I happen to be cursed with "naturally curly hair." And, yes, all you straight-as-a-board hair people, it is a curse. Mine is anyway. When I was in my teens and 20's, my mother would look at me, sigh, and say, "Shelly, the man you marry will have to know how to live with your hair."
When I was a little girl, Mom often put my hair up in pigtails. My pigtails always curled into ringlets, like Buffy from the '60's TV show, Family Affair. That was ok, I really didn't care much about my hair when I was 3 or 4. And, well, I was cute!
But, as I got to school age, Mom decided she was tired of messing with my hair, so she had it cut short. So, I had short hair until I was in college. I remember once, when I was about 10, we went in for a haircut. It was a new hairdresser. Mom warned her that my hair was very curly and that it had a mind of its own. The hairdresser nodded and proceeded to try to yank out every hair on my head. She reached for a brush and my baby-fine, curly hair, just knotted up in her brush. It was not pleasant.
She apologized to Mom when we were finished. I distinctly remember her saying "I didn't believe you when you said her hair was curly. All her curl was under that top layer, so I didn't see it!" She may not have seen it, but I certainly felt it!
Mom used to hate Sunday mornings. She'd comb my hair, and we'd head off to church where we sat behind a family of little girls with Brady Bunch blond and straight hair. Their hair always looked so nice. Then, Mom would look at me and my hair. While it to had been combed, it now didn't look like it had ever seen a comb. Mom was very happy when those little girls stopped coming to church. Me, I still didn't care.
In my 20's, I permed my hair. I know, why on earth would someone with naturally curly hair get a perm? Well, it made my hair more manageable. With my perm, I could curl my bangs and they'd stay. They'd look nice all day long (without hairspray! Ha! Take that you girls who should have had stock in Aquanet!) By my 20's, I had my hair long enough that I could get a spiral perm. Once a year. (Take that too, you gals who have to get a perm every 2 or 3 months.) Later, I would straighten my hair. I'd wash it and then dry it by running the curling iron through it and curl it under.
That's when Kev and I met, during the straightening days. It was pretty manageable then, and on weekends and evenings, I usually pulled it back into a pony tail, or I'd french braid it. He really liked my hair braided...
But, all good things come to an end. As I've gotten older, my hair has gotten curlier and curlier and thicker and thicker. It's baby fine, remember, so it doesn't look as thick as it is. For several years, I had it cut in lots of layers, to work with that natural curl. And, my hair dresser (who should have moved with me), would thin it.
And still, at times, my husband would look at me and say "did you comb your hair today?"
I of course, would be indignant, and say "yes, why, doesn't it look like I combed it?"
And, he'd sigh and say, "nope, looks like a rat's nest."
And, at times, before we leave the house, he'll look at me and say "We aren't leaving until you comb your hair." At that, I'll stomp back to the bathroom and comb it again, not that he can usually tell by the time we get in the car...
And there are now days when my husband and my mother will look at my hair, look at each other and sigh jointly and in unison. One will make some snide comment about my hair, the other will agree and then they will sigh again--making some comments like...
"Well, she's your daughter."
"Well, you married her."
I feel the love, don't you?
Lately, we've had unseasonably cool and humid, damp weather. And my hair...let's just compare it to Medusa's snakes. That's a pretty accurate description. It's curlier and more independent when it's humid and damp. (Which is why I can never live in the Northwestern part of the U.S.)
Let's take this morning for example...
Today, I got up, washed my hair, and curled my bangs under. They are a little long, so by curling them under, they wouldn't be in my eyes and they wouldn't flip out in that '60's "flip. And, my bangs look nicer when they are curled under.
One hour later, when I arrived at work, I ran into the bathroom. While washing my hands, I made the mistake of looking in the mirror. Besides having Medusa's snakes attached to my head...I had bangs that were flipped out. What happened, I don't know, but evidently my bangs did not want to be curled under. Instead, they wanted to flip. And, they were flipping in 3 different directions, straight out front, to the left, and to the right. (The left side were flipped to the right and the right side was flippin' to the left.) Very pretty. Just...yeah...whatever. I sighed and walked proudly into my office, where I hope to hide for the rest of the day.
So, you all can now picture me as I'll be in the Nursing Home. I'll be the old lady with the big honkin' zits and hair like Medusa's snakes.