I may be having a midlife crisis. No official diagnosis (yet?). Official diagnoses per my therapist are: anxiety, depression, and PTSD. The root causes of those may also be causing this midlife crisis.
Two years ago, I chopped off my tailbone-length hair. They say women drastically change their hair after a breakup. Well, the big chop happened DURING (and pretty early on) what I now recognize as a toxic relationship. Hindsight is 20/20, and boy am I seeing clearly looking back at that hot mess. Over a year later and I’m still unpacking things in therapy.
When we first met and he made comments on my hair (dare I say bordering on compliments, which were his kryptonite), I warned him not to get attached to my locs because I planned to bid them farewell on my fourth decade on this planet. I cut them off, and as expected, he didn’t compliment or hype my ‘do. I get the shock, as it was to my family and friends, but they did more than stare. His silence was pregnant with criticism. The big chop wasn’t part of my mid-life crisis. Or maybe it is. It was almost three years ago.
My TWA (teeny weeny afro) was my natural color—gray hairs included—for a bit, but I was insistent upon having a shaved part. I was obsessed with having a part. I tip-toed into color. For more than a year, I dabbled in the reddish-brown/brownish-red family. An attempt to have a tri-color ombre failed (my stylist didn’t blend the colors well). Earlier this year, I finally dove into the blond family, but not too blond. Strawberry blond. I’m actually not a huge fan of blond hair on Black women, even though some can and do pull it off in a swell manner. Me included.
I rocked the blonde for a bit, all the while harboring a wish for blue. Those plans haven’t come to fruition. First of all, I’m working up the nerve. My cousin had a July wedding, and my grandfather’s 99th birthday was in early October. I’m fully aware this is a phase, and I don’t want my crazy hair memorialized in the photos of family special occasions. My barber has been looped in on my color schemes. We discuss and plan my looks based on what I know is upcoming. The plan was to close out 2021 with either of my wishlist colors.
I was minding my business scrolling through Facebook when a sponsored ad for Izzy and Liv appeared in my feed. The ad was for graphic tees, but the model’s fuchsia and purple hair caught my eye. I wanted it. I took a screenshot and showed my stylist at my next appointment.
Those colors weren’t in stock at the salon. She told me what brand to buy and bring in next visit. The universe wants me to wait. The very next day after my long-scheduled hair appointment, I had a new something scheduled for which I could not show up with pink hair. The compromise was to give me a purple streak that started above my right temple, and turned pink as it snaked diagonally toward my left ear. The blond was still in effect. At the next appointment, I asked her to thicken the streak. Now I’m thinking I’ll continue to rock the streak for a bit, but change colors. I don’t know when I’ll go fully fuchsia or fully blue (or purple or green). Let me say this: short, colored hair is more maintenance than long locs! With locs, I unwrapped my scarf and was to go. Styles lasted for weeks. A fresh haircut and color looks dull and drab in the blink of an eye. Two full weeks, if you’re lucky. Let’s not talk about the combing, the brushing, and the sponging for curl definition. Ugh.
Is Dennis Rodman hair why I think I’m having a mid-life crisis? That’s part of it. I decided to try app dating again. We shan’t talk about that garbage of an experience. Months ago, when I was contemplating it, I cringed remembering the sexist profiles, horrible photos, and poor communication. Two weeks ago, I made the plunge, and today I’ve already deactivated my account. The universe is telling me to sit my single ass somewhere. Message: I don’t want somebody’s son disturbing my peace.
For at least two years now, I’ve been complaining that I want to upgrade my 12-year-old 40-inch flatscreen TV. I bought it when I first moved to New York. Back then the upgrade from my analog TV was one of my top five pride and joys, including graduating college, the move to NY, and upgrading from a full-size bed to a queen. #Adulting. That TV has served me well, but as technology advanced, we were left behind. Smart TVs became a thing and I wanted in. But I couldn’t justify the purchase. I have credit card debt and school loans! It was working fine. I didn’t need a new TV.
I grew envious of all those who not only had Smart TVs but whose screens were gargantuan compared to mine. Sure, my 40-inch flat-screen was an upgrade from my 32-inch analog, but it seemed like I was seeing 50-inches everywhere. And they no longer had that thick plastic framing around the screen. I was tired of casting from my phone. What is this witchcraft where you can access Netflix, Prime, YouTube, and Disney+ straight from the TV without having to scroll through your phone’s apps to cast to the TV? Heaven forbid the Chromecast was acting up and blocked you from casting, so you had no choice but to watch DVR or cable VOD. Loser.
