Eden M. Kennedy

mission accomplished, pal

Eden M. Kennedy is the co-author (with Alice Bradley) of the book Let's Panic About Babies! (St. Martin's Press, 2011).

A former college-radio DJ, Mrs. Kennedy has driven cross-country six times in a 1973 Volkswagen Bug and enjoys standing on her head.

Currently she works at a nonprofit and is just about finished writing her first novel.

Tuesday morning I gave myself a haircut. My hair is now officially tougher and more glamorous than I am, with it's new Marcia Gay Harden in Miller's Crossing ear-length length. I've been cutting my own hair since high school. (Take that, SuperCuts!) All you need are scissors, a mirror, and a good hat to wear for six weeks if you fuck up. Reasons for developing this thrifty craft: (1) cheapness (cannot stand to pay $40 to have a stranger do something so intimate as wash my hair, plus they always do it in this big-boundary, anti-sensual way that is not very relaxing); (2) control-freakness (the rare times I did go out and pay for a hair cut I inevitably had to fix it myself when I got home, i.e., why does everyone keep trying to give me a mullet?); and (3) the compulsion to experiment constantly with color and cut in ways I had neither vocabulary to explain nor the budget to keep up with in a professional manner, hence my savoir faire with a vast array of Clairol reds and one failed attempt at prom-time purple, circa 1981.

Then Tuesday afternoon I went and spent all the money I didn't give to Vicki at Cowboys and Angels on hair product. This is maybe my third attempt at buying anything more complicated than shampoo, and I slunk off to Aveda to pray for guidance. Ever since my days working for that burnout-inducing hippie health magazine, I've been all about Aveda. I know it's hype, there's nothing organic or spiritual about lip gloss, but I cling to them because it's convenient to. I am a marketer's dream, with my lazy, paranoia-based brand loyalty. I even go so far as to use only the brands my mom bought when I was a kid: Tide laundry soap, Colgate toothpaste, Palmolive dishwashing liquid (Madge!), Viva paper towels. My mother is such a Viva Believa* that once, in the middle of a phone call, she asked me what kind of paper towels I bought, and when I gave the right answer she said, "Good girl." This is now such a catch phrase in our house that whenever I put a roll in the shopping cart Jack says, "Good girl." And I'm not the only one. My sister-in-law buys it by the case. The only problem I have is with some of the prints: teapots and teacups: YES; bears wearing chef's hats and having a picnic: NO.

*patent pending on that phrase, keep your grubby mitts off, I invented it just this minute