Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Bad Hair Blues

Do you ever wish you could just hide your hair under a bonnet and be done with it? Back during one of my several midlife crises, I wanted to take the whole family and run off and join the Amish. Unfortunately, my family put their collective feet down so I was soon firmly back in the 21st century, straggly locks and all.

I tried reasoning with God. "Didn't it make sense," I asked, "for all women born with straight, fine hair to be given just the opposite type of hair when they hit menopause and for those who had been blessed with thick, curly hair to end up with straight, fine hair?" Made sense to me. That way we'd all get a chance to experience both types of hair at some point in our lives. But no answer was forthcoming.

So I tried perms which worked for awhile but also made my fine hair break off at the roots. I tried to just grow my hair out and wear it back in a ponytail but I looked like the back end of the pony. In desperation, I turned to the fancy salons and hair artistes with names like Pierre who flitted about disparaging my previous stylists whilst clipping merrily away. I always looked good going out the door but after the first shampoo at home, it was the same old me looking back in the mirror. I tried steam rollers, foam rollers, soup cans (don't ask) , and finally settled on a 1/2 inch diameter curling iron. I'd work feverishly to get a head of curls and then spray them with the heaviest-duty spray I could find. Three minutes outside and I'd be back to square one - flat and frazzled.

When I was younger, my ultimate alter ego was a thin, pre-Raphaelite beauty with long, curly hair flowing down her back as she ran lightly across a meadow (where there were no bugs). I clutched that alter ego to my expanding midcage for many years until just recently. I have finally faced the fact that I am NOT going to have long, curly hair --- no way, no how! My thin beauty has fallen and landed on a cow pie.

So, welcome to my new and improved alter ego! Now she's an artsy, gutsy woman in a flowing one-of-a-kind garment that she designed and made herself. She's got comfy sandals on, no nylons, and she's probably not wearing a bra (gasp!). She's comfortable in her own body and there's plenty to be comfortable with (think Kathy Bates). And her's not flowing anywhere. It's not even cascading. Nope, it's spiked. She's cut it short, very short; then runs her hands through some sculpting mud and whisks those capable hands through that hair as if to say, "Take THAT, you darn rollers and THAT, stupid spray, and take THAT, you idiotic curling iron." And she turns without another look at the mirror and runs lightly down the stairs and out the door to the nearest bookstore.

I'm done with singing the bad hair blues. I simply don't have the time or inclination anymore. I'm much too busy creating things, writing, throwing out stuff I no longer need, and hauling up the anchor that's been keeping me in one spot. If you need to reach me, just head over to the nearest bookstore. I'm the spiky-haired lady in the comfy shoes sipping coffee in the cafe section and talking books with the artsy looking crowd.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Yessir! That's my mom!

Mom turned 94 the end of September. She looks pretty good for 94, doesn't she? We celebrated by going over to the Church of God Home after church and having dinner with her in the private dining room. The deBreuil's joined us. Beverly has been such a good friend to Mom over the years, visiting her faithfully and playing games with her. It was nice that Beverly and her husband, "What's His Name?" (as Mom kept calling him) could join us.

Over dinner, we visited and laughed over some of Mom's exploits at the Home. One recent one sticks out in my mind. I came over one day to visit and as I got ready to leave, I told Mom about a church service later in the afternoon.

"You'll have to go to that, Mom," I said.
"Can't," said Mom.

"Why not?" I asked. "Are you grounded?"

"Yup," she replied with a twinkle in her eye.

"Gee, why? Did you kick someone when you were walking down the hall?", I said, only half seriously.

"Guess so," she answered. "Kicked them right in the knees."

"Mom!" I laughed, pretending to be shocked. Just then a nurse walked in with Mom's dietary shake. "I hear my mom's on lock-down," I laughed.

"Well," she said somberly, "We've had to insist that she not leave the wing unless someone is with her because she tends to forget how to get back to her room. We've had to go looking for her several times. Haven't we, Marguerite?"

"Maybe," said Mom, giving me a sly wink.

"And here I thought it was because she was kicking people in the halls," I laughed.

"Oh no, " replied the nurse. "She doesn't do that."

"I threw a shoe at my roommate the other day," Mom proudly announced to the room.

Two pairs of eyes swung in her direction.

"You did WHAT?", I squeaked.

"Well, I woke up in the morning and couldn't hear Rhoda snoring. So I called her name but she didn't answer me so I threw my bedroom slipper at her," said Mom.

"Hit me right in the head," said Rhoda. "I was actually sleeping pretty good, too."

"Why in the world did you do that, Mom?" I asked.

"I thought she was dead," Mom said flatly. "So I threw my shoe at her and that got a rise out of her."

"It's OK," Rhoda assured us. "She didn't hurt me."

"Next time, Mom, just ring for the nurse. Don't throw anything at Rhoda, please."

"Yes, Dear!" answered Mom sweetly.

Yessir! That's my mom!