“Unfortunately Ms. Rodriguez…”

These are words I’ve come to expect during this time of unfavorable circumstances. Some of the worst words you could ever imagine have finished this sentence in the last few months. But none shook me to my core or made me weep quite as hard as the ones I heard from Fed Ex on a snowy Monday morning.

“Unfortunately Ms. Rodriguez, someone threw your package away”

I black out a bit after I hear this. A burning heat starting in my cheeks spreads rapidly to every part of my body and my mouth starts lubricating itself like it does right before you puke. The unthinkable has happened: My wig, which was handmade for me and costs twice as much as my rent, has been thrown away by a Fed Ex employee.

Maybe I should remind you that I have just completely removed all the hair from my head. I’ll also add that I was at the salon that very minute for my appointment to get the wig cut to precision. And to top it off, I was scheduled to shoot a guest spot on a television show that day. Cue uncontrollable sobbing.

Let me go back.

I previously posted about my hair buying journey and the tedious work that was about to go into making my gorgeous handmade wig. I had flown to New York before the wig was completed so Maurice went to the local Fed Ex in LA and shipped it directly to Mala’s on a Friday for a Saturday delivery. I had zero anxieties about this plan at all. This sort of thing happens every day! What could go wrong? Around 3pm Saturday, the wig still hadn’t arrived so I called Fed Ex to inquire about the package. They said it never left the store, despite the fact that I had a receipt proving I had paid for it to be delivered the next day. After checking with the store in LA, they told me the package wasn’t at the store either and that we would have to wait until Monday for them to review the security tapes and see what happened. But there was a snowstorm coming to the city so we all still held out hope that it was on it’s way and just didn’t get recorded in all the chaos of storm preparation. In the spirit of this wildly misguided optimism, we scheduled the “haircut” Monday morning to get me looking as good as new for this shoot.

Now it’s Monday. I’m waiting patiently for either a call from the manager or a knock on the salon door from a shivering delivery man, whichever comes first. The call comes first. “Unfortunately Ms. Rodriguez…” Apparently they had footage on the tapes of an employee chucking my wig in the trash. Why someone would do this is a question that still rattles around in my balding head. There seems to be no other reason that to add to the absurdity of my life. So I let the tears go, crying for everything all at once. Fortunately, just as the heaves were diminishing into whimpers, I got a call from the TV show saying they were postponing the shoot due to weather. Ok, we can remove that from the list of concerns. So all that was left was to tackle my chrome dome dilemma with laser focus: I needed some wigs and I needed them fast.

Peter and I trudged through the rapidly accumulating snow to a wig store on 14th street. They have everything from expensive human hair wigs to purple afros and 40 inch cosplay options. I spent about an hour trying on as many as I wanted, eyeing the new woman I became with each flick of the wrist. I settled on three: a short, a long and a rebellious. The awesome part was they were all human hair but none of them was more than $60.  $170 total and I could style them at will. Don’t try this with synthetics! You’ll have melted hair confetti on your hands. SO here’s where the fashion starts coming into play. Just like an article of clothing always looks better when it’s been tailored to you, a wig that is customized, no matter what it looked like at first, can do wonders. I marched right back to Mala and this is what we came up with. (Side note: until I can learn the ins and outs of this blog template, just click on the photos to make them bigger. Computer dummy over here.)

before after short 2

This is my “regular Krysta” look. I actually couldn’t believe how ready-to-wear it was without even touching it. We just added some dimension and texture so it could have some freer movement at it was good to go.

before after long 2

This was really fun. I haven’t had long hair since I was 9 so this was a great way to experiment. When I put the original one on I felt like a Yale student in the early 70s. Not exactly what I was going for! We cut some super sassy bangs, got rid of a ton of bulk and layered the heck out of it. Now I’m like an assassin school student….in the early 70s.

before after red 2

My superhero wig! This was a treat I gave myself after the crappy day I had. I saw it up on the top shelf and immediately fell in love. It was already fun and spunky but Mala turned up the sass factor by cuting the coolest swoopy layers. It even has dark roots built in which cracks me up. Its my favorite of the three and I can’t wait to take this cherry red beauty for a test drive.

I finished up the day with a smile while the Fed Ex debacle faded slowly into just another ridiculous story. To their credit, Fed Ex swiftly reimbursed me and Maurice is back in his magic workshop starting from scratch one more time. Plus, I have three new ways to walk around life in. All in all, not a bad day. Fortunately Ms. Rodriguez, you’re gonna make it after all.

