A few weeks ago, I made myself a promise. I swore that I would not mention the name of it the item that has us all under “house arrest.” In the fashion of “Harry Potter,” that which shall not be named does indeed affect us all. It has to do with our appearance. It’s our hair!
No barber shops, no beauty parlors, no style, NO WAY. Now I feel I am a bit of an expert about hair. It is not that I was a certified beautician or stylist, far from it. I did wash and set wigs in the early 70s for extra money, but that is another story and it only includes dummies—styrofoam heads. But since I turned 73 last Saturday, I can speak with 70 years of experience. When I was five, my mother Arlene took me to a beauty shop and got me a perm. I have photos to prove it. I have without a doubt, the most terrible, despicable, thin, (roaring) mousey, (that is OK) turd Muckalee done brown hair that was ever given to a human being.
Men in that time had military cuts even if they did not serve. Long hair was a “no-no.” I had no choice in the 50s, but in the 60s, I wore wigs or hair pieces. If worse came to worst, I could “rat” it up, spray it with Aqua Net hair spray and go out with a traditional “beehive” do. I did get a note from Los Alamos saying I was personally responsible for the hole in the Ozone layer, but I tossed it aside. I looked presentable. Men went about singing the “Age of Aquarius” and letting it all hang below their knees. Then the 70s came, men had slicked-back hair to dance to “Staying Alive” disco. Women wore ugly Granny dresses and glasses. Their hair in the 70s was often braided to resemble Bo Derek who had hers braided in a movie called “Ten.” My hair was straight and long, but I did not look like Cher or Bo.
I had given up Aqua Net since I was getting threatening letters from the Federal government at that point. The 80s were equally hard, hair wise on men and women. Men had mullets, tall Mohawks and jheri curls. Women had hair bigger than Texas with perms so large, they almost knocked themselves out with it. Thank God for shoulder pads. On to the 90s where Jennifer Aniston was the object of admiration, by men and women. That long curve in front to her face and shorter back was good for anyone. If you were Jennifer. The new century arrived with hair extensions, all the colors of the rainbow and butterfly clips.
I went back to the only style that really suited me. When I was 10, I got a pixie, cut short all around the face and back. Straight was OK and I was 10 when I got it. The last 10 years, pixie it is, and I am not talking Tinker Bell. Patricia is the one woman on this earth that can make this work for me, but I must get a cut, often.
It has been one month, and I look like the “Creature from the Black/White Lagoon.” I cannot see out of the bangs, the sides refuse to let my glasses on my ears, and the back looks like a horse took a bite out of it. Help! Help! I am smothering in fine, thin, icky brown hair without any Aqua Net. I think they quit making it. Now all this crabbing will not do any good, but I have a savior, laughter. My Bill was getting shaggy and he must be on the bench; they will not let the court close. He was in a state, so he let our youngest son, Thomas, cut his hair. According to April, Tom’s wife, there was hair everywhere in the back yard. It was on the table and chairs, clinging to the fir trees, and floating in the fountain they have. And at the end, the former fighter pilot got what he lived with, a high and tight crew cut. Sides are gone and so is most of the top. I laughed so hard, I almost choked to death without “you know what.” Normally when Bill goes to the barber shop and says,” Jo I’ll be right back. I am going to get my hair cut.” I answer, after 48 years of marriage, “Which one?” And then I must make up with the line from my favorite country western artist, “Honey, I don’t care, I ain’t in love with your hair. And if it all fell out, I’d love you anyway.” Roaring Mouse looking for a comb and spray. Out.
From 1966 to 1971, Jo attended the University of New Mexico and Memphis State University, earning degrees in Communications, English, Journalism, Speech and Drama with history minors. At UNM, her hero was Tony Hillerman. She taught high school and middle school in city, country, and private schools for 30 years. Roaring Mouse is in its 25 th year. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org