Is estrogen toxic in high quantities?

Yesterday there was a smidge too much estrogen-driven drama for my taste – it seemed to hit toxic levels to mere mortals (like men). See, yesterday was the Peanut’s first Homecoming Dance.

But the drama hasn’t really been limited to just yesterday – if so, it might have been tolerable. Nope, it has been going on for a couple of weeks, but at a low background level. There’s been the group forming (kids go as large herds now – Peanut was in a group of with 8 ladies and 4 men), the comparing of groups, the gossiping about who’s in and who’s out of the group and why, and …

… and dress shopping. We had been looking at dresses for about a month. There was a couple of days of dress shopping without The Wife (she was working), giving Peanut a good idea of what was available AND what she liked. Peanut even bought a couple of dresses with her OWN money (returnable, of course) to bring home to show her mother. During that time, The Wife was also on the hunt for a nice dress for Peanut. This was also a good idea as it gave her an idea of what she liked and what was available. I thought that finding the intersection of these two sets was a problem on the scale of proving Fermat’s Last Theorem, but I was wrong. They agreed on a dress reasonably quickly (about the 3rd place we stopped) and I was called in to “approve” the purchase. Duh. They both agreed and it was a nice dress so this was easy. Check – dress purchased. And somewhere along the line the bangly necklace thingy showed up. Check.

and shoe shopping. This must have happened when I wasn’t looking, but I think I know when it happened. This happened well before the dress was really thought about. We were at Nordstom’s taking advantage of the last couple of days of their annual Anniversary Sale. We had some rewards certificates that we got from credit card kickbacks (I usually use my Nordstrom Visa for everyday expenses like gas) to defray a lot of the actual cost. Of course, when I checked this with The Wife she said nope, that they actually did this a couple of weeks ago. What I remembered wasn’t these shoes, but some other festive sandals. Check – impractical girly shoes acquired.

But yesterday was the pièce de résistance, with most of the drama directed outward.

and the nails – fingers and toes both. But we couldn’t do our own nails. Nope. We had to go to the nail shop. The local nail shop, US Nails, is a typical “Chinese nail chop shop” (according to Peanut). The people who run the shop are Asians. I don’t know if they’re Chinese or not, but I don’t care about that – what’s important to me is that they do a very nice and thorough job at a reasonable price. They’re a baby blue. Normal, nothing fancy like a French Manicure, Acrylics, or any designs (flowers, hearts, …). I don’t know how we settled on baby blue – her dress is white and black, the shoes are black, the necklace is grey/silver. Nonetheless, blue it is.

and then the hair. , right from the nails it’s the hair. It wasn’t a hair cut (though I got one of those yesterday – “#1 all over”), it was an up do. It didn’t have a style name other than that but if it did Peanut doesn’t know what it’s called. What it ended up looking like in the back was very nice – curly twisty with jewels (that seem to match the nails a little bit). The front, on the other hand, had to work around some constraints. First, there was the orange spray-on hair coloring that didn’t come out from earlier in the week (the high school colors are black and orange). It mostly came out, but it just didn’t come out where her bangs could be combed symmetrically from side to side – long bangs were needed to hide the orange (because orange doesn’t go with white and black and blue? get rid of the black and you get the Chief!) Whatever, but if I had spray painted my hair orange my mother would have had my father do something about it.

and then the friends (pay attention here – it’s going to get a little messy). One of Peanut’s friends came over to have her nails done BY PEANUT. Oh, so you’re good enough at doing nails to give your friend a french manicure but you’re not good enough to put sky blue nail polish on your own nails? Friend #2 came over and Peanut did both of their makeup. Friend #3 came over because she was a middle school friend who goes to the other high school in town but wanted to go to Peanut’s school’s dance. That’s fine, I agreed to that earlier in the week.

Here’s the bonus round, though: (surprise!) Friend #4 came over because Peanut told her that I would give them all rides to and from the dance and the dinner afterwards and to the sleepover at Peanut’s house (once I caught wind of that I put the kibosh on that concept – nobody’s sleeping at Peanut’s house except the people that are supposed to be there!). That’s fine, I’m certainly capable of driving 4 young ladies ODing on estrogen to a hormone-fest at the high school and back somewhere else, but next time maybe Peanut will check with us first! There was the issue of the butt count of the vehicle – you know, the number of butts that will fit in the car. A good proxy metric for butt count is the number of seatbelts; each butt requires a dedicated seatbelt. We have a 5-butt car, so 4 friends + 1 driver means either Dad or Mom are excluded. Since I was driving, then that means Mom stayed home.

and the pictures. We left the house at about 6:30 pm. Apparently photos were scheduled at one of the other girls house AT 6:30. Whoops. Well that meant that we were late. We were late because Peanut was too busy dealing with her friends to get herself ready. We were late because after Peanut bothered to get herself ready, she had to go next door and show the neighbor’s children how she looks (4 kids – 3 girls and 1 boy; she’s the default babysitter when they need one). Of course, the Mom over there had to look too – her oldest is in 5th grade, so it’s going to be a few years yet. We also got a nice picture with the neighbor and Peanut.

