Everyone who knows me knows this version of me. I have crazy, curly hair that sometimes lets me think I’m in control of our relationship.
I had poker-straight hair until I had my tonsils out as a teen and a bunch of my hair fell out. What grew back in was curly. Unruly. Goofy.
I yanked it back into tight pony-tails for years because that’s all I knew to do with it. Its not like anyone in my family had curls like that and hey, figure skaters need pony-tails, right?
I mentioned in a ‘Road Trippin’ with Tans’ Facebook post the other day that I think some people cut me some slack when my normal hair is a little unkempt. There is no rhyme or reason to why some days it looks half decent and other days it looks like I just got out of bed.
But that all changes when Straight Haired Tanya rolls into town.
A stylist I had in Saskatoon when I was in vet school in the early 2000s first flat-ironed the ringlets and it was fun walking the halls of the veterinary college and having nobody recognize me. (Granted, most vet students are in a fog first thing in the morning… likely from too much studying, too much drinking, too much information and not enough coffee… or any combination thereof…)
I had a super fun fundraiser to attend on Thursday for Youth Homes of Missoula. A very good friend is on the board and he bought a couple of tables for friends to come and share a great meal and a silent and live auction. I got to sit at the “kids” table which was an absolute blast. I can only hope they raised a boat-load of money (for the record, I did bid on the motorcycle-style golf ‘cart’ for Alistair but the bidding got way too high for my comfort zone!)
When you put an hour into straightening your hair and you don’t think its going to rain you try to milk this and keep it dry for another day or two. Straight Haired Tanya showed up at the vet clinic in Deer Lodge the next day and it was a good thing she did!
There was potential for the day to be a total shit-storm with both kennel workers out and a kennel full of parvo puppies. Sadly, we all arrived to one of those puppies not making it through the night so the general mood wasn’t necessarily upbeat. Add to that a full schedule and maybe too many dental procedures and an emergency eye removal in another puppy that my boss had to tend to. We also had a pretty full schedule of tech appointments and a team of techs who were already spread thin.
This seemingly no-nonsense version of me just made a point to grab those tech appointments (making sure my own technician, Brandie was alright with each addition) and fit everything in around my own full day while making jokes and laughing at myself or any given situation whenever I could.
It was helpful that the Angel of Darkness wasn’t needed for sure.
It was also helpful I got to play with a couple of adorable puppies, including this Malamute cross.
This little one got me thinking about our own husky, Harry, which made me smile. There was a time, during the 2 years of “Attrition” and for a while afterwards that thinking about our rag-tag gang of misfits brought a tear (or more) to my eyes even if most of my memories are wonderful. I shared our animal companion’s lives on here and I also shared when it was Time to say goodbye.
And when I said goodbye.
And I managed to get through typing those words just now with a smile on my face (full disclosure, my right eye has a tear behind it but its hanging back!)
You might think that Straight Haired Tanya doesn’t cry or that she is devoid of emotion. I don’t know why that’s the case but I have been told that that particular version of me is “intimidating.”
Here’s the thing, though… a little secret…. it doesn’t matter what my hair looks like.
I’m still just me.
I’m chuckling as I type because obviously that’s a no-brainer but I DO get treated differently sometimes with my straight hair. Not always and not by everyone. Its usually by people who don’t really know me or have just met me. Which is part of the fun of shaking it up.
That said, it was a veterinary colleague years ago who told me that I intimidated him with my hair like that.
So today I’m back to being normal me.
Which isn’t very “normal” with all that I try to fit into my world.
In the last several days I’ve been fortunate enough to play a few rounds of golf with good friends and laugh it up out on our lovely local Seeley Lake course. The course is in outstanding condition and I’m playing more so I’m sucking less. (Don’t get me wrong, I managed to swing & miss the other day in front of the ladies… thankfully I can laugh at myself.)
I worked a couple of real estate days on the floor and cruised into Deer Lodge with the sunrise a couple of days as well. And I delivered books for new buyers and met with a good friend and our shared real estate clients for supper and met with another wonderful friend and we laughed until we cried on top of attending the Youth Homes fundraiser this week.
All of these things have been happening with smoky skies and clear blue ones as well.
And I won’t whine about being whupped because these things are all wonderful things that I am privileged enough to do and I absolutely love being me.
Even when the Delta variant of the Covid 19 virus continues to run rampant in the 2 states we call home and my MD husband had to see 105 people one night and 95 the next, as they ran out of Covid tests so they only had the 24-hour PCR one to run and people were bitching about wearing masks and how the virus isn’t real and then when they test positive and ask, “what do we do now?” and he has to tell them its a little late to be asking that and he gets home at 1:30am only to have to drag himself back to the clinic to do the same thing and breathe the same air and wish that people stopped “researching” on Google and stop listening to some weird guy they went to high school with and that they would just wear masks and get the damned vaccine!
Even when my first cousin and his brother-in-law, who played a very special role in my life when I lived with them in Japan, are both on ventilators in a hospital in British Columbia where my other cousin can’t visit her own husband or her own brother, while her senior father is quarantined at his house and sick, hoping to not need to be ventilated himself.
When I consider what people I care about are going through it makes my life look pretty fresh and easy.
Regardless of which version of Tanya steps out the door.
If you are trying to figure out what the point is to today’s blog, its pretty simple.
Wear a mask.
Socially distance yourself.
And I’ll keep on keeping on trying to be the best version of myself. For me. For my husband. For my friends and my team-mates at each office I work at. For my clients. And for every animal I get to care for, whether they are our own crazy companions or they’re yours.