Wigged Out

The women in my family are not known for their flowing hair; myself included.  I realized this early on, when we dropped in on my Great Aunt Francis one evening.  I couldn't have been more than seven or eight, but the memory is photographed in my brain.  As we walked through the dimly lit rooms past the dinner table, a white styrofoam head with Aunt Francis's hair perched on top stared me down.  I snapped my neck toward the last remaining strands of hair matted to my aunt's scalp then back at the groomed wig and alien-like almond eyes on the bust.  It was at that moment that I knew I was doomed to a lifetime of bad hair days.

I had baby fine hair the consistency of corn silk and it was as if my mane was its own entity.  My sister was spared the bloodline curse.  Her thick hair could hold any style.  I believed since she was born first that there were no strands left for me.  It wasn't fair.  No one wants the leftover scraps after the pattern has been cut. 

Despite my fate, I still wanted the trending styles. No amount of White Rain or Aqua Net would make my hair flip like Farrah Fawcett's angel wings.  I was crushed.  When I was ten years old, I decided that I wanted to cut my hair like Dorothy Hamill.  The style neither suited my flimsy locks nor my girly personality.  But I insisted and no one tried to stop me.  As I sat on the step-stool in my much older cousin's kitchen and watched my hair float to the floor like Autumn leaves, I immediately wanted to paste it back on my head.  I silently vowed to never cut my hair again.  That was, until I started seventh grade and perming your hair was all the rage.  Somewhere there is a picture of me looking like Roseanne Roseannadanna.  After that came the Madonna bob and lace ribbons.  Every year I hoped for a promising picture for the yearbook, only to be disappointed by my self-governing hair.  During the summer between my sophomore and junior year in high school, I went to Florida and discovered the trick of bleaching my hair with lemon juice and water.  During the college years, I took a break from all the fads as I transitioned through my grunge and hippie stages and let my hair grow halfway down my back.  I even broke my own promise and cut my hair short agian in my late twenties.

It wasn't until my late thirties that I made peace with my head of hair.  Since then, I have chosen a simplistic style and have accepted that I will never possess the tresses of a goddess.  While I still admire a gorgeous head of hair, I'm no longer consumed with the notion of wanting what will never be mine.

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