropped his stick in the middle of a set! Where did that brush even come from?!”

I shrugged. “It’s my back-up brush.”

“Your back-up brush,” he repeated, still befuddled.

I grinned, realizing just how much I had unintentionally impressed (and amused) my husband. “That’s right, I’m prepared, baby! I am the Ringo Starr of hair design!” I giggled and rubbed my husband’s cleanly shaven head. I suppose that, to a man with no hair, a “back-up brush” probably means the old, misshapen travel toothbrush that lives in his suitcase. To him, this was mystifying.

Okay, so maybe my hubbins is easily impressed by my styling preparedness. But even so, you’ve gotta admit…that was pretty darn slick.

Slick like anti-frizz serum.

Thanks for reading.

Deidre sig, transp bg

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