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Before today's entry, here is a commercial site with a lovely tribute to Fred Rogers (it may take awhile to load).

(a hair-raising tale)

1 March 2003

These thoughts were sparked by an entry written in Under the Microscope a few weeks ago. The entry concerned hair curling.

I have naturally curly hair. Like Frieda in the Peanuts comic strip. Frieda appears to have become the forgotten Peanuts character because I searched all over the Internet to find a graphic and couldn't. My hair has been the source of much comment throughout my life. (My mother's favorite comment: "Look at that hair! It makes me sick!" ...she means that in a good way; she covets my hair)

curls- 1.jpg (5412 bytes)I didn't quite have the tight ringlets that Shirley temple did when I was a kid (or at least they look much more loose in the photos I see), but as I got older the curls became more pronounced.

curls- 2.jpg (7515 bytes)As the hair grew longer, my mother would form long curls which eventually fell to my shoulders. As she tells it, it was a struggle each morning because curling them involved brushing out the curls from the previous day, and, she tells me, after she brushed the hair into curls, they would tighten up as the day wore on, so that by morning, it was like trying to brush out a tightly coiled spring. Each morning's brushing session involved a lot of tears (fortunately I don't remember this).

curls- 3.jpg (5323 bytes)The fight over my curls went on for seven years until one day when we were on vacation when she asked me if I wanted to have my hair cut. I said yes, and she took me to a beauty salon to have all of those long curls cut off. She couldn't bear to watch and left me there.

A funny thing happened when the hair was cut. Instead of starting all over again with the short curly hair, my hair went straight. Well, not entirely straight. It always had a natural wave in it, but it was decades before I could say that I had "curly" hair again.

Oh my hair looked curly during all those years. I was now into the world of pin curls, brush rollers, permanent waves. Even though my "natural" curl was gone, the wave stayed, so it was easy to get the hair to do what I wanted.

curls- 4.jpg (12907 bytes)Of course I wasn't the one getting it to do what I wanted it to do. My mother did my hair for me until I graduated from high school. In fact one of my biggest concerns about going into the convent was that I had never done my own hair and I didn't know how to do it (somehow I think that might have been a clue as to the depth of my "vocation"!!)

We went to Hawaii as a last fling, spending the money my godmother had left me in her will. I had my hair cut short for that trip and learned how to make simple pin curls so that I could at least make my hair look like "something" for those first crucial 6 months. Then, of course, I never went into the convent, but I had taken over doing my own hair. I learned to roll and sleep on brush rollers--those instruments of torture--but I never did learn how to work a hair dryer effectively. I even wore a "fall" once so my hair could be long and straight, since it never grew that way.

curls-5.jpg (5593 bytes)We entered the years where it was politically acceptable to be barefoot, bra-less and pregnant and I was all three. To go along with it, I let my hair grow long. I dreamed of having long luxurious tresses. Instead I got this bushy "thing" that looked horrible. After four years, I couldn't stand it any more and had it all cut off.

When my hair was short once again, a very strange thing happened. A beautician told me this was not uncommon--the curl came back. No longer did I just have body with waves, I actually had curls again--not tight curls, but very definitely curls. The explanation was that it was like a spring and if you hang a weight on it (e.g., by letting the hair grow for a long period of time), it all "springs back" when you remove the weight.

I didn't care. It became a joy to take care of. I didn't have to do much of anything. No matter what the length, I just washed it, brushed it into somewhat of the shape I wanted it to be when it dried, and that was it. "I hate you," my mother frequently says.

I am well aware of how fortunate I am. And if I weren't, beauticians would remind me. I don't think I have ever had my hair cut when the person cutting it didn't tell me, as if she were the first to discover it, that I have beautiful hair (meaning that it is beautiful to work with). I don't always get the best haircuts in the world. But I've never had a real horror story where my hair is concerned. (The only "horror story" involved not my hair cut, but the comments of the high priced beautician for whom I was a "hair model" for how to cut curly hair to the curl. The cut itself was the best I've ever had.)

I suspect that if I ever learned how to use a styling brush and a hair dryer, I might have even better looking hair, but I love the no-maintenance style that I've worn forever.  (Besides, since I don't "style it," I don't have to worry about wind or rain--just shake my head and it looks the same as it always did.)

I may have other physical flaws (lots of them), but I'll never complain about my hair.

wpe23C.jpg (3339 bytes)Thanks for your nomination of Funny the World for a Legacy award, of all things. You can find all the nominees here.

Congratulations to all the other nominees--especially my buddies Haggie and Marn. If you have a journal, support the community and be sure to vote.

Quote of the Day

It's surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time.

~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

Today's Photo (11430 bytes)

(I had my hair cut yesterday)

One Year Ago
Got an Itch?  Scratch it!!!
When I walk down the street, I feel thinner. I realize that I am larger than I was when I began to feel like a lumbering elephant, but that doesn't matter. I feel thin and I'm going to keep feeling thin until I am actually a normal size again.

Two Years Ago
Everything Old is New Again
I get so relaxed in the chair that I actually dozed off today and kind of twitched when I started dreaming lovely dreams. I wonder how many people actually fall asleep while their teeth are being drilled!

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Pounds Lost:  73.8
(this figure is updated on Tuesdays)

On the Odometer

URL Total 741.6
Blue Angel Total 712.2
2003 YTD Cumulative:  225.8

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