Saturday, December 08, 2007


Pain serves a function.  It gets a bad rap, really.  Mostly because it hurts and all.  I'm sure that we would all just wish it away if we could, but that would not serve us well in the end.  Pain is the body's way of saying, "enough, all ready!!!"  Without it, we would all be walking with numerous contusions and overly plucked eyebrows.  This is not a good look for anyone in this somewhat appearance conscious world, right?  

But pain is not fun and we should not confuse its necessity with desirability.  You have to find a way to make it better or else there is a great deal of screaming and that could prove distracting to those of us who are trying to count K2Togs.  I have a few examples which might help illustrate this.

Example The First:

There has been an epic battle in my classroom for the last month or so.  It has raged on day after day, week after week, mostly in fifteen to twenty minute intervals.  It has consumed the space with its ferocity and the combatants have shown no inclination of surrender.  Until yesterday, that is.  The battle shall forever be know as The Great Monopoly Wars Of '07 and you will most likely see it in the newer versions of the history texts next fall.  

One of my students has a hatred of math class that is becoming the stuff of legend.  The mere sight of the math workbook is enough to bring on obstinacy that would make a donkey stand up and salute.  I've had some luck with photocopying the pages in a not-so-subtle attempt at fooling him into thinking that we are not working from the school district's required program, but it doesn't always work.  Hence, I have been using the game of Monopoly to work on basic computation skills.  It is a pleasant way to pass the time, I suppose.  Except for the fact that we are both a bit competitive about the whole thing and the game has become something of a spectator sport amongst some of the other folks who wander by the classroom.  It seemed this game would never end, so committed were we to destroying each other.  

Yesterday, though, the whole thing came to a rather pathetic end and I was forced to admit defeat.  Everything was mortgaged, my piece was on Boardwalk and parked in front of a hotel.  I was in financial ruin.  As the generally accepted rules of play dictate, I was forced to do the clean up.  And watch an eleven year old do a victory dance complete with a song whose lyrics, while not of the rhyming variety, featured my name and the word "loser" prominently.  

It was painful.  Brutally so.  But, his computation skills have really come a long way.  This does not ease the pain quite as much as you'd think...but it helps a little bit.

Example The Second:

I may have The World's Greatest Stylist/Life Coach, but a visit to the Happy Hair Place on the day of their annual Christmas party is going to mean some pain.  Everyone is frantically multi-tasking in a effort to get out a bit early.  There is obviously a great deal of coiffing that needs to happen because, if you work as a stylist, it is probably best that you attend staff functions with good hair.  In fact, I suspect it is mandatory.  

Hence, there was more of the pulling and tugging today than is usual.  Had it just been time for a cut, this might have been bearable as it is a short appointment.  But today was Turn Back The Clock For Sheepie Day and there was color involved.  Little, tiny individual hairs needed to be located and put into place in order that my artificial highlights look as naturally occurring as is possible.  Copious amounts of heat had to be directed at a scalp liberally painted with caustic chemicals.  And it all needed to be done by a person who was watching the clock, cleaning the shop and attending to the million phone calls that were coming in.  

But, as I have The World's Greatest Stylist/Life Coach, this was all manageable.  All I had to do was submit to a bit more pain than the process normally requires.  The scalp, she is crusty and red.  There is a tingly sensation from all that individual hair tweaking.  I'll probably need prescription pain killers to get through it.  But, we suffer for beauty and it is a small price to pay.  

As an added bonus, time did not allow for the heating of the curling iron.  Thus, The Sheep was allowed to escape without the 8th grade prom hair that so often results from time spent with a stylist who has a few extra minutes.  This is good.  Very good.  I'll take a little pain if it means a super-quick appointment and hair that will fit within the confines of my vehicle for the return trip home.  

Example The Third:

The pain of separation is quite brutal, in spite of it being mere emotional pain.  It can become a rather sharp physical sensation as the object of one's desire is wrenched away.  Especially if that object is one into which one's time and energy have been invested.  But sometimes you have to let go.  It may even be for the greater good.  You must take a breath and work through the pain.  It is right and good...

Love for a scarf does not make it yours, after all.  It was meant for another.

And you know, the joy of giving can really go a long way towards setting one on the path to recovery.  The Villandry Lace Scarf was bound off last night and fringes applied.  I even had the time to give it a little wash as it will be living in a home with dogs and I thought that perhaps my Smaller, Less Fluffy Kitty having lain on the yarn might be an issue for them.  It was gifted this afternoon to my stylist and her happiness with it was a joy to see.  Sure, I love the scarf...but I love her even more so I think it was a fair deal.  And my highlights are to die for, thus taking the deal from merely being fair to being downright lopsided.  I mean, really!  A skein of Carons Simply Soft Shadows and a few hours of my time in exchange for good hair? It's a no-brainer!!!

So I guess you have to take the good with the bad.  A little pain may net you some progress in calculation skills, accurately placed highlights and a happy stylist.  Maybe even a little glow from the joy of giving.  It may also send you down another path.

I've started another scarf for gifting.  Deadline knitting is another pain and one that I do not bear well.  And it's self-inflicted....



Veggies.... said...

Yikes...I just left a comment, where did it go???

Great scarf Sheep, I'm sure it will be well received.

Hope your scalp is lots better, I hate when stylists multi-task. Even worse when they are brandishing a curling iron!!!!

Marianne said...

eeeyikes... about the tender scalp, glad your hair is FABulous!

Loved the monopoly with the kid, I would've paid good wool to see and listen to his victory dance... NOT because he beat you, or the actual words in his song... but just because.. and you know what I'm talking about. :^)

Kath said...

Well, I haven't seen a professional hair stylist in over 10 years - and if it's that painful of a process I'm in no hurry! But the scarf is lovely.

And yes, when someone that much younger than you is doing a victory dance over you it is quite annoying. Did the song contain the words, "neener neener"?

Julie said...

It hurts to be beautiful; at least that's what I always told Samm when braiding her hair :-)

I also would have loved to see the victory dance.

Beth @ Felt Like Knitting said...

The 8th grade prom hair image was very, very funny. I'm glad you got your hair in the car this time. :)

Your scarf is beautiful! Good luck with your next project.

Kris said...

Beautiful scarf. And thanks for the reminder of why I don't color my hair!

Anonymous said...

The whole one has to suffer to be beautiful. I'm glad your stylist loved the scarf.
Your Monopoly story brought me right back to high school when I volunteered to help in the local elementary school. I taught 4th and 5th graders to play cribbage. We never told them there was math involved;) It was fun.

Donna Lee said...

In my attempts to 'turn back the clock' there are also copius amounts of chemicals applied to my sensitive, psoriasis prone sking. I do this to myself because only me and L'oreal know how much grey is under there and I want it to stay that way. My stylist has left with no forwarding info and my hair is getting longer and I need a trim and I am starting to panic. I am not sure what I 'm going to do about getting my hair cut. I hate making new hair relationships!

Mia said...

Hey nice scarf (and very artsy shot!)

I can almost hear the tune your opponent was singing when he won ::laughing::

Lorraine said...

LOL - I'm always telling my kids that pain is God's brakes - it puts a stop to risky behaviors - sometimes.

Unless you trip over your own feet and wrench your right shoulder and arm and spend the entire weekend on ice and pain meds. Could have used some brakes myself - before the fall.

Denise said...

Your scarf is so pretty! What a nice gift.

I've toyed with the thought of coloring my hair but the fact that I can't seem to manage to get my hair cut at the regular intervals it needs seems like a bad indicator. Plus, I didn't realize there was pain involved!