My Tale of Baldness, Bliss, Magic, and Cheese Sandwiches.

I’m bald.

Well, mostly bald. I was bald 4 weeks ago. Someone took an electric razor to my noggin and sheared me like a sheep. Balder than the day I was born.

It was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done and was one of the very best days of my entire life.

I know I should have written about this sooner, but you guys know me. You know I am the Queen Procrastinator. If there’s something I have to do, I’ll find anything and everything else to do, just so I don’t have to do what I have to do. One of my many character flaws, but I know you guys love me anyway. Or like me anyway. At least some of you like me. Maybe? I hope. *shrug* Ah well.

So there I was, in Chicago; one of my very favorite places on Earth, and we (that is, Christopher and I) were barely in the city when we went to meet The Closet Monster herself, Miss Deborah Bryan. I was squeeing all over myself on the way to her hotel room. When she opened the door, I could hardly contain my high-pitched, girly squee any longer. We hugged profusely and released mutual squees: “Hiiieeeeeeeeee!!!!!!” She and Chris hugged, too (not as profusely as she and I did though. I think it’s a girl thing. There was also no squeeing on Chris’s part. Again, it’s a girl thing.)

SQUEEEE! The lovely ladies of Team Blissfully Bald! Together at last!

Then we loaded up into our super awesome car (we were able to borrow a Chevy Volt for our Chicago adventure weekend, because Chrisistotallylikethis with the Chevy folks after his last review of their Traverse several months back, when they invited him to attend a press event. My hubs is a rock star, yo.)

Mister Bungalow and The Closet Monster! Soon to be Blissfully Bald!

We then went to hang with my bestie from high school and her hubs at their mondo condo in the city, where we were shackin’ up for the weekend. It was a fabulous time. Sadly, the lovely, yet jet-lagged, Deb left “early”. There were no squees to be had then, but fear not, there would be more tomorrow!

In the morning, we decided to get together with Deb again before the St. Baldrick’s event for some delicious alcoholic beverages brunch and pre-event conversation. More drunken good times were had and lots of greasy nutritious food was consumed.

Me and Chris. Full of anxiety(him), alcohol, food, and love.

At about 1:45, we finished up and headed over to the Candlelite, where the Donna’s Good Things, St Baldrick’s event was taking place. Chris and Deb were full of anxiety. I was full of Bloody Marys. I was also not at all nervous somehow. I was about to meet the most incredible people. I should have been a nervous wreck. One of those incredible people was the reason I was shaving my head in the first place. The inspiring and graceful woman who introduced me to her beautiful daughter and changed my life forever, Sheila Quirke. Better known as, Mary Tyler Mom. (who is even more  adorable and sweet in person, btw.)

We walked in, and I took it all in for a moment. I had seen the place in photos from Donna’s Cancer Story. It felt so surreal to be standing there where little Donna celebrated birthdays with her family. Then I saw Sheila.

I tried not to cry. I really did. She touched my hair and it was such a sweet gesture. When we hugged, the floodgates just opened up and I cried all over her very cool denim jacket. I’m such a basket case.

Then we met Nikki of Moms Who Drink and Swear! And yes, she’s just as funny in person, but she’s also sweet and charming. I wanted to put her in my pocket and bring her home with me. Then I realized I had no pockets. Sadness.

MWDAS, FtB, and P&P FTW!

Cartoony goodness with IWADB

And then the fabulous Katy of I Want a Dumpster Baby showed up! We hugged, we talked, I may have oogled her rack. Let me just say that she is also just as funny in person, and was not at all a spaz. Charming, lovely, gorgeous, and ever so cartoony. If there was an I Want a Dumpster Baby cartoon, I’d watch every episode. Twice.

There were so many people there, it was crazy. We were packed like sardines into this tiny restaurant so that we could all be a part of something bigger than us.

Sheila and Jeremy (Mary Tyler Dad) welcomed everyone and then the shaving began. Nikki ended up being the emcee for the day. I had hoped she’d be the one shaving my head, but it turned out they had a fancy schmancy salon volunteer to come in shear us for the event. We all got the fanciest buzz cuts ever.

First to get shaved was Chris.

Then me.

Then Deb.

They shaved 3 people at a time, so there were always others up there with us. So many beautiful people doing such selfless things that day. So much love. The serotonin levels in that room were dangerously high. We could have had a tsunami of joy at any given time. In all, there were about 40 women, men, and children who went bald by choice (or super short for the 2 little girls who participated) that day. I was in such incredible company. I don’t think I stopped smiling that entire weekend.

I met so many amazing people that I will never forget. There were the Shaving Shelleys all the way from Georgia! They came with their baby girl who was as about as cute as they come. I met the lovely Heather Kash, who was the rep for St. Baldrick’s. She seemed quite impressed with the turnout and had mentioned that she has never seen so many women shavees at an event before. It made me even more proud to be a part of the event.
I also got to meet a funny lady named Jes who had the most glorious, shiny, brunette locks. I was even more impressed when she told me she was also a shavee. She looks even more beautiful bald! I was also able to meet Jeremy Hornik, Sheila’s husband and Donna’s daddy, and I was lucky enough to get to meet little Jay. And yes, his hair is truly something special.

