Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Let Me Get This Straight
In the mid 1980s when big hair was on the loose, I finally let my hair down. I was living in Washington D.C. and then Pinellas County, Florida. What chance did I have against the humidity but to let my curly hair do its own thing. So I lived with the curls and became used to getting out of the shower, putting in some hair gel and not thinking about it again.
One of my friends deemed it "romance heroine hair." So I could shake back my curls and pretend to be sexy.
And that worked for me through all of my childbirthing and childrearing years. You know the ones I mean, when instead of putting in contacts, I'd wear glasses so I could nap whenever the kids were napping or watching a movie. When the only make up that got near my face were a few smears of strawberry jam on my cheeks.
This fall, when I had my hair cut, the kind hairdresser offered to blow it dry straight. I'd spent my middle school years trying to straighten it into a page boy, so I knew it would never work, but I let her try it. Something in the world of haircare has definitely changed since my middle school years. My hair was straight and flat. My husband loved it. He bought me a ceramic flat iron for Christmas. I used it once before deciding it was way too much trouble to try again.
Until last week.
That's when I got my hair cut again and the hairdresser straightened it. My husband loved it again, but the comments from friends were the worst.
"Wow, you look 10 years younger," said one.
"You look like one of the kids," another mom said.
"You look really thin," said a third. "I'm not standing by you."
Now, it is not really possible that straightening my hair has taken off years and pounds, is it? The problem is that I'm highly succeptible to other people's opinions.
So, on Saturday morning, before driving to a swim meet, I got up early, showered and blew my hair dry. When is the last time I aimed a hairdryer at my head? Maybe if the temperature was below zero and I had to go out. When my hair was dry, I plugged in the flat iron and painstakingly separated it into small chunks, pulling the scorching ceramic iron along the waves until they fell stick straight. My husband came in and added the finishing curl under at the back.
Three times now I have stood in front of the bathroom mirror, running the flat iron over and over my curls until they're straight.
People keep asking me, "How long does it take?"
I have no idea how long it takes. I don't have time to time how long it takes; I'm busy straightening my hair!
This I do know, it takes 100%, maybe 1000% more time than it used to, because I never did anything to it.
And another thing I'm sure of, now that I'm straightening my hair, curls should be back in style any minute.
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