Creating Elegant Disorder Out of Chaos


I will never be able to understand those casual, yet perfect people, who have mastered the art of messy chic. These are the people who instinctively know how to drape material over a curtain rod for a casually elegant look, who can literally throw a “throw” on the back of a chair or sofa and have it look like it was casually dropped by someone who had wandered off to do something noble and erudite, or to my great despair, those who have mastered the messy bun.

I am vexed by the ease at which some women can casually toss a band around their hair and have it look both casual and sophisticated.  I have witnessed women who have performed the mysterious twisting and turning of their hair with one hand, while driving through suburban traffic with the other. These are the women who understand the understated significance of the loose tendril.

I have been cursed with thick, wiry hair. My hair could be identified with Oppositional Defiant Disorder; no brush, flat iron or curler will keep it from doing exactly what it wants. This defiance seems to increase, like each strand itself, when it is humid outside and I am entering the season of “big hair.”

All I want is a casual upswept look that will disguise the unruly mane that I have inherited. I have tried different types of fasteners, different placement of bobby pins, and different levels of cleanliness – everything from squeaky clean to grungy. My last attempt at the messy bun was successful for about 30 seconds until all of the bobby pins I had meticulously placed in my hair shot across the room with the speed and force of a Chinese Throwing Star flung by a ninja.

I long for the life of the woman, with the messy bun, who leaves her bottled mineral water on the sunny and perfectly decorated patio, to answer the door of her impeccably clean house and welcome the impromptu gathering of her friends who have stopped by to discuss their understanding of the motivation behind the protagonist in the novel they have just read.

Instead, if I were to be honest (which I always am), I am sitting in my messy kitchen, at an island covered with the mail and debris that piles up because nobody knows what to do with it. It is 4:00 PM and I am wearing my pajamas. I have a cup of cold coffee sitting next to me and a half eaten bag of tortilla chips. I am currently at the opposite end of the spectrum from this ideal woman who taunts me like a school-yard bully in the disorganized chaos that goes on in my head. In my mind, the only thing keeping me from achieving this oft-dreamt of lifestyle is the ability to master the damn, messy bun.

So, I guess it is time for me to stop my rant, and begin my hair tutorial search by utilizing the hallowed source of all knowledge – You Tube, in order to discover why this messy bun arranging talent alludes me. If all goes well, you will find me casually strolling through my local vineyard, while perusing my iPad for the latest information about the most exquisite grapes used in wine-making, and planning my casual, yet perfectly arranged, weekend with my spouse.

If you can’t find me at the vineyard, look for the woman with the unruly hair trying to discretely run to the mailbox in her pajamas.  I’m sure she would invite you in for a cup of cold coffee and a bag of Doritos; but, watch out for flying bobby pins!