The day eventually started coming to a close, as days often do, and most of the people who came to the Candlelite for the DGT event went home and elsewhere with their newly shorn  heads. Even Deb left to go have dinner with some friends she hadn’t seen in ages. And I just wasn’t ready to leave. I had hoped for a post-event shindig of sorts with myself and the remaining blogging folks. As luck would have it, Nikki, Katy, and Sheila were also sticking around to get better acquainted now that the bar was mostly empty.

Something naughty was being discussed. I'm sure of it.

Chris and I hung out a bit and when it was time to leave, Sheila invited everyone over for cheese sandwiches. Seriously. Nikki declined because she had a long drive home, and Katy had to return home to her DH and his fantasy baseball buddies. Chris and I didn’t have anything else to do, and I couldn’t imagine a better end to a perfect weekend, so we agreed to follow her home.

The rest of the evening was so special and overwhelming, that I can’t even put it into words that would do it justice, but I’ll try.

My bestie and her hubs also accompanied us to the Quirke-Hornik residence, and I was worried they’d bail on us because they’d be so bored. I mean, how much fun can you have on a Saturday night, hangin’ out in a basement, eating grilled cheese sandwiches and listening to Sheila’s dad tell the best stories ever? More fun than I ever thought possible, let me tell you.
As I sat there in their home, amongst so many things that I had seen only in pictures, and surrounded by people that I admire more than I can adequately express, it felt magical.

How did I get there? How was I able to read a story in September about a little girl that I had never met and be so touched by it that reading it would change the course of my life? And then somehow, 6 months later, by the grace of something so much bigger than me; bigger than all of us, I end up in the home of the very people who inspired me to shave my head. Cooking in their kitchen and telling Donna’s Da where my husband and I are from.  How did that happen?

Honestly, I still don’t know how it happened. I’m just now coming down from the endorphin overload from that entire weekend, and I still can’t believe such amazing things could happen to and because of little ol’ me.

So magical.

One thing is for certain though. That was the best grilled cheese sandwich ever.

About kantal113

I am a woman who just wants to share her crazy life with the rest of y’all. I am also a housekeeper, laundrette, babysitter, cook, teacher, caregiver, facilities manager, psychologist, and kisser-of-boo-boos. Better known as a mom.
This entry was posted in hope, inspiration, life, love, making a difference and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to My Tale of Baldness, Bliss, Magic, and Cheese Sandwiches.

  1. that sounded like an amazing weekend for you both. I really enjoyed reading this experience.

  2. Chris says:

    You’ve encapsulated it perfectly. (Now what will I write about?) 😉 I believe “magical” was my word for it, but you seemed to be thinking the exact same thing, so I’ll let it slide. hehe

    That was the best grilled cheese sandwich ever.

    Indeed. Great post, love.

    • kantal113 says:

      Thanks, love. If you remember, when you said the word magical in the car after we left, I burst into tears, because I had been thinking and feeling the same thing. Yes, you spoke it out loud first, but we experienced it together. Thank you for reading again and commenting. I heart you lots.

  3. katy says:

    gorgeous. it was worth the wait. I have chills all over again.

  4. How did I not realize you were shaving your head for Donna’s Good Things?? I must have missed a memo or two (yeah, I suck and procrastinate too). I’ve been quietly stalking your blog from afar and I LOVE it! My friend and I are shaving our heads for Donna’s Good Things in 2013 (we both suck and procrastinate and missed the 2012 deadline…..actually, we didn’t know they did one in Michigan until one week prior to it). We’re doing ours here in Romeo, Michigan. I’ve talked to Sheila via messages once or twice….you guys got to meet her IN PERSON….Lucky bitch! LOL I shared a link to your blog on my FB page because everyone I know thinks I’m bananas for wanting to shave my head. You described the purpose of it SO perfectly that I had to share. Look me up on FB if you get a moment (Danielle Bare)…I would love to pick your bald brain about some things bald related! Thanx hot momma… your blog. You and hubby rock!

    • kantal113 says:

      Wow! Thank you, Danielle! I am flabbergasted by your comment. You’re too kind. It’s pretty exciting to hear that you’ll be shaving for DGT next year. I’m hoping to do the same. It doesn’t matter though, where you shave, the money all goes to the same place. 🙂
      Thanks so much for sharing my post. Feel free to msg me any time about baldness or anything else, for that matter! Thank you again for reading and commenting. Love your blog, too! xoxo

  5. SoberTina says:

    Simply exquisite.

  6. Dominique says:

    Thanks for sharing! I am in absolute awe of all of the shavees at these events! My hats off to you and all participants.

    • kantal113 says:

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, Dominique! It was a truly amazing event. The number of people who went bald that day just blew me away. I spent a lot of time crying that day.

