Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Cher's Hair

Sometimes when I introduce myself, I think I should first explain my hair to people. If they are still interested, I’ll let them know who I am. My hair really demands its own introduction, and after 41 years, I should accept the fact that I’m always going to come second. It’s like a naughty sibling that’s always hanging around doing whatever it takes to get the most attention.

Sometimes my hair acts like a dear old friend who I can trust with anything. But other times, when I least expect it, she acts up in the most humiliating ways. Once, when I was giving a gracious thank you speech to a large group of folks who had awarded me a scholarship, she had the nerve to interrupt by shooting a big spiral down the middle of my forehead right in the middle of my presentation. I tried to get revenge the next day by punishing her with one of those pixie-style cuts. Ugh! We both regretted it right away. After much blaming, wailing and tears, I apologized. Then she apologized. And then we tried to figure out how to make magic happen with a tub of Dippity-Do.

In the past few years, I’ve come to accept my hair. I’ve stopped trying to change her and make her into something she’s never going to be. However, this battle has been going on for a long time, practically my whole life, as a matter of fact.

When I was little, my poor Mom had no idea what to do with me. She was a pedigreed straight-hair who had given birth to a mixed breed sheepdog pup. The mop of hair atop my head was beyond anything her kin had ever set eyes on before. Some of the relatives admired it. The old aunties would chirp, "Oh look at that sweet little girl with all those curls. Aren’t you lucky to have a girl with such pretty naturally curly hair."

But, grandma knew differently, "If you don’t want rats nesting in that child’s head, you better just keep her hair cut short." She’d grumble. Grandma’s view, no matter how horrifying, was actually closer to the truth. Those sweet old aunties weren’t around for the painful combing rituals. Each of those pretty curls had a way of wrapping itself around another curl creating knots even the most experienced Boy Scout could never master.

The daily combing of my hair was a yowling of tangles and wads of wiry fuzz coming out the ends of the fine toothed comb that Mom used on her own delicate straight hair. Mom would mutter the words of the aunties, "Honey, you have such nice hair. It’s so pretty, but we have to comb it or it won’t look nice." The words came out, but they always sounded like some sort of lament to a god who could create such alarming hair on a tender-headed child. Worse yet, how could such a ridiculous bundle of fleece come out of her womb?

It didn’t help any of us when my sister soon followed with the same hair. However, sassy sis was saved from being a complete burden because hers was a beautiful crimson color and was pleasing to the eye. Mine was yellowish-white, bordering on the color of the bathroom tile.

Mom’s own hair was refined. It was a lovely molded up-do that she had done in her weekly appointments at the beauty parlor. The up-do was layered with several coats of hair spray and lasted for an entire week even though she slept on it every night. Each morning, she would touch it up and spray more shellac around it, making it look as good as a crisp brown astronaut’s helmet. She looked like a Lady with her hair like that. I thought Mom’s hair was even better than Doris Day’s. Sadly, I knew that even if I was a grown up lady like Mom and Doris, my hair would never look like that. Mine was fuzzy and curly and messy. Every so often Mom would try to groom me with her hair spray, however the curls would free themselves and stick out to make me look like a frantic poodle. To this day, I am certain that I was the only 6 year-old in the Phyllis Diller fan club.

The hair I really wanted was long straight flowing hair. Hair like that never got tangled into matted tortured nests for families of birds to settle in for the spring. Long flowing hair was the hair of young freedom loving libbers who my parents talked about in righteous tones. Hair like that belonged to hippies who folded it casually behind their ears or held it back with macramed headbands. They were the beautiful girls who wore tunics and hip-huggers with homemade belts and sandals. Long straight hair was for modern women who were groovy. They did what they wanted and painted peace signs on their faces. They danced to the music on the radio and held hands with everyone. It was Age of Aquarius hair.

One day on the Television, I saw the most beautiful hair of all. The TV was showing a new variety show called The Sony and Cher Show. It was funny, with Sony being a silly looking short guy and Cher, a tall beautiful exotic looking woman. When I watched the show, the best part was Cher’s hair. What hair she had!

Cher had hair that was shiny and black and long. It was the most beautiful hair in the world. When she sang on the show, she would move her body so that her hair would swing and sway back and forth behind and around her as liquid silk strands. It was alive and aware of its effect on the world. Cher’s hair never tangled. Cher’s hair was magical. If I had hair like Cher, I would be beautiful and free.


At 12:31 AM, Blogger Larry Jones said...

