There are big rites of passage and small ones, too.

Pulling 200 bobby pins from your hair at the end of the night falls on the smaller end. I was reminded of this tiny but sacred ritual Thursday as I drove back from my hair and makeup trials in Philly.

I had one hand on the wheel and one digging through my hair, extracting pins. Pin after pin after pin ...

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What a good day.

My bridesmaid and I drove in for the occasion. For whatever reason, my hair and makeup were tough to fit in. Some pieces fall into place more easily than others, I guess. But to tell you the truth, I think we’re past a tipping point.

It took so much work for this wedding to get moving — but fighting inertia can be the hardest part. Now, we’re rollin’.

We arrived at my parents’ house half an hour late; but the makeup artist was late, too, so it was cool. She was as one might expect — young, thin, very pretty.

I don’t know how my mom got her name, but she was super nice.

Meredith, the makeup artist, had cases and cases of makeup pouring out of a small suitcase. My parents’ breakfast table was covered in tiny squares of powder, blush and eyeshadow — like we were seeing whole farms of makeup from an airplane window.

My mom had to run, so she went first. In about 30 seconds, Meredith had applied a smoky lavender eye: really pretty and day-time friendly.

On me, she tried a blue to bring out my blue eyes. It didn’t really work. I pulled a face in her hand mirror.

My ambivalence was clear, so she tried another tack.

“This is going to sound really weird, but I did a mint eye on my friend last month, and it looked really good,” Meredith said. “She has big blue eyes like you.”

I looked at my ‘maid who was so good to keep me company. We shrugged. “Okay.”

You know, she was right? It did sound weird, but it looked great.

We did one eye of each. Hands down, the mint looked better.

Mint green is one of those colors I consider off-limits — I once got off a plane wearing a green tie-dyed dress and my mom both shook her head and made a face as she hugged me.

Green — with the one exception of Kelly green — makes me look wan. I know this, which is why the mint surprised me. It looked great. Joel’s jaw dropped when I got back to the office. He always thinks I look pretty — but, still.

The blush and lipstick I was less crazy about, but we all agreed I’ll be about four shades darker in August — so that’s TBD.

We had to run, anyway.

Off to the stylist! Jessica has styled the hair of me, my mom and all three of my sisters for years. I don’t remember whose hair she cut first, but we’ve all been hooked.

Jessica has that rare ability to know what I want when I have no idea myself. Do you know what a relief that is?

We flipped through the salon’s binder of up-dos. All I knew was that I like the way Tina Fey wears her hair: structured but still soft.

“Can we do that?” I asked Jess. And she said sure. We both agreed I need to wear my hair up because I will fidget with it relentlessly if I don’t. The rest, I left to her.

She teased the front of my hair up and — with the help of a straightening iron — smoothed it into a graceful bump.

She gathered the rest of my hair in a medium-height pony tail and looped the pieces together. My ‘maid watched with fascination. When Jess showed me halfway through, I asked her for fewer loops, more ... “Woven together?” She asked. Bingo.

By the end of the trial I looked like a bride.

All it took was 90 minutes and 200 bobby pins!

On the day of, we’re thinking of putting small, silk flowers in my do as well. It’ll be very bohemian and fun.

But, maybe, the most fun is taking it all apart — a ritual that follows any prom or your best friend’s wedding. My friend Dan said he remembers fishing all of the bobby pins out of his wife’s hair on their wedding night.

“Like gorillas’ social grooming — but, you know, bobby pins instead of lice,” he said.

I can’t wait!!

Countdown to bliss

More than one countdown is going on.

There are the days, sure — 78!!! But there are also the presents.

We’re registered at Sears,, REI, the Community FoodBank of South Jersey, and Bed, Bath and Beyond.

I’ll be honest, though. I can’t stop checking my BBB registry because that’s where the meat-and-potatoes of our home goods are coming from — our plates, towels, pots, pans and Keruig coffeemaker.

In that respect, only 113 to go!!!

It just gets better and better.

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