This is far from my favorite photo of myself. No makeup, bad angle, and I look tired and a little frightened or skeptical of the photographer (my husband!) But I promised you a photograph of my blue hair streak, and you can see it pretty well here. It's already a little faded, but I have my own tube of blue dye now if I want to brighten it up.
Putting this streak in my hair was my non-consumer gift to my husband for his birthday. For years, he's been suggesting that I do something of the sort to my hair, and I always just laugh and humor him, usually saying I was too old for that sort of thing.
This year I went back to my old view of the subject: "It's just hair." It can be colored or survive a really bad cut, and it always grows back. No biggie. It's much more forgiving than a tattoo or piercings in that way. So I figured I would do it for him, and if I hated it, I'd just cover it up in a couple of weeks.
The surprise is that it's been really fun. It's a social experiment to see how people react. A surprising range of men and women, young and old, have been extremely complimentary about it. For some reason, older women and Latino men in their twenties seem particularly fond of it. I don't know what it signifies on their radar, but it's been fascinating.
Most importantly, my husband loves it. He was absolutely thrilled that I'd done it, and even a little surprised. And that is definitely a good thing in a marriage, after 17 years together. You tend to be able to predict each other's actions, tastes, and opinions with alarming accuracy, and it's great to mix things up.
So I'm considering re-coloring this bit of hair again and "being blue" for a bit longer. In any case, it was a successful non-consumer gift. Another example of how limitations can spark creativity.
What are your favorite non-consumer gift ideas, to give or to receive? Please share them in the Comments section. And click here if you missed the post about how I navigated the March birthday season, which included my husband, my father, and my brother.