All about hair. And why you shouldn’t let your children vote.

Aug 24th

Jon tells me I need to reiterate the purpose of this blog. It’s confusing.

If you have the time or inclination, please read my first post. It explains the concept. If you’re short on time, like taking a quick coffee break from your IT job or if the oven is finally preheated, here’s a brief explanation:

I post a single question every week (in purple italics) for you to ponder and answer (if you’re super motivated) with real words on real paper for posterity’s sake. Because I would never expect you to do something I don’t also complete, I then write my own answer. Truth is, for someone who tries to convince everyone to “put it down before it leaves,” I had a lot of untold stories and opinions. Now after nearly a year of this exercise, I’ve shared plenty. Sometimes I think I’ve shared too much. But then I imagine what it would feel like to stumble upon a book of my mom’s answers.

And I quickly change my mind.

This week features question #50. Holy Lord! I have decided to follow this question quest for two more weeks to make it a full year. Then I will continue to blog (because it’s fun, yo) but will write about whatever, not just me. Hallelujah!

How do you feel about your hair? Through the years, what were some of your hair highlights and lowlights (ha!)?

My hair is very short right now. Short and easy. I tend to grow it, cut it, grow it, cut it. Short, bob, short, longish, short, bob, longer bob, short.

My hair is not great or I would totally grow it and keep it long. I remember someone on Oprah (love to quote me some Oprah!) referring to her hair as “seaweed on a rock.” Mine doesn’t lay quite so limp, but it is lacking lots of swingy volume.

Here is an early photo of my hair. I have analyzed it for hours. Gwyn will not appreciate this picture because she is chubby and wearing a prairie dress in summer.* (Don’t worry, Gwyn, there is payback below.) Why are my sisters so well-attired and I am naked? And yes, I appear to be sporting a baby mullet. That is not Gwyn’s puffy sleeve! No shirt and a mullet. Is there beer in that sippy cup? A Nascar logo on my rump?

After the baby mullet grew in, I had cute long hair with bangs in kindergarten followed by this strikingly bad mutation of the Dorothy Hamill wedge and another mullet. Combined with my copper penny earrings and lambskin vest, I am clearly pleased with myself and my chipmunk cheeks. (Let’s call it even, Gwyn.)

I think the official name is a “mullette.”
I love my mullette, and you do, too!

I went through a ton of pictures and there are too many embarrassing hair styles to adequately review. I’d be scanning all day. Critiquing all night. Going to very dark places. So let me sum it up instead.

In middle school, I wore a barrette on just one side a lot and had a frizzy home perm. According to Joby, Jon broke up with her in 7th grade when she got a perm and I’m sure her perm was far bouncier than mine. The salon kind versus an Ogilvy in the kitchen. This is worrisome. Note to self: Never get another perm! I prefer Jon to stick around with all these kids and bills.

In 8th grade, I needed to grow it long for the school play. Once the show wrapped, I cut it really short for the first time. It was a little longer in the front so I swept it over one eye and wore dark eyeliner. That’s as goth as I ever got.

High school was one giant failed attempt to create hair height. I was so jealous of girls with wild, unruly locks, who could wake up, scrunch, spray and go. I needed a curling iron and at least twenty minutes parked at the mirror. Despite the effort, I was never able to get it all that high. The good news is, I don’t have any of those ridiculous big hair pictures that are hard to believe. Just some mildly upsetting ones. Even my senior portrait is sort of nice. A little swoopy and over processed (Sun In + peroxide + lemon + hairdryer on HOT), but nice.

College featured varying bob lengths with drastic “ledges” in the back. I even had it shaved below the ledge once which proved an impressive level of commitment to the trend.

The post-college years brought more boring bobs with fewer drastic ledges until I went short again. Jon prefers short. Perms = bad. Short = sporty! (He is a man who knows what he likes.) I have a good neck for short hair, for now. Once the sagging begins (tomorrow?), I will be forced to wear lots of scarves pulled up to my chin, which will seem inappropriate in August – not unlike Gwyn’s prairie dress.

When I’m a few decades older, maybe I’ll do what my Nanny did – go to the salon once every week, have my hair styled and sprayed in place with a can of Aquanet, then not touch or wash my head until my next appointment. It’s easy all right, but entirely dependent on a shower cap and I don’t currently own a shower cap.

I predict for my 60th birthday, I will be getting lots of scarves and shower caps. Thank you in advance.

My sweet Bea with her red wispy hair will hopefully have a happy hair history. She’s not off to a great start, however, with – you guessed it – her very own baby mullet. I desperately want to cut it, but the family has voted and the mullet stays. Damn those lessons on democracy.


* After reading this post, Gwyn informed me that her prairie dress was, in fact, a prairie pantsuit. I apologize for the mistake. I aim for complete accuracy!



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