FOR almost a month I have carried a picture in my wallet.
I've kept it safely hidden in a secret compartment.
It's in the same compartment I use to hide money from the kids so when I flash open my wallet and say, “Look, see. I told you, it's empty”, I don't get caught out.
Whenever I think no one is watching I dig the picture out and give it a quick glance.
It's a great image. It gives me a thrill every time I look at it, which is more than can be said for the photo featured on my current driver's licence.
So what kind of photo am I carrying around? A photo of the kids?
Please, do I sound like a woman who needs a photo in her wallet to be reminded she has kids?
The screaming matches, stretch marks and mobile phone bills are reminder enough.
Nope. The photograph I've been clutching onto for weeks now is the photo of my new hairstyle.
Or to be more accurate, the hairstyle I was planning to have until I walked into the hairdresser.
My usual stylist wasn't there. She went on holiday without telling me (here's hoping her kids are driving her nuts).
I can't explain it. Maybe it was residue MSG from the night before's Chinese take away pig-out or maybe it was my inner goddess screaming to be released, but I was so determined to have a new hairstyle that I jumped into the first available chair and said, “Do me a new do”.
I was like a woman possessed – which, coincidently, also now describes the haircut I ended up with.
As I sat in the chair, I reached into the cavernous pit that is my handbag and retrieved the well-worn picture.
The stylist looked at it.
She then looked back at me.
Then took one more look at the picture before saying with total confidence, “Yeah like okay, like I so get what you want, totally awesome”.
Great, I was going to look totally awesome. What more could I have asked for?
Her hairdressing credentials for one thing.
I'll spare you the gory details but instead of stunning, I got sensible, instead of coquette I got croquet and instead of Cosmo pin-up I got Bowling Weekly pin-up.
To put it plainly, I got a nanna haircut that certainly wasn't going to set my world on fire.
I took another look at the picture that I had shown the hairdresser.
It was of a 22-year-old model with high cheekbones, just the one chin and luxuriously thick, naturally blonde hair.
Then I took a look in the mirror. Obviously something had been lost in the translation of “totally awesome”.
If there had been any doubt about my hideous haircut, all hope was shattered once I got home.
It took less than three seconds for my eldest to lose it and burst into laughter, the dog dived under the couch because he thought I was a stranger and my daughter gave me the “It looks fine mum, really it does, don't worry it'll grow back soon” speech with nowhere near enough conviction.
To my surprise it was hubby, the man of my dreams, the father of my children, the love of life, who came to my rescue.
With tears welling in my eyes, I asked him, “So, what do you think of my haircut?” and, bless him, he didn't miss a beat and gave me the same answer he always gives after my visits to the hairdresser, “What haircut?”.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.