Story by Rebekah Skochinski, Photos by Shannon Lepere

I’m standing in a puddle of hair in my kitchen. It’s slippery. There’s a vibrating, loud, and very hot electric razor in my hand. When I hold up a mirror to my husband he says, “This is the best haircut I’ve ever had!”

That was a couple of months ago and I’ve since given him a touch-up—it didn’t go quite so well. He had a few pointers for me. I had less patience. It ended up being the shortest haircut he’s ever had. And no, I don’t want him touching my hair. Even though, as my mom said, “If he can paint a car, he can give you highlights.”

Returning to the salon to see my hairdresser is one thing I’m really looking forward to. Because there are some things I just can’t do myself; there are some things I don’t want to do myself. I want the ease of buying a pottery mug, not having to throw clay on a wheel to make my own. I enjoy cooking very much, but it tastes better when someone brings me food and does the dishes. It’s a beautiful thing to be taken care of. Still, as I merge into the summer lane and sneak a peek at September, I’m uncertain about how much I will feel comfortable returning to. I trust people; I don’t trust viruses.

I’ve tried to make the best of it and will continue to do so. I’ve traded my flamenco shoes for sneakers so I can practice at home. I’ve Zoomed and pivoted until I’m dizzy. I’ve masked and distanced and gone virtual for virtually everything. Most days I’m fine with being an adult with adult responsibilities. Even an adult in a pandemic. But there are some days when all I long for is something spontaneous, unplanned, FUN. I want to do what Cyndi Lauper sings about in her 1983 hit: “I wanna be the one to walk in the sun….” I just wanna.

So I did what any semi-responsible, self-respecting, middle-aged person would do: I bought a hula hoop on the internet. Her name is Lula. When I pick up Lula and take her for a spin, I don’t worry about where to put my arms or how ridiculous I look. I don’t care what my hips are doing as long as that hoop doesn’t fall below my knees. I’m sure it’s a good core workout but I don’t give two hoots about that. In fact, I don’t give two hoots about anything. For those five minutes (I’m working up to fifteen!) I forget all about the to-do lists and the what-ifs. I dare to dream a little. It’s just me and Lula against the world.