January 19, 2018

vicariously living with hair envy

See?  I didn't know if I was going to
be able to find this pic.  Once I did,
I wasn't sure if I should share it. 
Oh, how I detest this photo.
 I generally don't like to share
photographs of us, but I am
 confident that if you saw me today
you would not connect the dots
 between me and this photo. 
At least I certainly hope you wouldn't! 
I feel like forcing short hair on me
was a form of child abuse. 
Anyone concur?
Is it wrong that I am vicariously living thru my 8th grade daughter on gradation picture day?  My 8th grade portrait from 1985 is hideous.  I mean that. 

I wore a white lacy dress.  I was as pale as can be expected of a girl of Irish heritage in a Chicago winter.  Ah, nothing like pairing a white dress with a pasty white complexion!  Posing for my portrait without my glasses made sense, since I was planning to get contact lenses.  Who knew I would be too squeamish to pull that off?  More about that in a subsequent post.  That is quite a story in and of itself.  So my picture just looks like something is missing.  After 4th grade, I was NEVER without my glasses.

My hair was barely longer than my brothers'.  This was not a style I chose.  It was a style- and I use the term loosely- that my Mom LOVED.  Therefore, I was given no choice.  I am pretty sure that I have written about the horrors of the history of my hair before.  If you are unfamiliar, let me catch you up to speed:

My Mom likes short hair.  Always has.  I was taken to a beautician to achieve a Dorothy Hamel look in the mid 70's.  That was my last childhood visit to a beautician.  Moving forward, my Mom cut my hair in the same fashion as my brothers' hair -with a straight edge razor blade.  This plan kept with the family budget and allowed her to create the 'feathered' look that she adored. 

When I was in junior high, our neighbor was a beautician.  She cut hair in her makeshift basement salon.  My sisters and I would walk thru the backyards and arrive at Mrs. Patty's house when instructed by Mom.  I begged to be allowed to grow my hair longer, but Mom was always quick to point out that my hair just didn't look right long.  Anytime I avoided my impending basement trim my hair grew out - to the sides.  It lacked the ability to flow down to my shoulders like the lucky bitches in the shampoo commercials. 

It wasn't until high school when we no longer lived in close proximity to Mrs. Patty, that I grew my hair out.  It often looked like a frizzy heap.  I ignored my Mom's pleas to cut it along with her derogatory comments about how it resembled a bale of hay.

I arrived to high school one day early in my senior year with damp hair.  A girl in my homeroom leaned across the isle, studied my locks, and informed me that I had curly hair.  You could have blown me over with a hairdryer.  She insisted that all I needed was product. 

Totally different look when she 'does' her hair. 
When not pulled up, she lets it air dry straight.
I eventually learned that a diffuser attachment for a hairdryer was intended for people with curly hair.  My hair, my self esteem, and my future became bouncier, higher, and brighter. 

I now wear my hair shorter again.  Sadly, my hair is so thin that longer styles are not an option for me.  They drag and scream 'look at my scalp.'  I refuse to get it cut as incredibly short as I did as a kid.  I have some layers that I can fluff.  My mom and my two sisters continue to rock the borderline-crew-cut look. 

Good hair all around -
Mini and little redhead baby I sit for!
Mini (who is like me in every way except hair thickness) has the thickest head of hair I've had the jealous pleasure of running my fingers through.  While I have suggested that she cut a few inches from her locks to make it more manageable and possibly more curly (she does sometimes comment about how lucky Curly is to have curly hair- just so you know that I am not projecting that on her . . . AND this is why I urge her to dry it/ put some product in there at times because it is curly after all!), I can not bring myself to insist that she cut it.  Progress?

I like to remind her how fortunate she is that her mother buys a multitude of very pricey hair products.  Part of this budget-blowing indulgence is that Curly's hair requires some serious tubes of 'stuff' to keep it manageable. 

I admit that it does irk me a bit that Mini's typical hair style is the quick and easy 'messy-bun'.  She will blow it dry for special occasions, but often pulls it back away from her face leaving it flat across the top of her head.  She argues with me that my suggestion to give a BIT of height is 'so 80's'. 
Exhibit A:  Mini's messy bun! 
(click here to read the story about why Mini wore this for Halloween)
This morning to prep for the 8th grade photo, I put gobs of sprays and cremes in her hair.  I blew it dry - my way, not Mini's preferred flat on her head way.  I used a few bobby pins to pull it away from her face.  Folks, she looked like a super model!  We also chose a pretty blue top from her closet.  Her Irish decent leaves her pale, and she isn't yet interested in makeup.  I'm embracing that though.  For me, thanks to my short hair scars, it is all about the hair!


Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

I rocked the Dorothy Hamil in the 80s! And after that I got one of those mullet perms. Wings in the front, tight perm in the back. I wore that for a while and then in 10th grade - right when you were in 8th grade, I told the beautician to get rid of the curls. I don't know what I was thinking because I told her to cut the curls off. But I was horrified when it left me with wings on the side and nothing anywhere else. So - I had a hair cut just like yours in 1985. I then proceeded to grow it out and I rocked very high bangs and long permed hair from the late 80s to the early 90s. I LOVED my perm. High waisted jeans, ruffles and other 80s things are coming back into fashion. I've been keeping my fingers crossed for years that perms would come back too but I'm too afraid to get one now.

Gigi said...

I had long, long hair when I was small. About 2nd or 3rd grade I discovered Nancy Drew. I BEGGED my mother to let me get my hair cut like Nancy Drew (a bob about shoulder length). She finally relented and I told the beautician what I wanted. What I didn't know until it was too late; the beautician had NO idea what Nancy Drew looked like so I ended up with a pixie. I swear I looked like a boy for a year before that nightmare grew out.

Ernie said...

I had a perm when I was a freshman in high school. My mom dropped me off at Kohls which was called Main Street back then. A department store. My hair wasn't long, so the girl used really tiny perm rods. I looked like my grandma. It was awful! And all along I had naturally curly or at the very least wavy hair but was too clueless to realize it. Oh, how did we survive?!

Ernie said...

Oh no!!!! I can relate to the boy look alike thing. People, including my mom, used to confuse me with my brothers. For some reason my sisters were allowed to have long hair from time to time. My one sister had hair practically down to her butt. It was hardly beautiful, so I'm not sure why it was tolerated. It was straight and on the thin side. This sister was incredibly thin and the long stringy hair just added to it. Don't get me started on the matching polyester clothes that we wore . . . my grandma made them for us. Grandma only made girl clothes, so the boys dodged yet another bullet!

Anonymous said...

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