I blame it on the eighties. Actually, I blame it on the seventies, because really, can’t everything, at its origin, be blamed on the seventies? But I only lived through half of that infamous decade and during those years I wasn’t in a decision-making capacity, so I’ll have to blame the eighties. So what precisely am I blaming on an entire decade? My hair, of course. Isn’t it always about my hair? The eighties was the big hair decade, for both men and women. One’s success in a myriad of industries – rock ‘n’ roll, stage and screen, modeling, etc. – was in direct proportion to the size of one’s coiffure. This worked for me. You see, I matured early. Unfortunately, my ass just kept right on maturing while the rest of me, brains included, stopped. So even in high school, I packed a lot of junk in my trunk. The big hair balanced me out. When that wasn’t enough, enter linebacker shoulder pads, a la Joan Collins. But being in high school where a T-shirt and jeans was the established uniform, shoulder pads weren’t entirely practical, although certainly not unheard-of. But this isn’t about shoulder pads, this is a discussion about hair. Specifically, my hair. Because as previously stated, everything pretty much is. So, I had big hair: winged out, blown back, gelled up big hair. And damn did I look good. My big hair coupled with my Guess jeans which had those tiny pockets in the back that made even the biggest of butts look small, or at least normal sized, and I was killer. I even wore make-up back then. Oh, the energy of youth.
Then came the nineties. Dressing down was in. Naturale was the look. It was a horrifying decade for us Southern girls, I can tell you. We didn’t do natural. Not in Kentucky. We concealed, rouged, shadowed, lengthened, lifted, and separated. We didn’t think much of nature when it came to personal beauty. I was in college in the nineties. Just as the fashions changed for me, the boys too changed. In high school, the more work you put in, the more you were rewarded with the attentions of the opposite sex. Coming to school clean faced and in sweats was akin to showing up in a nun’s habbit in terms of garnering male attentions. In college though, it was like the less you tried, the more guys took notice. Apparently, aloof was the buzz word for sexual relations for Gen X-ers. It took me until junior year to catch onto this sea change. Old habits die hard I guess. For two years, I religiously blow dried and made up, ridiculous given that I lived in an unair-conditioned dorm. By the time my second class rolled around I looked like nothing so much as an oil slick with a cheap wig. It all changed during junior year. During junior year, my suitemate was from Michigan. Michiganders, apparently, were not raised to worship at the altar of Paul Mitchell and Max Factor. Molly was the embodiment of the natural movement. She came all the way from Michigan with just the clothes that could fit in her Mom’s car. That’s it! I, on the other hand, hauled a carload of crap back to the dorm every Sunday afternoon. And Molly got guys. Molly got a lot of guys. So, I thought, let me get this straight. Molly does little more than crawl out of bed and throw on a cap, and guys just can’t get enough of her. Well, Mama didn’t raise no dummy, and I had two years of fine public postsecondary education under my belt. I ditched the make-up, ditched the tights (yes, I was still wearing tights in 1995) and set forth into the world in Levi’s and a ball cap. And whadoyaknow? Guys started paying attention to me. The less interested I seemed, the more they showed up. Well hell!
Now at thirty-five and happily married for nearly fourteen years, getting a guy bears no weight in my hairdo decisions. As long as Michael doesn’t have to dodge flying brushes or flat irons, he’s not all that concerned with my hair. Nowadays, with a toddler in the house and another baby on the way, my hair decisions are based on one thing and one thing alone: Ease. What is the absolute minimum amount of work I’ll have to do to look presentable on the off chance that an opportunity to leave the house presents itself? That’s the style for me. I couldn’t care less about whether it accentuates my eyes, flatters my bone structure, or hints at the latest celebrity style. And I certainly don’t expect a hairstyle to make my ass look smaller. Honestly, that ship has sailed. I just want to be able to leave the house and not be mistaken for an escapee from the “Home.”
People, those with a death wish, like to point out to me that there are strands of grey showing at my temples. Honestly, Being able to successfully delude one’s self about the existence of grey hair and fine lines is pretty much the only upside to being blind. Really, and I mean this in all honesty, it is not information that I need to know. If there’s spinach in my teeth – sure, tell me that. Toilet paper stuck to my shoe? Absolutely, I’d love to know about it. My socks don’t match? Feel free to tell me, although I probably already know and don’t care. But grey hair and wrinkles? Just keep that information to yourself thanks. As obsessed as I often am about my hair, particularly in regard to what torture methods to employ to make it conform to my will, I am not so obsessed, nor so vain, nor so interested in what others think to invest the vast sums of time and money required to fool absolutely no one into believing that I am younger than I actually am. Especially when you consider that I won’t even get to enjoy the fruits of those tortuous labors, being entirely visual as they are. It’s maybe cliché, but I did in fact earn every one of those grey hairs. They are the product of surviving many a brain surgery, enduring frequent nights holding my beloved but sleep apathetic child, and of being thirty-five years old and pregnant. Those grey hairs are my battle scars from wars well fought and won.
If you know me, know of me, or have even passed by me in a hall somewhere, you are aware that a fashionista I am most certainly not. So from whence comes this hair obsession? Being blind leaves one in a desert wasteland of style and fashion. 1989 was the last year in my sight memory; thus, I will forever harbor an unnatural fondness for tight-rolled, stone-washed jeans and electric blue eye liner. See the problem? Unless I want to rely on my husband or my mother for style advice (and who would want that?) hassling my friends, blog readers, and Facebook pals about modern fashion is pretty much the only way I can get the information. So, my friends, I implore you to patience. You can rest assured that you are free from my incessant questions for the time being at least. I have reached the blissful state of having hair long enough to wear in a ponytail. That, coupled with the pending new baby’s arrival, and does anybody have a doubt as to how I’ll be wearing my hair for approximately the next year? I’d ask if ponytails are “in,” but honestly, I don’t care. If they’re not, and I break down and ask – as you know I am wont to do – then please, just lie to me.