  7. Beautiful story, perfectly told.

  8. Currie Rose says:

    Oh my gosh, I was so excited to finally hear about the event! Thank you for the update and I am so happy that the experience was so magical. You all look beautiful! What a wonderful story of coming together to illustrate the impact a small group of people can have….

    I sincerely wish you get freshly pressed. 🙂

    • kantal113 says:

      Thank you, Currie. It was indeed magical. So simple though. Just sitting there in the home of the woman who inspired me in the first place. Surrounded by reminders of the little girl who inspired us all. I am tearing up just thinking about it. Thank you again for your kind words. Freshly pressed? Nah. I’m not that good, but thank you!

  9. Amanda says:

    What can I say? I love you for what you did and I love you for being able to experience such a beautiful weekend! Ever since the night before your wedding, when we were all sitting in your kitchen discussing Donna, I have been able to hone in on just how concrete your feelings for her are rooted. I could feel that once again through this blog. You did a great job capturing your passion and this was *officially* your first post that has made me cry.

    • kantal113 says:

      Oh heck. I didn’t mean to make you cry. I can’t even fathom someone reading my words and crying over them. That’s the stuff that dreams are made of. People being affected by what I write is exactly why I write. And you- you are my dearest friend, and I am so touched that you understand what all of this means to me. I still wish I knew why she has affected me so much. I’ll never meet her, but being in her home was a surreal experience. I am so blessed to have been able to have this experience.
      Thank you for reading and for your comment. You made me cry, too. xoxo

  10. Allison says:

    You are one of the most incredibly amazing people I know! Special beyond words. I am so glad I found your blog and so delighted you are writing one! (And you are an excellent writer!) Thanks so much for sharing! Allison

    • kantal113 says:

      Wow. Uhm…now I’m all blushy and stuff. I don’t know if I’m all that incredibly amazing, but thank you for being so kind enough to say so. It means a lot coming from you. I haven’t seen much of you on fb lately, and I have missed you. Does that sound silly? I am so glad you found my blog, too. Thank you for being so sweet and for listening when I needed an ear. xoxo

  11. Jennifer says:

    Love this post! I can only imagine how amazing this experience must have been. I read Donna’s story as well and it definitely made an impact on me. I hope you know how inspiring YOU are for participating!! Thank you for your story!!!

    • kantal113 says:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read this crazy-long post! And thank you for your kind words. I am having a hard time accepting all of this praise. And it feels great knowing that I somehow inspire others. That’s why I was involved. To inspire people to want to get involved, and to spread awareness.
      Little Donna changed my entire perspective. Getting my head shaved and raising a ton of money to help other kids, is the least I can do for her. Thank you again for reading. I hope you’ll continue to read my stuff in the future. 🙂

  12. Pingback: Blissfully bald indeed « The Monster in Your Closet

  13. Pingback: Walgreens, Waterworks, and Parking Lot Ire. « A Wordsmith's Brainworks

  14. you’re one hot baldie!! Love it! and super jealous that you got to party with all my bloggy idols! Next time I’d better be invited or Imma hafta start stalking YOU! LOL

    • kantal113 says:

      Thanks, lady! Don’t be jealous. They’re all just people, too. LOL You’re officially invited if we do it again next year, for sure! You can still stalk me though. If you wanna.
      I plan on shaving my head for pediatric cancer as often as I am able. Thank you again for reading and for your comment! xoxo

  15. Wow, what an amazing experience! And so well documented (love the pictures, particularly the one where you are trying not to cry..). Also amazing – how a community of bloggers can make an experience like that happen. How are you digging the new do? Going to keep it short or let it start growing back again?

    • kantal113 says:

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting, A Morning Grouch. That moment where I was trying not to cry was only a split second, then I started bawling. I felt so bad for Sheila. I know I freaked her out with all my crying, but man, it was such an amazing moment to finally meet her. What I didn’t mention in my post was when I first got to their house and was looking around, I saw something that made me burst into tears right there in her living room. I was so embarrassed. She said she was freaked out, but in a good way. LOL
      The bloggers really did get the word out there and made the event so much bigger. There were so many people involved that weren’t bloggers, but it was all of the posts on Valentines Day that I think really got a lot of attention and helped us raise more money. I am blown away by the response and by how much money was raised.
      So amazing!
      I LOVE the short hair. I really do! The hubs doesn’t love it though, so I’ll be growing it out a little bit. If I had my way, I’d shave it again right now. It’s already at an awkward phase where it makes me look like a chia pet. Not exactly the most flattering hairstyle.
      Thank you again! xoxo

  16. Very inspiring, Karin. Thanks for sharing this emotional journey with us.

  17. Amazing! Great story. How wonderful of you to shave your head. That is awesome.

    Chris looks cool shaved.

    • kantal113 says:

      Ha! I didn’t think you’d read it so quickly! Thank you so much for taking the time. It was a wonderful experience and I hope to do it again in the future. When I have more hair to shave off again!
      And oh, for what it’s worth, I thought Chris looked good bald, too. 😉

  18. It's A Dome Life says:

    So much love. So much generosity. Love!

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