Making The Natural Unnatural

I have a confession to make.  I’ve not always been a natural brunette (with bits of grey, but let’s ignore those for now).

I still have reasonably long hair for a gent, but at one stage it was such a length that my regular barber suggested I go somewhere else, because he didn’t really know what to do with it.  I booked an appointment at a salon and went along.  The words “booked” and “salon” should instantly set a scene, and not just as a way of saying how dramatically different this experience would be to walking in to a somewhat rundown shop on the corner and walking out 15 minutes later (when it was busy) with shorter hair and change for a fiver.

I was introduced to a hairdresser (no longer a barber) who, well, let’s just say that if I have a type, she is it.  (Yes, “she was breathing”.  Aren’t you lot at the back funny?)

I was wrapped in towels and had my hair washed (rather than just sprayed with water) during which I also received a very pleasant head massage.  She walked me back to my chair and the conversation very quickly moved on to how she was recently single, finding things a little bit boring, how she’d like to do all these things, complimenting me, definitely flirting and saying “oh, by the way, you’d look great with highlights”.

“Yes, Pretty Blonde Angel, please separate me from my money by covering my head in tin foil and something that smells.”

Interestingly this all happened around a time that the BBC published an article entitled “Sex cues ruin men’s decisiveness” detailing a study from Belgium that showed that men tend to act irrationally when presented with women’s underwear or pictures of “sexy” women.  Interestingly again, the researchers weren’t able to replicate the findings during a similar test on women!

Because the test also made a link between susceptibility to Kelly Brook and high testosterone levels, the report suggested that the test subjects were actually acting in a very natural way.

In his book The Chimp Paradox, Dr Steve Peters talks about controlling reactions that may adversely affect our wellbeing because, while a reaction might be natural, it’s not always helpful to what we’re trying to achieve.  In The Chimp Paradox, the analogy is about programming a computer, so that the response to the stimulus becomes reactionary.

Doing this takes conscious thought, though, and it’s not natural to stop yourself to think “do I really want to do this?” before you do it.  It requires telling yourself that you want your reaction to change and this takes time, to make the natural unnatural.

I think it would take a lot of practice for me to turn down the suggestions of the Pretty Blonde Angel!

This is not the life I promised you before.
I can feel them running chains around our door.
I’m coming to the end of what I’m for
But I will pull myself together, I am sure.

I will run for you until I start to drop.
I will breathe your breath until you tell me to stop.
We will see the ending of another sunny day
And we’ll wait at home until the next one drops.

Are we all just sitting here
Waiting on the end,
Like its only natural?
Are we filling spaces
Til we find ourselves again,
Like it’s only natural?
Its only natural.

This is not the way we wanted this to be.
I can feel your doubt inside of me.
We’re standing on the edge of everything we’ve ever seen
And everything we’ll never get to be.

And when you think its over,
It starts coming around again.
It’s coming around again.
And when you think it’s figured out,
It starts coming around again.
It’s coming around again.
It’s coming around again.

Natural by Rob Thomas

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