36 thoughts on ““Unfortunately Ms. Rodriguez…”

  1. Talk about making a negative situation into a positive! Holy Crap, YOU ARE AMAZING! Love all three looks but I agree that the sassy red one ROCKS on YOU! Go get’em Krysta!

  2. “OH SH**! NO THEY DID NOT.” -words out of my mouth at the beginning of this post.

    “Krysta is incredible.” -words at the end of this post.

    <3

  3. I am so freakin proud of you kid! I smile and cry with every blog post & you are always in my prayers.

    Love,
    Jer’s Mom

  4. the RED. Krysta. The red.

    They are all fantastic but my oh my, that red one makes me all sorts of happy for you!

  5. Lovin’ the sassy red!!!
    Totally inspiring !! In the face of disappointment, Krysta, you continue to make lemonade out of lemons and pull off the impossible! Such an amazing spirit! Krysta, you continue to be my SuperHero!
    God, please when I grow up, let me be just like Krysta Rodriguez!

  6. When you’re ready to turn this experience into a one-woman show, let me know. I will write the music and the lyrics for it.

    Too many great stories and a great attitude not to be shared on the biggest stage(s) we can find!

    Ken

  7. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on wigs. I had a synthetic wig that cost about $100 and looked great, and my daughters and two of their friends had their hair cut and made me a real hair wig. I don’t know how much that cost, but I’m sure it wasn’t cheap. I had it cut and styled to suit me. That’s what’s great about the real hair wigs. But the synthetic has its advantages, too – you just put it on and go and it looks the same all the time! You look great in your wigs!! So cute …

  8. You handled that situation with far more grace than I think many would’ve been capable of, including me. So glad you found some good alternatives in the meantime!

    The cherry red looks so fun, and with the first wig I don’t think most people would have any idea that was a post-chemo picture unless you told them. The long one would probably work for Daria, if you have a costume party coming your way. 🙂

  9. Great wigs (it’s weird seeing you with long hair)!!! I’m sorry about what Fed Ex had done, but it’s great that you’ll be getting replacement wigs real soon. Love you :)!!!

  10. Darling Girl, what an awful day to have to go thru after everything else you have had t o endure. So glad it all worked out & you look adorable in all three wigs, the red is my favorite too. Just know that all of Jeremys family I s rooting for you. Your sprit & courage is truly inspiring. Love & support. Jeremy’s Nana

  11. I cried with your story!

    In bible study tonight we read that verse in James 4 “He giveth more grace” and it made me remember about the following poem, which may or may not be a help in days to come:

    He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
    He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
    To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
    To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.

    When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
    When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
    When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
    Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

    Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
    Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
    Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
    The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.

    His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
    His power no boundary known unto men;
    For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
    He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

  12. Talk about grace and optimism! This post once again reaffirms my love and admiration for you. Weird how the Fed Ex employee threw your wig away but I’m glad you managed to turn the situation around. Looking good in those wigs by the way 🙂

    ♡ Carissa

  13. Krysta, you continue to inspire me every single day. I read this after one of the worst days I’ve had in a while and was simply blown away by your continued grace and optimism in the face of adversity. You are my superhero, and my thoughts are always with you. You look so beautiful in all of your new looks!!!

  14. Dear Krysta!
    My name is Michael and I am a long time fan and and constantly inspired by your talent, grace, and optimism. This blog if fabulous, quirky and resounding!

    I actually am the creator and director of an organization called The Traveling Troupe. It is an organization I created 2 years ago to bridge my passions for theater/performance and charity work. We are a group of student performers of all sorts that perform showcases to various hospitals, rehabilitation, centers, senior living centers etc. Our trips provide a consoling outlet for developing performers and brighten the days of the sick and elderly in NYC. We have had the gift and honor to perform in a few hospitals for cancer patients, but we would love if in some capacity we can honor your strength and optimism by visiting your treatment facility. Let me know if that would be something possible.

    I would love to hear back from you and possibly arrange an event for my organization in your honor.

    If you would like to reach me please contact me via email at
    TheTravelingTroupe@gmail.com

    G-d Bless,
    Michael Z

  15. The way you handled that situation is beyond me! I could not even begin to handle that the way you did; it would just be ice cream cookies and sobbing all day long. You are so amazing! I just watched Jennifer Nettles vlog on broadway.com and Carly Huges and Kelcy Griffin just showed her how to do a head wrap; you should totally try to do that!! I am always amazed at how you amaze me with your strength and bravery! I will be praying for you!

