Curlers In Your Hair, Shame On You

by Sherry Riter in Memory,Red Hair,Sherry

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.

Sherry 1969 in curlers at Mam-Maw's

Curlers on your head
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

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous November 3, 2010 at 4:02 am

ahhhhh, my little red on the head. You were my baby girl and so beautiful. I still use these rollers, lol. My curls are going to behave and do exactly what I want,lololololo



2 Jennifer | Sweet Simplicity November 3, 2010 at 4:27 am

I love the pictures of you with the curlers in your hair!


3 Paula November 3, 2010 at 8:10 am

You do look cute though!


4 Joan November 3, 2010 at 6:08 pm

So you were a prissy tomboy who liked to play football with the boys! A really entertaining story about when you were young — and cute pictures of yourself to accompany it!

But honestly, Red — I do not remember the Clairol Hot Curler commercial that started around 1969. How could I? You are sooo much older than I.

That's why I read your blog, to learn from my elders! And what I am learning is that you are truly an amazing woman!

I keep asking myself, "How does she do it all?" How does she work an outside job, interact in her community, write a blog — and do all the other things that she does?

It is a complete mystery to me how you accomplish everything that do in the same 24 hours that we all have. It goes without saying that you must not sleep, or if you do you sleep very little.

When I grow up I want to be exactly like you — a writer! Except I probably would like to get a little more sleep than you do. Aside from that you are my role model!


5 a11smiles November 3, 2010 at 8:55 pm

I love the sentimentality in this story and it reminds me quite a bit of my childhood.

My mum would always put white ankle socks with pink, blue or lemon threaded ribbon and then the same colour ribbons in my hair, and co-ordinate the colour with a frilly dress. By the time I had finished climbing trees and jumping brooks there wasn't a ribbon or ounce of 'white' left.


6 Simoney November 4, 2010 at 2:30 am

This is a very cute story! Loved it. Go Red!


7 The Redhead Riter November 4, 2010 at 4:11 am

Thank you Mom. Now, if I can't just get you to stop signing in as Anonymous it will be a downright miracle. ?


8 The Redhead Riter November 4, 2010 at 4:12 am


Did your mother torture you with curlers too? LOL I think I look so silly!


9 The Redhead Riter November 4, 2010 at 4:13 am


Where's your glasses? LMBO I actually remember that day while they were taking my picture. I was trying to find some place to hide.


10 The Redhead Riter November 4, 2010 at 4:16 am

"That's why I read your blog, to learn from my elders!"

Okay Joan, that was funny. I've seen your avatar and you look like a model straight off the cover of a magazine!

About the sleeping thing…I don't like sleeping!! You're right about me not sleeping as much as other people. Maybe that is why I can get it all done, but there is soooooooo much more I want to do!!!


11 The Redhead Riter November 4, 2010 at 4:17 am


I remember those little socks. Then when we got older, we wore knee socks. I used to pull on my so much that I would ruin the elastic in them and the hairs on my little legs would be sore from all the rubbing of the sock. I haven't thought of that in years. I'm glad you enjoyed it!


12 The Redhead Riter November 4, 2010 at 4:18 am

High Five Simoney!!! Thanks!


13 Holly November 4, 2010 at 8:27 am

I LOVE this!! You WERE a CUTIE!! Paula's eyeballs are JUST FINE! ;p I vote your mom start a blog!! Anyone for a second?? Your MOM ROCKS, TOO!! ;D

I got the hard plastic torture sometimes; but mostly I got the spongie pink ones that would make my hair sp*RING when the were rolled out… I didn't play much football, but I climbed anything that was vertical! LOL!!



14 The Redhead Riter November 4, 2010 at 7:35 pm

"I vote your mom start a blog!!"

Oh no! I hope she doesn't come back and read it! LOL


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