What’s your double secret fantasy?
Seriously, think a minute. Stop blushing, and consider something you’ve always longed for, but haven’t gotten or done yet.
That self-suppression, by the way, is so grown-up of you. Kids aren’t nearly as quick to censor themselves, nor are they in the habit of routinely denying themselves pleasure as we adults are so quick and willing to do. If they want to sing, they blast it out loud. If they desire an audience, they put endless videos of themselves on YouTube and pictures of themselves on Instagram, and tell all their friends to like/love/comment. They make plans to spend their spare time riding rollercoasters, decorating cupcakes, doing wild art projects, and/or playing games where they get to be the hero.
This is not to say that kids always live in la-la land. Under normal circumstances, mine work their butts off and have way more homework that demands complete focus and discipline than I ever remember. But give them three weeks vacation, and all bets are off. And all fantasies are ON.
The good news for living out your dreams these days is that the evidence is rich that it can be done. Nearly half of the top 10 shows of 2012 showcased people living the rock star/pop singer/solid gold dancer fantasy — American Idol, X Factor, Dancing with the Stars, and The Voice. Most of the time I’m astonished to see how little talent America actually has, despite the fawning judges who make the big bucks shilling dreams and cashing in on those most eager to sell their souls for their 15 minutes of fame. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) And yet, we can’t stop watching because the dream is real. “Normal” people are shooting for the stars every single day, and we can’t look away. Nor should we.
And while my deepest fantasy isn’t about soft-shoeing it with a ball gown on, nor is it working my pipes in front of a studio audience, I have found some inspiration from TV’s talent shows. My shocking confession is that while my family is glued to the tube to watch aspiring stars, I’m fixating on the judges’ hair. Wigs, extensions, crazy dye jobs — I love it all. My obsession with long hair started as a little girl, when I wore a towel on my head to emulate my heroes: mermaids and Cher. Not necessarily in that order.
My hairdresser and I have an ongoing battle over the length of my hair. He likes it short, and I routinely beg him to let me grow it out. He always wins, though, because the sad truth is my hair doesn’t grow much. It’s so thin and now that I’m aging, brittle, and it literally would break off first before I ever got any length. I know this seems like an odd topic to be so focused on, but that’s the nature of fantasies. And a few weeks ago, when the Mayan calendar was ending and it seemed possible life as we knew it might cease (and it did, in some ways — maybe, probably, hopefully), all I could think of was this:
I never had long hair.
(Or rock-hard abs, a year-round tan, or more than a half dozen piercings at a time. When put together, it makes me realize my double secret fantasy is to be Ke$ha. Without the reprehensible lyrics.)
And so, I decided it was high time to live out my fantasies. In public. And for no more than $50 — I’m still a responsible adult, after all.
A week into my research, I’d already found my budget was incompatible with hair extensions and fancy wig shops. It was time to get creative, and perhaps a little down and dirty.
Lucky for me, I live in the San Fernando (or, as I call it, Pornando) Valley, and year-round dress up (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more) is readily available. In my case, just a couple of blocks from my house. And while it was fun to peruse the aisles full of 50 Shades of How Do You Use That Anyways?, there was a fantastic treasure trove of luxurious manes. And while I could have easily gone full Ke$ha, I decided to stick to a wig with my “natural” (HA!) hair color. After all, I didn’t want to embarrass my kids (double HA!).
The thing is about living out a fantasy is that while you can always do it in the privacy of your own home, if you want it to really push you somewhere new and exciting, you’ve got to take your show on the road. So I decided the perfect time would be New Year’s Eve. I’d be surrounded by good friends who wouldn’t judge, and there would be plenty of booze on hand to release any latent inhibitions.
The wig itself was gorgeous. And while initially my kids weren’t crazy about me wearing it in full view of their friends, after they were assured they’d get a turn, too, it was all good. My husband is used to me being a bit out there, so he barely looked away from the TV. (Well, it was that or the fact that he was knee-deep in his own fantasy — 24/7 football.) My preparation complete, I took one last twirl in the mirror, and then… took the damn thing off.
If the joy is in the journey, was finally having what I’d always wanted going to be any good? I pondered this philosophical question for a minute, took a deep breath, and decided it was now or never.
My longhaired look got some really funny reactions that night. At first people pretended they didn’t see anything odd about a non-Halloween wig fest. But as the night wore on, I got petted, chatted up, and the clear message long hair is hot. Literally, like I had to take the thing off for a while because I was so sweaty (granted, that was after I danced to the nearly 15-minute version of Rapper’s Delight.) And while in some ways I felt like a drag queen, at the end of the night I got to cross rockin’ some long hair of ye olde bucket list.
Flying into the belly of the fantasy beast did something else for me, too: the next morning I felt looser and more alive than I had in a long time (wink, wink… ah, never mind). So if you haven’t made your 2013 goals yet, be sure to fill this sucker in and don’t skip #5 — that’s the secret sauce all right!
And if you see me getting some spray tan abs, lay on down on the table next to me. While there are no shortcuts to the real deal, as my friend Billy Joel always says, sometimes a fantasy is all you need.
Now enjoy this video — not just cuz it’s Billy Joel with hair, but the guy in the orange shirt on guitar is SO living his rock ‘n roll fantasy!