Cheaters never prosper.

I didn't make that up. Someone else did, and I'm guessing they weren't talking about hair color.

But they should've been.

Where do we begin?

We begin with the story of my hair, the color in particular. I've been coloring my hair for 40 years, and I forget my natural color.

It hardly matters.

I write fiction for a living.

I see no reason that my hair shouldn't be completely fabricated.

Blond is a lot more fun than mousy-brown reality.

Plus, have you seen my author photo lately?

There's not a wrinkle on my face.

I'm a freshly ironed sheet.

As though I never frowned or smiled my entire life.

I look like a virgin.

And that's why God invented Photoshop.

Same with hair color.

Especially when the fictional equivalent of my hair has tawny streaks from a mythical sun over Ventura, Calif.

Of course, I've never ventured to Ventura.

But I'm a California girl.

In my mind.

The term sun-kissed is what an ad would say, though a kiss from the sun might be hotter than prudent.

Way back when, I used to put lemon juice on my hair to achieve the desired fake affect, and, after that, I sprayed some goop called Sun-In, which may have been cleaning solvent mixed with moonshine.

Ironic, as I was aiming for sunshine.

In any event, as I got older, I earned more money, and my pretensions grew. I got my hair colored professionally, which they started calling highlighted.

I'm fine with that.

I have great associations with highlights. Yellow markers that we use to overachieve, and also my favorite magazine of all time.

I mean, who doesn't love Goofus and Gallant?

No, I'm not talking about Thing One and Thing Two.

OK, maybe I am, but you're only half right.

In any event, at some point after highlights, there was something called lowlights, which was supposed to give a more natural look to your fake hair, and I was fine with that, too.

I was fine with all this because I have a wonderful hair colorist, whom I have been going to forever, and she has become my friend, therapist, and general beautifier.

I would never cheat on her. But what happened was that I was on the road, and you know how that goes.

There are men who cheat when they're out of town, but women do, too.

But with hair colorists.

What happened was that I had to go to a meeting in New York, and I couldn't go with my gray roots, because I'm supposed to look young.

Good luck with that.

I felt like I needed to get blonder and brighter and sunnier, so I went to a hair colorist in New York City.

She was young, adorable, and fun, which is probably how cheaters feel about their girlfriends instead of their wives.

Of course, I felt guilty and more Catholic than ever, because I knew I was cheating.

Even though I had a good excuse, I still felt nervous the whole time I was in the chair.

In fact, people in the electric chair have been more relaxed.

But no shade to her, as the kids say, because I asked her to highlight my hair, and she thought I needed more lowlights, and basically what happened is she did exactly what I asked.

Now, all of my gray is covered, but I have black roots.

So I don't feel old, I feel slutty.

This is what happens when you cheat, people.

It's a slippery slope.

I love my girlfriend, but I love my wife more.

And I can't wait to get back to her.

It'll be a highlight.

Look for Lisa and Francesca's new humor collection, "I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere But the Pool," coming July 11, and Lisa's new domestic thriller, "One Perfect Lie," in stores now. Also, look for Lisa's new Rosato & DiNunzio novel, "Damaged," coming Aug. 15.