Monday, February 22, 2010
Like many, when I was born I was bald as a shiny whale. Once I began walking, I finally began to grow a tiny bit of blonde fuzz on the top of my head, while all the other little children were bursting forth with long, shiny locks and curls. I was that kid who was nearly bald for a long time, thank goodness I was far too young to feel different.
As my hair grew in, it was not only red, but curly. Little spirals sprung like springs out of my scalp at all angles except down. I suffered from little orphan Annie hair, and I dreamed of having the luscious long pigtails the other girls had, alas my pigtails actually looked like pigtails. It was around this time I began putting dish towels on my head, securing them with a headband, I would dance around my yard pretending I had hair just like Jennifer from Family Ties. Swinging on my swing set, feeling the length of this beautiful, floral blue hair fall down my back I smiled and sang and felt like a princess.
My parents continued to tell me that my curly mop was beautiful, but this conversation was followed up by a horse trying to eat my hair at the local fall fair. Standing in the barn, I ran up to the loveliest horse, giggled and turned to my parents for a picture. As my back was to the animal, I felt it's giant lips grabbing at my hair, and my parents in stitches, saying the beast thought my hair was hay. This got a big ol' arms crossed, foot stamping, frowning "hrumff!" outta me.
I went to school with some of the longest-haired girls in town. I was surrounded by shimmery straight, light catching blondes in every classroom. Pony tails and waist length braids, little hands playing with long princess locks, and the girls who could put their hair in their mouths, in their mouths! The day my hair would be long enough to reach into my mouth, I would feel as if I had finally joined the ranks of the girlie girls, and how I wanted that. It just didn't seem to be growing! I would come home from school and describe a hairstyle worn by Rachel or Jenny or Sarah, and instruct my mother that I wanted her to style my hair that way, but my four-inch-long curls could, sadly, not be coaxed into Laura Ingles braids.
My grandmother, who was a proficient knitter, decided to make me a gift. One summer, she presented me with the hair I had always wanted. She had knitted a neutral coloured headband, with long, knitted braids on either side, each braid tied with a yellow ribbon. I retired my floral, blue towel, and placed on my head a crowing glory: long, knitted hair. I wore that thing everywhere, much to my family's dismay. I could finally run and play with long braids, I could twirl them, let them blow in the breeze, and by god, I could put them in my mouth!