Seeing as I usually post on Mondays and Wednesdays, I'm behind in my Father's Day thoughts. I read Ally Bean's post last week and after I commented I thought, THIS IS A STORY I'D LIKE TO SHARE ON MY BLOG.
*Ally - I apologize for the repeat, although the version I left in your comments is the bare bones.
The tale starts out with bad hair, as most stories from way-back do. Mom, as you may recall, was obsessed with short hair for her girls. A professional at an actual salon styled me in a Dorothy Hamill in '75 or '76. After that, Mom cut my hair herself. She was as untrained as I am at treating Coach's physical therapy patients. If push came to shove, I'd do my best at faking what exercises his patients needed. Mom did her best at faking our haircuts, too.
Her method didn't differ much from how she
butchered cut my brothers' hair, but they were boys and their hair was as forgiving as the world tends to be to little boy hair. She used a straight edge razor blade to 'feather' our hair. As the victim customer, it felt like she was tearing at my hair. Anyway, it was all part of the master plan: stick to the budget.
Fast forward to high school. I'd hated my short hair for years. Mom had always told me that not everyone was capable of wearing their hair long. Every time I started to avoid getting a hair cut, my hair would grow out more than down. My hair had body. Of course this doesn't mean you can't have long hair. I'm guessing that no one ever told Julia Roberts in the 80s that she couldn't have long, big hair and look how it turned out for her. Mom would always convince me to get it cut by bribing or begging or shaming me.
|Well, not ANYTHING in my hair.|
(photo compliments of Tenor)
While my two sisters were away at college, my folks took my two brothers and I on vacation to Gatlinburg, Tennessee over spring break in 1987. On our drive back to Chicago, we stopped in South Bend so Mom could attend the Mom's Weekend.
While Mom was busy at functions with my sister, Dad took me to the student center. Sitting in a booth, he instructed me to check out hair styles, and pick one. Then he selected a salon out of the phone book and drove me there. He walked me in and then he waited in the car.
A sweet woman named Carla took care of me. She was VERY short and so kind. She essentially gave me a pageboy. Because my hair was incredibly dry, she suggested that I wet my hair with hot water, rub mayonnaise in it, and cover it with a hot towel and a plastic bag once a month. Life changing. My hair was thrilled with the moisture and my self esteem nudged up in the right direction with my new hairdo.
I still remember how embarrassed I was when I realized that I was supposed to give Carla a tip. It was the first time I'd done anything like that solo and Dad didn't explain to me that I needed to tip her. We looked up the salon in the phone book once we were home, and I mailed Carla a note and a few dollars.
This encounter with Dad always makes me smile, and wonder. His job stressed him out a great deal. Our bank balance caused him to worry. He lived in fear of being laid off, because of the economy. He was happiest when listening to Irish music or attending my brothers' sporting events. Usually Mom was the 'tuned in' parent. It strikes me as very sweet that he not only noticed what I needed, but that he swooped in and helped me when things got hairy. Couldn't resist.
I'm blessed that my parents are still living. Dad is 82. I haven't asked him for hair advice in a long time.
Anyone else have a story of when your dad surprised you by tuning in? Anyone need to rebel to achieve the hair that you liked? Anyone else pout as a teen because their folks drove to a place like Tennessee instead of driving a bit further to go somewhere sunny for spring break? (I'm raising my hand here, guilty of bad hair and a bad vacation attitude).
Coming soon: last week's drama, actually it was all on Wednesday. A scary mom moment.