Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My Anti-Consumer Joys

Perfect Moments:

One of my favorite things is discovering that there’s something in my life that I no longer need to purchase.  Usually, these are things that, if I had only known the alternatives, I never needed to purchase in the first place.  I get such delight from eliminating these products or services from my life that utilizing an alternative solution produces a few of my perfect moments every week.  Here are my top three anti-consumer perfect moments from this week!

1-    I gave myself a haircut.  I like to wear my hair in a simple undercut bob.  Sometimes I like it ear-lobe length and sometimes I like it chin length but I always like it to curl under without having to use a blow dryer or product.  My hair is straight, but not always entirely cooperative and I’ve spent years explaining that I need that undercut to be deep.  The inner layer needs to be at least an inch shorter that the outer layer or my hair will get…flippy.  Really, I can’t stand it when my hair is flippy.  It’s not tidy.  It bothers me.  The trouble is, it’s rare for me to find someone to cut my hair who will really listen to what I want and follow my directions.  Last year, I grew weary of paying money to have someone cut my hair not-quite-right, and then try to gunk it up with product and blow it dry.  So I did something I haven’t done since I was a teenager; I cut my own hair.  Well, first I watched some YouTube videos.  Then, I cut my own hair.  I’ve cut my hair four more times since then and I figure that’s saved me at least $120 and a bucket of angst. 

2-    I’ve been on a popcorn kick.  For three days in a row, I’ve made popcorn.  In a glass bowl, with a lid.  In the microwave.  I’ve never mastered making popcorn on the stove so to avoid scorched pans and snack food, I used an air popper for years.  After my air popper went kaput, I switched to those bags of microwave popcorn.  Yuck.  Microwave popcorn always seems to have nasty stuff in it and it’s ridiculously expensive.  Then, someone told me that I could pop any kind of popcorn in the microwave.  Viola! It works wonders, saves money and tastes fantastic!

3-    Okay, another hair moment.  I've been bleaching my hair from a box since I was 17 or 18.  If I lived in a sunny climate, my hair would be blond, but I live in a rainforest. I’ve tried going natural for a year or so at a time, but I’ve never been pleased with my mousy brown color.  About the same time that I started cutting my own hair, I decided to explore alternative hair bleaches.  Have you noticed how expensive those boxes of hair color have become in the last couple decades?  The chemicals in that stuff aren’t very nice either.  Urg, the stink of it is the worst.  So, I tried chamomile tea.  Well, it smelled nice.  I tried lemon juice.  It smelled nice, too.  I tried hydrogen peroxide.  Nada.  Finally, I tried hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and found that it lightens my hair quite nicely.  I have to leave it on a lot longer than the boxed stuff but it doesn’t discolor my skin or make a nasty mess in the bathroom and it’s cheap!
Caution: play with chemicals at your own risk
Caution: bleach your hair at your own risk
Caution: I am not promising you that this method will work for anyone other than me and it may, in fact, wreak havoc on your hair, turn it some gawd-awful shade of orange and cause all your teeth to turn bright purple.  So, proceed with utmost caution, okay?

What anti-consumer methods do you use that bring you the most joy?  Please share, I’d truly love to know!

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