Whether it is straight as a ruler or curly as a pigs tail, most women are not satisfied with their hair. It seems that those with straight want curly and those with curly want straight hair along with all variations in between. Don’t even throw in the color aspect or we could be here until next year trying to figure out the combinations.
I was a prissy little girl, but around the time I started noticing there was a difference between boys and girls, I turned into a prissy tomboy. Truly an oxymoron or maybe a freak of nature considering the flaming locks upon my head.
My mother spent far too many hours putting pink curlers on a head of hair that was naturally curly and really didn’t need them. She was also obsessed with making sure that I was mannerly and always acted “like a lady.” Tomboys do not act like ladies all the time, a fact that she eventually figured out.
“Mom, can I go outside and play?”
“Yes, but make sure you act like a lady and don’t play with those boys,” Mom would say in her do-what-I-say voice.
So out I would go to the playground to play. Often the only other kids to hang around with were boys and they always wanted to play football. I played tag football at school all the time and was quite good at it, but these boys liked to play tackle-and-smoosh-your-face-in-the-ground-so-you-don’t-forget-about-it football.
Mom’s voice would echo in my head, “…and don’t play with those boys.”
She knew all too well that “those boys” were older and her skinny, pale, flames-shooting-off-her-head daughter was not a match for their shenanigans.
I was oblivious to all the accidents-waiting-to-happen if I played rough football with the boys. All I knew was that they were playing and I wanted to play too. With one glance back to make sure that Mom wasn’t watching, I ran over yelling, “I want to play!”
The biggest boy, who also happened to be my friend, welcomed me to his team and told everyone to be careful when they tackled me.
Hmph. No one was going to get the chance to tackle me, I thought as I bent down at the end of the line.
“Hike!” he screamed and I took off running towards the bushes which doubled as the goal line. I ran as fast as my long legs could carry me and when I turned around to look for the ball, it was falling into my hands. I knew all I had to do was take a few more steps and then I leap over the two foot high hedge which is exactly what happened.
For hours the same scenario played over and over. Not once did I get tackled until it was almost time to go in for dinner. I was getting rather tired and so was everyone else, but all the boys were older than me and I guess they just had more energy or maybe it was just that they were energetic boys. I knew I would have to really put all my energy into this last sprint.
By now, dripping with sweat from the top of my curly red locks to the ends of my toes, I leaned down for the last play.
“Hut one,” he screamed and then paused to try and get someone to step over the line early.
“Hut two,” and then quickly he yelled, “Hike!”
I sprinted like there was a tiger after me and just as I turned to catch the perfectly thrown ball, I saw my mother out of the corner of my eye. For a split second I paused and that is all it took forthe boys from the opposite team to catch up with me.
I felt a hard thud as my body hit the ground and I was tackled.
There was a blood curdling scream coming from my mother’s direction and all the boys leaped off of me as if I had leprosy.
Mom was running towards me with that funny way she runs. I always say it is a sissy girl run with her hands flying like she is trying to catch butterflies. Regardless of how she ran, I knew she was headed straight for me and I was going to be in so much trouble!
I jumped up and started brushing all the grass off of me as the boys stood transfixed in my mother’s glare.
“Are you okay?” she asked and then looking around at the boys with the Cruella DeVille face and a shaky voice she said, “She is just a little girl and you are big boys! You can’t tackle her like that or you are going to break her bones! Don’t you ever do that again!!!”
You would think after that incident the boys would not only never speak to me again, but they would definitely not let me play again. However, that isn’t what happened. Instead, the team that got me on their side was guaranteed to win because no one was allowed to tackle the “girl.” I suddenly went from undesirable bouffant girl to “I want her on my team!”
Mom continued for many years to do the pink curler torture and would sing a popular song of that time period. Do you remember the Clairol Hot Curler commercial that started around 1969 advertising Kindness Curlers? Well, it didn’t matter that we had the old fashioned pink curlers because Mom always sang the song from the commercial as she put them in my hair. Well, that and constantly saying, “Please be still. I’m almost done,” even though she had just put in the first curler.
Shame on you
Curlers in your bed
Shame on you
Curlers in the store
Shame on you
Curlers at the store
Shame on you
Shame on you