Monday, July 24, 2006

International Wig Day

The signs appeared the day prior. No further information supplied. Just clipart poster and a huge pile of wigs.

Oh, the possibilities...

First I went for a long chestnut ponytail. But it was too tame - I was told it looked like my own hair. And I've been watching Kath & Kim recently.

So I went the complete opposite of tame. Took it home in order to figure out the hair flattening arrangement and to get used to the idea. Dressed up a little the next day, heels, stockings, the lot. And my new crowning glory - a sleek electric blue bob.

Funny to walk down the street as another person. My new identity flashed out for my fellow commuters, who responded with definite Not Staring. Making a statement is a little meaningless amongst strangers.

The walk into work was a different story. A whole institution - and that slight fear you get before a fancy dress party, that no-one else will have joined you. Colleagues I've never talked to suddenly grin - but aren't really sure what to say. They think it my real new look, a bold but perhaps ill advised move. A wash of relief crosses their faces as I proclaim International Wig Day and they don't have to think up creative compliments.

At our usual morning meeting, the whole team is unrecognisable. Green curls, long blonde locks and afros are the order of the day. We all swagger and stalk throughout the day, our inner drag queens out on show. The kids love us; parents forgive us. We are the showstoppers we imagine ourselves to be.

Out for the afternoon, I take it off. Home on the tram, back in grey Melbourne. The world sags a little, the sparkle washed out by the rain, until I spot another colourful rebel through the crush of people. 70ish, she sits resplendent in buttercup yellow suit, pink boots, fuschia hair.

It heartens me to know that although every day is wig day for some, they also sometimes use it to let out their inner Queen.