Hey, baby - Don't be bad-mouthin' your hair. I love your hair. Your hair is wild and exotic and beautiful. (I'm still getting it when you die, right?)

At 12:39 AM, Blogger theresa said...

I actually like my hair now too ... but, it's a complicated and stormy relationship with a lot of history.
And, yes my Love, when I die you get my hair. However, I promised one curl to Chick, so be good and share.

At 6:43 AM, Blogger Snowman said...

Be happy you still got hair. I came to terms with my own situation long ago... My hair left me after some arguments but on the other side now I don't have to invest to much in hair products so I guess I come out on top :-)

At 6:52 AM, Blogger Blazngfyre said...

Girls with curls want it straight,
Girls with straight want curls.


My hair is curly. But not quite as curly as yours. Mine looks more like a relaxed perm. Then again, I have mine almost down to my waist, so maybe it would be tighter curls if I chopped it.
I still fight with mine, and we have some major battles back and forth, but overall, I LOVE MY HAIR!!!

At 6:54 AM, Blogger Blazngfyre said...

I know in my pic it shows straight hair, but THAT was accomplished by a straightening iron (and several cocktails!)

Burnt myself like 5 freakin times too!

At 8:19 AM, Blogger Mr 5.25 said...

I've always wanted to have intimate relations with Phyllis Diller.

At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your hair, it's a beautiful curly. My curls are like a black, wet poodle's hair, tight curls that become a nappy mess and only become less nappy with a strong relaxer. But I can relate to the pain of having it combed out as child...heck, even today!

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Kyle Stich said...

I've gone through similar trials and tribulations with my hair. When I was in elementary school, I desired nothing more than to have straight blonde hair and a normal name like Mike or John. Not until I went off to Colorado for some college did I decide to honor my hair's wish to be free. I received nothing but compliments as a result. Setting my curls loose helped me loosen up in life proper.

At 11:27 AM, Blogger theresa said...

Snowman - With a gorgeous mug like yours, who needs hair?!?!?

Blaze - So, Am getting this right? It's a fantastic red, a lovely relaxed curl, and it's long? I LOVE YOUR HAIR TOO!
And, for the love of Pete, avoid burny things when you're loaded!

5.25 - You got it, Fang!

Leandra - I love those tight black curls. My first big girl-crush was on a Greek friend who had black curly hair. She was an absolute goddess ... actually, she still is ... *sigh*

Kyle - It's true. Attractiveness definitely accompanies self-acceptance.

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Ron Southern said...

Cher might've been fashionable and well-ironed, but she was also vapid and self-absorbed. Pretty girls are like ants teeming in the ant mound. Beauties like you last longer. Still, I'm sympathetic about all the hard work you've done on your hair. More than 15 years ago, I had a couple of permanents and I looked good in curls, but finally I got one that super-heated my scalp. No harm, but not comfortable, and not an unusual event, I was told. (It was done by an intelligent friend who was a professional stylist, so I assumed it had been unavoidable." 2 or 3 days of mild stinging far exceeded my level of tolerance, so I never did it again. I hated going back to the Care And Feeding Of, but...

Anyway, I was almost as cute as you for a short time.

At 5:07 PM, Blogger Al said...

The hair looks great kiddo -
When I get my driver's license renewed, I'm offically having my hair color changed to "Flesh"

At 8:21 AM, Blogger theresa said...

Ron - I'll disagree with you about Cher. There's more to her than her exceptional beauty. Thanks for the compliment anyway.

Permanents can be scary. I actually had a stylist try to talk me into one so that the curl would be perfectly even all over my head. I declined. I'll be fine with my imperfections as long as I don't have to deal with a burnt scalp.

Al - I love a flesh-colored head. So sexy!!! I have a whole store of Patrick Stewart fantasies alone.

At 10:12 AM, Blogger Mr 5.25 said...

>>>>> I have a whole store of Patrick Stewart fantasies alone.

Sorry, can't agree with you on this one. Call me a heretic, but I always thought the Patrick Stewart love scenes and fight scenes were unbelieveable.

Now if you were talking Bruce Boxleitner....

At 1:08 AM, Blogger Maverick said...

a mixed breed sheepdog pup. Too funny!

Stacie - Spitting in a Wishing Well

At 3:03 PM, Blogger Opaco said...

the interesting thing about my hair, it was thinning for the about 4 years. then stopped and now is back, thicker then ever.
i can not explain, nor look too as it might go away again.

At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You actually made me enjoy reading about hair. You have no idea how hard that is to do.

Unfortunately I am now starting to question my masculinity as a result.

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