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Friday, January 28th, 2005
4:47p - Letting Your Hair Down


I wear my hair long, and it is exceedingly curly, so in damp weather, it will kink. If I happen to comb it out loose on one of those days, it can rival the hair-do pictured in the old-time history books for King Henry VIII -- nearly shoulder-wide and at least wavy, if not kinky, all the way down. The top has now turned various shades of gray, in long streaks. Some is white. The bottoms are dark brown to reddish brown, depending on how much sun got at it.

If I get hot, I collect it all at pony tail height, twist it, and form a bun, which will stay if I'm not jogging, doing jumping jacks, or something equally active (and unlikely). Long, it washes easily and will let me grab the bottom of it and give my back a good scrub. Once dry, I can keep it completely off my neck, out of my eyes, and be totally comfortable just by putting it up on top of my head.

When the weather is cold, I generally use it as insulation, tucking the ends inside my jacket like a helmet liner. I'll use tortoise shell colored plastic combs or a round clip sometimes to hold the top part back.

Last week, I was sitting with my back to the secretary's office door at the "female" lunch table. The superintendent, who is bald with a salt-and-pepper fringe, came in, standing on the other side of the divider and said, "It doesn't seem fair for you to have so much when I have so little."

Seven or eight women were in the room, and nobody had a CLUE what he was talking about, or whom he was addressing. The three of us with our backs to him turned around, and I was quite surprised to find that he was talking to ME. Since I had a carton of milk and a single piece of pizza, whereas most had full lunch trays, I was puzzled. I was eating far less than most had.

Ah, but food was not what was on his mind. He was thinking, "HAIR". He asked me if I'd give HIM some of MINE. Everyone exploded in laughter. I could feel a flush rushing up my face.

"It wouldn't match. Mine kinks."

"I used to have curly hair."

OOPS! I remembered my dad, who before he died, also had a gray/white pepper fringe, who had been nicknamed "Curly" in his youth. I remembered my younger brother walking by, eating a banana on day, peeling off the "Chiquita Banana" sticker and slapping it down on dad's bald spot. Oh, what an uproar. This had to be a "sensitive guy thing".

I told the story. Everyone had another good laugh, and the super wandered out. The ladys, however, were hard set on the topic now. I could cut it off and DONATE it to places that made wigs for cancer victims. They even told me the NAME of a lady who would "harvest" it for me!

This was FAR more attention to my hair than I was comfortable with. I told about a friend of mine who had a "poodle" perm the whole time I knew her, got cancer, had chemo, and when she went over to the Neb. clinic for a bone marrow transplant, would come back bald. Since the bottom of mine (then sun bleached) was the same shade as hers, I told her I'd cut it off and give it to her for a human hair wig so she'd look like she did before.

"You could do it again."

"I never did it."

"Oh."

(There's always one who is not paying attention.) "Did your friend live?"

"Nope. She didn't make it. If she had, I'd have cut it, but there'd have been a lot of tears." I was having trouble talking.

Everyone got real quiet.

Well, on that cheery note, the class bell rang.


current mood: amused

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