Leaping before looking can land your butt in a heap of trouble. Careful thought and consideration before taking action or making a life altering decision demonstrates self-control and maturity in a person. Acting on impulse has left me with serious regret on several occasions over the years. Should my testimony be needed in a court of law, I can honestly call myself an expert in the area of impulsivity. Family and friends would back me all the way on this one, as well as the doctors who delivered each of my four unexpected children.
Attorney: Mrs. Writer, you say you’re an expert on impulsivity. Can you provide the court with examples that will lend credibility to that statement?
Me: Certainly. Where would you like to start? (I produce a paper scroll. With a flick of my wrist, the scroll unrolls before me like a royal decree) I can provide examples in the areas of beauty, relationships, jobs, and money in general. Take your pick.
Attorney: Uh…ok. Just pull some things from memory.
Me: How much time do you have?……
The Earlier Years
Impulse buying may provide immediate gratification, but the consequences attached to the price tag can last much longer, even YEARS longer. A particular large purchase I made years ago illustrates this point.
Back in the old days, when I was a swimsuit model (sure you were), I drove an ‘86 Monte Carlo, a car that got me into more than one race on a four-lane highway. I should probably stop there in case my kids get wind of this post someday. Anyway, my old ride bore the scars from a few “mishaps” that I still say were not my fault, regardless of the opposing male opinion. Thinking my racing days were numbered, I got the idea in my head to go look at cars. The last thing my boyfriend told me was not to buy anything without him being there. Please, I thought. Looking back, I think he probably experienced a strong sense of foreboding before I headed out that day.
Confident of my ability to disarm even the slimiest of car salesmen, I ventured out early and returned that evening driving the impulse buy that would haunt me for years to come. If you’ve been married for several years or even decades, you’re likely familiar with the statute of limitations placed on the number of times a spouse may revisit past transgressions committed by the other spouse. If not, please let me explain. There isn’t one. And if it’s actually been written, you can bet that someone, probably a woman or a divorce attorney, went to great lengths to prevent it from becoming public knowledge.
As I proudly pulled in the drive behind the wheel of my new ride, I pressed the button to lower the passenger side window. Nothing. Okay.. I pressed the other button to lower the driver’s side window, only to see it come down about three inches, then drop the rest of the way down inside the door. Huh. Since it was summer at the time, I only checked the air conditioning when I test drove the car and forgot about the windows. Oops. I tried everything to get out of keeping that car. Four vehicles and fifteen years later, I’m still hearing about it. Enough already. The damn horse is hamburger meat.
Fast forward a few years. At times during a woman’s life, she may find herself in a rut of sorts. Getting a new haircut or buying something new to wear can go a long way toward lifting one’s spirits. However, when a woman’s considering committing the act of cosmetic suicide, it’s time for an intervention. The unwritten code among women requires true friends to do whatever’s necessary to prevent irreversible beauty disasters. Many a cosmetic casualty could have been prevented if only the code had been honored. Why no one came forward to stop me remains a mystery to this day.
Either a butterfly in Switzerland flapped its way onto someone’s windshield, or a military branch was testing biological weapons and I missed the announcement to stay inside that day. Whatever the case, some unknown force made me think getting a curly perm put in the hair that I painstakingly grew out over two years sounded like idea. With no one around to tie me to a chair and force me to view the “Tragic Tresses From my Past” slideshow reserved for such emergencies, I was left to my own impulsive devices.
Off I went, un-chaperoned, and got the first of two perms that would result in a shoulder-length frizz-ball of chemically damaged curls.
Yes, I said two. The first one didn’t take well. Not satisfied with only minimally damaged wavy hair, I opted for the full blown crispy curly look, much like that worn by the lead singer of Reo Speedwagon, back in the 80’s. I hear ya. Don’t even act like you didn’t watch the music videos.
My once-healthy, long hair was not only fried, but super-sized as well. The small perm rods used to seal the fate of my hair triggered an explosion of volume and height. Nothing could contain it. I remember what happened when I got into bed that night. (No, not that.) My hair was so big, it was in my way when I turned my head on the pillow to say something to my husband. I couldn’t even see him, let alone initiate any extracurricular activities.
Attempts to loosen the curls took place over the following weeks by way of multiple washings, conditionings, and restorative treatments, but my hair stubbornly remained a force to be reckoned with. Nothing stood a chance against the nuclear waste the hairdresser used to achieve the unique results I lived with for a very long time. Every picture ever taken of me during my “poodle phase” has been destroyed, and any mention of that disaster is prohibited at family gatherings.
Have I learned anything over the years? Absolutely. I don’t even schedule a trim with my current hairdresser before seeking the sound advice of my sane friends. Also, experience has taught me that careful planning and patience go a long way toward preventing disastrous results from impulsive behavior. That’s exactly why I stakeout my mailbox each day and intercept the mail before my husband sees the bills. A girl can never be too careful.