  16. *Hugs*

    I’m so sorry your beautiful custom wig is gone. I hope the replacement will be even more fabulous. But I’m so glad you took the opportunity to find not just one but three wigs to fill in for you in the meantime. And oh my goodness!! That red hair!! It’s so beautiful, and absolutely perfect for the days when you wake up and feel like you can’t go on another step. You can remind yourself that you are secretly a superhero and keep going anyway. Everyone on this journey should have something like that … something they can grab hold of when they need a smile. (For me – since I have a brain tumor and sometimes get extremely frustrated with the way my brain just doesn’t work right – one of my friends gave me a brain-shaped stress ball. I carry it with me, and when I get super-frustrated, I give it a squeeze and remind myself that I have one brain that always does its job perfectly!)

    And thank you for continuing to share your story. I’m so grateful to have found this blog today. For the past six months or so, I’ve been telling myself that I need to stop burdening friends and family with the worries that caregivers face. (I don’t know what happened six months ago to make me suddenly feel like I had to start shutting everyone out. Something, I guess. Or maybe nothing. Waves of fear sometimes come out of nowhere, don’t they?) I’ve been putting on a brave face and telling everyone that “I’m fine,” and then sobbing when I’m by myself. And I know that they love me no matter what. And I know that they want to be here for me and support me and care for me. But somehow I got it in my head that knowing I’m not okay was too hard and too stressful for the people I love. Reading your honest and open story has helped me to see how silly I’ve been. I don’t need to shut them out “for their own good.” Because it wasn’t nearly so difficult to face the troubles that keep popping up when I wasn’t trying to shoulder the entire weight of the situation on my own. When I’m with friends and family, I laugh much more than I cry, and I often forget that I even have a brain tumor. It only becomes truly scary when I’m trying to do it alone.

  17. Krysta,

    Thank you for being so brave and sharing your journey. Being in the public eye, you have such a great power to change the stigma surrounding cancer. My best friend of 10+ years was diagnosed with Stage 2 hodgekin’s Lymphoma the week of Thanksgiving, 2014. I’ve watched her go through her journey back in PA while I’m in NYC. It’s so heartbreaking to not be there for her. I’ve never had someone so close to me be this sick before and it is the scariest thing in the world. Thank you for sharing your story, so I know that I can be brave for her. Xxx

  18. I will never be able to thank you enough for all of the strength you’ve inspired in me. You’ve always been a performer I’ve looked up to, and you always will be. I’m so grateful I’ve had the privilege to watch you perform, and to even learn the opening number of A Chorus Line from you. In these coming weeks when beautiful is probably the last thing you’ll feel, I hope you remember you’ve still got so many fans around the world who are still inspired by you. Stay strong, I’m always praying for your recovery xx

  19. Krysta, I am so sorry that your beautiful wig was thrown away!! What is wrong with people!! I am happy that FedEx reimbursed you and that Maurice is making another one for you.

    You are truly a resilient woman. xoxox

  20. I love the red one!! The cut/style added to it is awesome. I wish i could pull that look off.
    You look great!

  21. Krysta: I love your optimistic attitude; I have said you are a super hero! You look beautiful in all three of them.
    You will won this battle. By the way, I am Natasha’s grandmother and by hear say I have known you for quite a long time. God bless you, my dear.

  22. me encanta el primer corte te queda genial , el rojo también para cuando tengas días de bajon que te suba el animo vas genial besos guapa

  23. I love it, I love it, I love it!
    The wigs look great, and I can’t tell you how happy I am it all turned up for the better at this situation. Seems like there’s a new Krysta in town, and she just keeps getting stronger, wiser and cooler:)

  24. Clearly the universe was telling you that one wig, however fabulous, just would not do! I am so sorry you had to go through that shock on top of everything else, but what a great result!

    I vote for the red, but can’t wait to see the the new one.

    Sending much love,
    Laura

  25. I met you when you were just understudying in the early days of Spring Awakening on Broadway.

    It was pre-show, outside the Eugine O’Neil and you’d been for coffee with Skylar and Lauren. I already had a playbill which you signed, and smiled and were so humble. I knew right then that you were a winner.

    You’re still a winner Krysta and you’ll win this battle. You’re already laughing in it’s face. Wow.

    You don’t know who I am, and you’re an ocean away – but you have my love and respect throughout it all.

  26. Your wigs are awesome! I think your regular hair cut is adorable & can’t believe how real the wig looks. If I thought I could wear short hair like you I would try your hair cut. Hummm…maybe I should test out a wig.

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