Hippie Birthday to Me

Posted: May 28th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: California, Discoveries, Food, Husbandry, Miss Kate, My Body, My Temple | 7 Comments »

I’m using this time while I’m not working to become more of a hippie.

My recent birthday might have brought this all on. It’s less about wanting to hang out in drum circles and more about wanting to be super healthy. Like, I’m someone who won’t use lotion with parabens, but I’ll drop $300 on a pair of sandals no problem. So whatever that makes me—a typical San Franciscan? someone who confuses marketing companies? a woman with smooth skin and over-priced shoes?—well, that’s what I guess I am.

I started my recent personal overhaul with my armpits. Because when you think of hippie women it’s that part of them that immediately comes to mind, right?

And noooo, I have not stopped shaving. I’m half-Italian, people. If I dropped the ball on hair removal my poor husband might wake up one day entrapped in a dense thicket of hair that sprouted up overnight. It’d be like those impenetrable thorn bushes that grew around Sleeping Beauty’s castle, except it’d be coming from my body. And we’d need the Jaws of Life to release him.

Though I guess a magic sword would work too, if we had one handy.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes—armpits.

No, the change I’m making has to do with deodorant. You may be relieved to hear I’m not forsaking it altogether. I’ve been using some major market anti-perspirant for ages. Then I shared a hotel room with a friend recently and she told me the stuff is loaded with aluminum. Which, it turns out, is wicked bad for you. I feel like I’d heard about that once, but then I saw something shiny, got distracted, and forgot about it.

So now I’ve started using some earthy-brand pit spray that’s $17.99 a bottle. (Hippie livin’ don’t come cheap.) It smells, literally, like roses. The helpful woman at the alternative pharmacy told me she uses it. And she didn’t stink.

Worst I can figure is I’ll smell like that basket of rosebud potpourri your grandma keeps in her bathroom. At least until my natural funk breaks through. Which’ll likely be nine minutes after I leave the house each day, or any time I do something strenuous like update my Facebook status.

My other hippie undertaking is that I’m juicing. I think that’s slang for when people take steroids, but I’m just putting lots of veggies into a machine and drinking the liquid it spits out. Mark got me this awesome appliance for my birthday a few weeks ago. I’ve become obsessed with concocting the most wretched combinations—kale, chard, collard greens, bok choy, carrots, apples. It’s like the darker and grosser it looks, the better it is for me, and the happier I am to drink it.

My friend Mary (also “a juicer”) tells me I’ll live forever. I’m happy someone’s paying attention.

Get this—I even bought wheat grass last week. Hilarious, right? It’s like one part chia pet, one part food product. I don’t know whether to glue googly eyes on it and give it a name, or mercilessly throw it into the churning maw of the machine.

I just hope my rose deoderant can manage the hearty kale-and-collard-greens funk my body’s likely producing.

The fact is, my hippie aspirations are nothing new. Six years ago, partway through my first pregnancy, I decided to ditch my popular O.B. for a midwife. I got super groovy about how I wanted to birth my baby—intervention-free, drug-free, and under self-hypnosis (I’m so not even kidding). So we went shopping for midwives.

Mark was a sport about it. When you consider that his dad is an O.B., it was pretty rad that he obliged my desire to overthrow western birthing conventions so I could burn sage and yodel in Sanskrit during my labor.

And his input on my choice of midwives was important to me—for an unlikely reason. Mark’s tolerance for hippies is much lower than mine. I feared that my labor would involve a long-haired, peasant-skirt clad woman dancing around and entreating Mark to praise Gaia and rub organic lavender oil on my girl parts. He’d be all annoyed and eye-rolly, and peacemaker that I am, I’d spend the moments between contractions trying to getting him and the midwife to like each other.

“You know, Harmony,” I’d say puffing and wheezing, “If you look past his button-down shirt, Mark and you have a lot in common! He was an Eagle Scout, you know. You live in a yurt, and he’s spent plenty of nights sleeping in a tent!”

“And Mark?” Loud moan as a contraction begins. “Harmony may not have a TV, but she does have a bike and YOU like bicycles. Now—discuss!”

I thought of this last weekend when I took Kate to the Himalayan Fair in Berkeley. I’d never been but instantly loved the winding pathways through the trees, lined with booths selling batik scarves, jingly ankle bracelets, woolen animal-shaped toys, and all sorts of tunics, sundresses, and man-skirts you’d feel totally comfortable wearing to a Hari Krishna cook-out.

Kate got a henna tattoo, we ate some vegetarian stew, and sat in an open field watching an Indian dance troupe do their thing. It was actually pretty hard to see the stage since half the audience was standing—doing those long-armed swim-strokey dance moves, closing their eyes and holding their faces up to the sun.

Let’s just say there were a lot of other folks there who don’t use Dry Idea anti-perspirant.

As I nibbled on chickpeas and took in the scene I turned to Kate and said, “This is excellent. I’m happy we can have some alone time today.”

She said, “Yeah, Mom. But, can we go to Target now?”

Ah, sure. The girl’s got a lot of her dad in her. She’s no hippie wanna-be like me, but she’s got plenty of birthdays ahead of her to change all that.


7 Comments on “Hippie Birthday to Me”

  1. 1 breida @ breidawithab.com said at 6:09 am on May 29th, 2012:

    found you through Katrina (Working Mom’s Break) – she and I wen to HS together. . . love your writing style – and your subject matter – nice work.

  2. 2 By Word of Mouth Musings said at 6:38 am on May 29th, 2012:

    Henna tattoo’s, and flowing dresses from Target … sound like a match made in Heaven.
    ps. b.o. is not an option no matter how much incense you burn ;)

  3. 3 kristen from motherload said at 6:48 am on May 29th, 2012:

    Welcome, Breida! So happy you stopped by!

    And yes, Word of Mouth Musings, hoping to not need a mobile incense-burning rig to overpower my personal funk. :)

  4. 4 Stacey said at 7:48 am on May 29th, 2012:

    Funk and funky are two completely different birds. I would aim for the latter if I were you! Just an outsiders perspective…

  5. 5 kristen from motherload said at 10:50 am on May 29th, 2012:

    Fear not, Stacey. I’m tellin’ ya–I smell like roses!

  6. 6 Tracy in Suburbia said at 3:44 pm on May 31st, 2012:

    First of all, Happy Birthday. Second of all, I just could barely get past the whole underarm hair, thicket, thing. Yes, I know I’m one to talk with a veritable beard growing out of my chin, but I am so relieved to know that you are keeping the weed whackers going under there, in spite of your embrace of the hippie culture. Just don’t try to push any of that wheat grass sh*t at me when we are at the bar, OK?

  7. 7 kristen from motherload said at 7:19 pm on May 31st, 2012:

    Tracy: I’m so not grappling with chin hair yet. At least I don’t THINK so. Running to my bathroom mirror to double check now. Though was it you who said they can only ever be discerned in a rear view mirror? Okay, heading to the car…

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