Once we arrived at Randi’s house (the designated house for pictures), then we had more excitement. First, Peanut had to pin the boutonniere to her date (she had one of the boys). She didn’t really know how to do that without hurting him. I helped her out there and then after a bunch of milling about the adults regained control of the situation and got the kids lined up and ready for some pictures. After a handful of false starts, we got a couple of decent ones. The kids finally got tired of that and wanted to start being kids again. After another 15 minutes or so, we finally got everyone rounded up to head over to the school for the dance. Since nobody else decided, I just declared that the 4 girls that were in my car on the way TO Randi’s house were going with me to the school. There were no objections, so off we went.

and the dance. The dance started at 8:00 pm. It was over at 11:00pm. The plan was to go to the dance early (at 7:55 they actually arrived at the door). When we arrived at the school, I said that I would pick them up at THE SAME PLACE where I dropped them off. They definitely acknowledged that plan and after getting a handful of “paparazzi pics” of the kids on their way into the dance both them and I happily went on our way. I went home and hung out at the other neighbor’s house – the had a little bonfire/gathering – and had a bottle of beer. One of my favorite brands, “free.” I’ll refrain from commenting on my neighbor’s choice in beer – we got there late so I’ll presume the better beer was already gone.

and the dinner. No matter how hard the adults tried to convince the kids that dinner after was a bad idea, they weren’t budging. So, after the dance my plan was to pick up the 4 that I had earlier and take them to dinner. That was my plan; they had agreed. That was before they made new plans without telling me. Their plan was that 3 girls got into my car – 2 that were there before (including Peanut) and 1 new one, and at a place OTHER than were we had previously agreed. Oh, and I was under the impression that the plan was to pick them up at 11:00; apparently their plan was to be picked up at 11:15. The obvious question: what happened to the other 2 girls. Well, both of them went in another car (or 2 other cars – it wasn’t clear to me) but they’d be over at dinner. Ok, whatever, as long as these girls were convinced the other two were taken care of then I can live with that (fortunately, we did see them both at the dinner – I have photographic proof, so I feel better).

The restaurant itself was a sports bar. Yeah, it’s got a restaurant, and apparently there was some connection to the management because they kept the kitchen open long enough to make some pizza for the kids. I called The Wife (remember, too many butts for the car) when we got to the restaurant and had her come over to see her daughter. One of the things that happened over at the neighbor’s house is that we got a nice picture of Peanut and her together. The Wife wanted that picture with her, so we decided to do it after the dance while her hair was still up-done and the mood was good. Peanut was in a really good mood, and this picture turned out fantastic (but I’m not sharing).

The restaurant/bar happened to have booked a band for the evening. The band, The Leah Pearl Band, is a local band that do a little bit of everything – Rock, Blues, Country, Funk, Jazz. I don’t remember much of the music (I was tired and the drivers were having their own little party), but a couple of songs stood out – a nice cover of  Big & Rich’s “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” and a outstanding version of Peggy Lee’s “Fever.” I had heard the original a little earlier at the bonfire, and Leah’s version dialed up the energy and turned it into a nice little rock and roll song.

And just in case the kids didn’t have enough fun at the dance, they were dancing some more at the bar.  There were other people already dancing, so the kids went out and added to the small crowd. Adding to the dancing crowd pumped up the energy of the band, and they were playing some nice songs and that’s when we got the cover of Fever. The kids were having a great time, so they probably didn’t care that they didn’t have a clue about half of the music they were dancing to (given how much crap they listen to). Leah made a nice shout out to the “Homecoming Table” and they really enjoyed that. I’m all happy that they were having a good time, but if they would just wrap it up because it was about 1:00 and I really was starting to get tired.

and finally the trip home. The kids eventually took the hint – the drivers had been bugging the kids to wrap it up and when more parents started arriving the whole she-bang was done. Remember the original 4 girls that turned into 2 originals and 1 newbie – well, I had those 3 in my car again. Now, instead of heading home I had to take the middle-school friend home first. She lives somewhere between my home and Wisconsin, but I had to drive right past my house to take this girl home. 15 minutes up to her house and another 15 back home and I think I got home at 2:00 AM.

Finally, at about 2:45AM (almost 4 hours after the end of the dance and almost 18 hours after my day started) I got into bed, changed whatever The Wife (who was already sleeping) had on into something that was interesting to me and instantly I was out. I survived Homecoming!

When I woke up today, at about 8:30, I got up, showered, and started running errands and writing this post. It seems that I survived my estrogen immersion – I think I suffered from some slight toxicity (I didn’t need to shave this morning???) but it should be over after a good dose of football today. The Bears play at 7:00.

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