(That’s not me in the picture. Pretty close, but I don’t have that pretty lipstick color. Maybe on the next trip to the so-called “beauty” salon?!?)
Whenever my mother would go to get her hair done, my father would tease her that she was going to “get twisted.” She would come home with an elaborate, poofed-out, helmet-head hairdo. He would glance her way with mock sympathy, and ask, “What’s the matter? Weren’t they open?”
Just who in this family really was twisted?!? Harrumph!
Well, one fine morning years ago, that twistedness crossed over to the second and third generations. My Beloved and our daughter Maddy were collapsing in gales of laughter at the breakfast table as they tried to top one another with facial expressions of horror, revulsion and disgust.
What on earth were these facial expressions for?
I had a hair appointment that day. I had shared that I was a little nervous about making a change. They were practicing their pretend reactions for when they would see me in my new hairdo. They were sooooooo good at making me worry that I was making a big mistake.
I was going to the beauty parlor for a “cut and color.” That was something new. I’m a tomboy and don’t really care too much about how my hair looks. Vanity is for dopes. But . . . from time to time . . . uff da. I know I need a change.
So I had announced that I was thinking of doing something different and exciting with my hair.
(A quick aside . . . not quite as different as the young man we saw on TV after a recent terrible shooting. A friend of the alleged shooter was being interviewed. This fellow had long fronds of neon purple and pink FEATHERS on his head. Oblivious to the supreme irony, Mr. Featherhead said of the shooter:
(“He was a little ‘off.’”
(TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE!)
Anyway . . . I wanted a hairstyle that was different . . . but not so different it would land me on national TV.
I slunk warily into the salon, met my longtime “beauty operator” and powwow’ed. Cut to chin-length on a diagonal? Check. A little layering? Check. Blonde me up a little brighter? Check. Slightly different and slightly exciting. It would be a new old me!
But first, the indignity of the Foil Helmet From Hell. To dye your hair, they have to twist it and wrap it in aluminum foil so that you look like a deranged rooster from an alien planet. Pretty scary!
So I was sitting there in the beauty shop (an oxymoron in itself), decked out in this strange, other-worldly headgear, when my cell phone rang.
“MOM! I JUST SPILLED MILK ALL OVER MYSELF AT LUNCH! MY JEANS ARE SOAKED! YOU’VE GOT TO COME RIGHT NOW WITH MY OTHER PAIR!!!”
Maddy had become a “tween.” Every moment had high drama, akin to The Imminent End of the World.
“But, Honey, I can’t. I’m in the beauty shop getting my hair done.”
“BUT MOOOOOOOOM! YOU’VE GOT TO COME! RIGHT NOW! THIS INSTANT!!!”
Another commandment barked out from the Planet of Me! After she had had sooooo much fun making fun of me this morning. OK. All right. This ought to fix her wagon:
“I’ll be there in 5 minutes. But now, listen: my hair is twisted into 4,000 little foil packets. They stand straight out from my head.
“You know the picture of Medusa from your mythology book? I look like that, only worse. All your little friends are going to see me. But that’s OK, right?!? It won’t be embarrassing or anything.”
She imagined them bursting out in laughter and ridicule, bug-eyed, aghast, choking themselves in horror, as HER mother walked into the classroom in a FRIGHT WIG FROM HELL!!!!
THIS time, SHE would be the butt of the joke!!!
The demanding, condescending tone vanished. “Nevvvvvver mind, Mom. Just come when you can.” Click.
Ahhh, sweet justice.
I relaxed, enjoyed the rest of the appointment, emerged like a butterfly from a horrible foil cocoon, brought Maddy the replacement jeans within the hour, sustaining nary a second look from the Tweenage Mutants, and received nothing but insincere compliments that evening from the now-chastened Bad Daddy and newly-empathetic Bad Maddy.
Sometimes motherhood can be . . . hair-raising. Especially when your loved ones are . . . twisted. †
Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair,
and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible,
even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit,
which is in the sight of God of great price.
–1 Peter 3:3-4
By Susan Darst Williams | www.RadiantBeams.org | Girls Will Be Girls | © 2021