Thursday, November 04, 2004

Bad Hair Day

What a nasty rainy bad hair day it was today. Weather like this tends to make my hair frizz. This is a phenomena that I am not used to. Perhaps it's a sign of age? My hair and I have never been on the best of terms. Back in the day, my hair was board, stick straight. I longed to have wavy hair, or at least the body my friends had in their hair. Can you imagine a Dorothy Hamil cut with NO body? Well, I had it in 6th grade. Sad.

When the 80s hit, spiral perms and big hair were all the rage. My hair, on the other hand can only be compared to an 80 year old man's member - minus the viagra. It hung flaccid, stringy and rather pathetic. So what did I do? I regularly paid for a spiral perm. The sadistic process of a perm (do you remember Apple Pectin?) didn't work on me in the regular way. Oh no. I would get a perm and within days it fell into a rat's nest of straw. Luckily I found Jameson, the first gay man I ever loved (there would be many others). Jameson was schooled in a technique called the transfer perm. This 4 hour (at least) process, which cost about $100 and that's 80's currency! - required very small perm rods for the first process. Then he would transfer (thus the name) my hair to larger rods for the neutralizing process. I have no idea why it worked, but I didn't care because it did. I had my big long spiral perm that would last for WEEKS (about 8). Oh yes, it smelled like the worst parts of a DuPont chemical plant for the first couple of days because I couldn't wash it right away. But I didn't care. I had 80's hair! And I LOVED it! My bangs were cut short and kind of wispy. Nothing like the Jersey Girl hair that hit it's peak in the 90's. You remember those 6 inch bangs sprayed straight up right? That was not me. My bangs were blown back in a sort of feathering thing. Dear Lord, it was probably a female mullet. Regardless, I had a mane to be proud of.

I loved my 80's hair so much that I kept it into the 90's. Well come on...I live in the good old south. You can't ever accuse us of being on the cutting edge of fashion like those manequins in New York. At least it wasn't "Jersey hair!" I worked hard for this look. It tool me long enough to achieve it. It was mine, and I wasn't about to give it up. The picture above is myself and #1 Son. It was takem in early '92. What you need to notice is that my hair in that picture was in a banana clip (remember those?). It was much longer than it looks in the picture. Eventually I cut my hair to just below my shoulders right around this time because #1 son started pulling up to a standing position on anything that was near him...and that included my hair. OUCH!

I've run the gamut of hair styles since then. Four years ago I cut all the stuff off. I was over it. I had a very short stylish cap of hair with a little short fringe in the back. Short hair looked good on me, but short hair has it's own baggage. You see, you actually have to have it cut on a regular basis to maintain the style. I'm lazy. Frequent haircuts cramp my style. Lucky for me, C. likes my hair longer. Also lucky for me, C. lived through the whole growing out of the hair fiasco without ONE negative comment. I, on the other hand, had LOTS of negative comments. He was smart enough not to agree or disagree with me. See why I love this man?

Fast forward to the twenty-first century. The style is now board straight hair. What does my hair do? Let me tell you. My hair has found a life of its own. Not only is there body, but there are curls here that have NEVER shown their faces before. These waves and curls only manifest themselves on the ends. Where did this big hair come from? Is this age? I suppose. Am I happy about it? No. I would have killed for this crap several years ago. Now I try to tame it straight with a myrad of styling gel and a flat iron. The irony is not lost on me.

At this point, though, I am pretty over it. Maybe it's because of all the trouble I went through in the 80s. Don't get me wrong, I go through the motions and jump through the hoops when I need to look decent. But let's face it, when my major meeting of people during the day is class I throw the crap up into a clip or a pony tail. You can dress me up...but only if I have to.

I have to say, though, that you know things are a bit "rough" when the people closest to you drop hints about the state of your hair. Over a year ago my Mother gave me a present. It was a gift certificate for VERY expensive procedures at the hair salon we both go to. Uh, Ok Mom I can take a hint. She looked at me with that "lemon look" (i.e. she looks like she's been sucking a lemon) and said, Honey, really, I think it's time. You are a beautiful girl." I get it already.

Recently, C. made the comment, "Honey, we've got some extra money. Why don't you get your hair done?" Friends, that is code for "Dear Lord woman LOOK at yourself!" OK, so I have a few extra grey hairs lately. I attribute them all to the people I live with - the kids!!. After throwing a minor hissy (in my head, of course - he meant well and was trying to be nice), I realized that I need to make an appointment. It's just such a hassle.

I look at it this way, I wash the mop regularly. *IF* I feel the desire to color it, I do so on a low key, low cost basis. In reality, it is by FAR better than the old 80's hair, no matter how bad it looks now. At least it's semi-straight. But I've got to tell you...sometimes I really miss that mass of curls with the feathered bangs.

And today? Screw it. Today I wore a hat.


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Name: Cattiva
Location: Virginia, United States

About Me: I'm the mom of three: #1 Son (20), The Princess of Wails (17) and their baby brother - The Baby (6). I was a grad-student working on an MA in history until we were surprised - I mean blessed - with The Baby. I'll get back to it...someday (the thesis, not the kid - I have no choice concerning the kid). I am one of only a few people I went to school with who is actually using their history degree in my career (and to think my Father called it Basket-weaving!). I live a very hectic life amongst massive clutter. I call it a good day if we have managed to get home at night without losing one of the kids (no matter how hard I try!). Friends say I have a humorous take on life's happenings. The sad part is that what I write about is true. I laugh to keep from crying.

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