I started stalking a 50-inch Samsung smart TV on BestBuy.com. I emailed myself the link. I checked on it periodically. My heart broke the day I clicked to check if the price had been reduced. It had, but because only open boxes and floor displays were available. I wanted a fresh-out-the-box unit. I’d rather a hand-me-down from a relative than refurbished or unboxed electronics. Neither would do when it came to the TV.
I had no choice but to upgrade to the 60-inch version of the TV, which of course meant more money. However, a little voice in my head whispered that if I were to spend the next 12 years with this new TV, I might as well go big or go home. Just like with its predecessor, I emailed myself the link for the 65-inch Samsung. My TV was Samsung, and I have a Samsung phone and tablet. Keep it in the family. Because I kept it in my cart, I received emails from Best Buy.
A week before Thanksgiving, I received an e-mail about pre-Black Friday sales. I checked with my family, who by this time were tired of hearing me talk about wanting a new TV. I checked in with a friend, who laughed when I told him my “epiphany” that I didn’t have to fully pay for the TV at once. I could get interest-free financing. For some reason, even though that option was clearly stated on the site, I had it in mind that I had to fork over hundreds of dollars all at once. I could, but better to keep it in my savings. I financed my two pairs of prescription glasses and a Dell 2-in-1 interest-free over the course of a year. I could do the same for a TV.
A few days before Thanksgiving, I pulled the trigger. The sale was for $80 off. Not as much as I would’ve liked but something is better than nothing. I cashed in credit card points and points from a site where I fill out surveys for points to earn gift cards. Those knocked off another few hundred. Heart racing, I finalized my purchase and selected delivery for the day after I returned to New York from Boston for Thanksgiving break.
The original window was noon to six, then moved to 1:30 to 5:30. They arrived around 10:30 am. I was still in PJs when the agent called to say they were 20 minutes away. I took the quickest shower known to man. I was still moisturizing when they called from downstairs. I re-dressed in the previous day’s traveling outfit—a maroon leopard print hoodie sweatsuit, bra, no panties, uncombed hair, glasses still wet from the shower. She cute though.
I misunderstood. The delivery men weren’t supposed to set it up for me. I assumed scheduling a delivery also meant set-up. The men placed the box in the living room and bade me farewell. As I asked weren’t they going to set it up or at least take it out the box, one vanished into thin air. The other told me they were just delivery guys and headed downstairs. I asked if I had to sign. He was halfway down the first flight of stairs when he said he needed to return to check something on the box. I asked if he really wasn’t going to set it up for me. He said it wasn’t in the papers.
I always tip. I told him to hold on and handed him a ten to split with his partner. I guess that melted his heart because he started hollering for the other guy to return to help with the TV. Like I said, he vanished into thin air and did not reappear. While I cleared off my TV stand, he opened the box, removed the TV, and attached the legs. My little 40-inch was weighty, so he moved it to the floor. I was mortified by how much dust was back there, though I clean sporadically. He asked me to help him lift the new TV onto the stand, inserted the cable HDMI and my defunct Firestick that hasn’t worked in about 2 years—at least the remote hasn’t no matter how many times I change the battery. He moved the box into the kitchen and left. I was grateful. There was no way I would’ve been able to lift the TV on my own without incident.
I stared in awe at its beauty, not daring to power it on. I did everything except turn it on. I cleaned up, put the batteries in the remote, took pictures, texted my family. I even had a short crying session. Everything I’ve ever wanted, I’ve always had to make happen myself.
For some reason, I didn’t think it was plausible for me to have a large screen TV. I didn’t believe I deserved it. Who did I think I am? I had a bit of buyer’s remorse. Not price-related. This 65-inch cost me less out-of-pocket than the 40-inch did. I thought it was braggadocious and wasteful of me to make such a large purchase. BFF aunt made me snap out of it. She reminded me I work hard and I deserve to buy myself what I want. I have no children, I don’t buy designer bags, most of my jewelry is wooden and bought on NYC streets and festivals, clothes are almost always bought on sale. I made this purchase for myself, by myself. I do deserve it. As Queen Bey sings:
I see it, I want it, I stunt, yellow-bone it
I dream it, I work hard, I grind ’til I own it
Merry Fucking Christmas to me. Cheers.