My co-worker remarked the other day about how beautiful Beyonc's hair looked while she sang (lip-synced) the national anthem during the inauguration.

Comments like that made me realize that my life is hurtling straight toward middle-age-hood and there is nothing I can do about it.

I challenge Beyonc (or her stylist) to develop a real-life hairstyle. A style that can withstand 16 hours of on-the-ground, in-the-trenches, hand-to-hand parental combat. And most of all, a style that takes only four minutes to achieve.

See, my hair may start out looking like Beyonc's hair at 6:20 a.m. OK. So it probably doesn't, but just for the sake of argument, let's assume that it does. Said hair then races through the house collecting lunches, instruments and book bags.

The first real test comes at 7:01 a.m. when the hair exits the house into the snow/sleet/rain/hail/wind to wait for the bus.

At 7:09 a.m., the hair returns to the house looking just like it did when it got out of bed. A quick spritz of hairspray revitalizes at least half, maybe a quarter, of the earlier hairstyle.

By 8:29 a.m., the hair leaves the house again to wait in the snow/sleet/rain/hail/wind for another bus. There is no time for a touch up as the hair now makes its way to work where it stays for the next eight hours.

After work, I give up and the hair is slapped into a ponytail where it remains for the next five hours.

Hair issues are not the only things leading me toward middle-age-hood. Long gone are the days when my husband and I enjoyed leisurely dinners. Now I never see him. Well I see him, but our exchanges usually go something like this.

"Hey, How was your " I start.

"Good," he says. "I'll take daughter #1 to soccer."

"GREAT. I'LL meet you at violin/piano lessons with daughter #2," I say, throwing a day-old roll, a handful of Cheese-it crumbs and a warm juice bag at him for dinner as he sprints out the door.

"Then meet me in the parking lot at the school for basketball practice at 8 p.m.," he yells as the door slams behind him.

Three hours later, I drop daughter #1 off at basketball practice. As I pull out of the parking lot, a car drives by.

"That guy looks really familiar," I say to daughter #2.

"Uh Mom, that's Dad," she says.

The truth is, I actually might be passing right over middle-age-hood and straight into old-age-hood.

Last week, when the girls had the day off school, we headed to the mall to spend the last of their Christmas money.

We stopped in at one of those trendy, West Coast-originated clothing stores where they have a wall of TVs that show Huntington Beach, Calif. in real time.

There are fake palm trees out front, with hurricane shutters on fake windows. Inside it's pitch black with strategically placed accent lights, and the floor vibrates to the beat of the music screaming from the speakers.

I find daughter #1 in the back of the store looking at T-shirts.

"What's with this place? Didn't they pay the electric bill? I can't see a thing," I say, searching out a trendy light in the corner to read a price tag. "And what's with this music? I can barely hear myself think."

My daughter rolls her eyes. At least I think she did, I couldn't really see anything.

Maybe if I just had that cool Beyonc hair, the music wouldn't seem as loud and the lights would be just right.

I know, who am I kidding.

Plug in that electric blanket. It's way past my bedtime.


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