Curly Hair

Before I begin, I’d like to inform you that my house still looks like this.

See the brown/floral chair in the lower right hand corner? That’s where I’m sitting right now. A massive entanglement of string is right before my very eyes and here I sit, laptop in um, lap, trying to ignore the chaotic mass of string. This is my very favorite thinking spot and I’m loathe to find a new location, so I’m stubbornly trying to block it out. The yarn web is impeding my ability to concentrate somewhat, but, alas, I forage on.

I can’t say that I haven’t dreamed of taking a pair of scissors to this mess and maniacally hacking away a la Edward Scissorhands, therefore putting me and my order-loving ways, out of misery, but, for some reason that kid of mine has a way of getting just what she wants. I should take lessons from her; she’s really quite convincing. I should also add that she should NOT take grammar lessons from me because that was one very long run on sentence.

Anyway, I had curly hair on Monday. Accidental curly hair. Back in the day my hair was curly, but that 90s big haired mess I sported was a chemical induced curl. When I was 18 or 19 I paid $80 to have my youthful, coiffure-related transgressions reversed. Ever since then I’ve had an ever-so-slight wave to my hair, but I dry it straight on a daily basis.

The fact that my hair hung onto such curliness on Monday was quite a surprise. I attribute this to the humidity in the air. Well, the humidity coupled with the fact that I was feeling particularly lazy and didn’t want to spend 10 minutes with my hair dryer. So, I took notice of the accidental curlies, pondered my options, grabbed some extra hair gel and went with it.

Humidity has a funny way of messing with you and your hair. I’m not a fan of humidity. On so many levels. You know, maybe I’ll start calling it “dewy” instead. That sounds nice, doesn’t it? More lady like. Like “perspire” instead of “sweat.”

Speaking of “dewy,” I had a bizarre encounter in the Wal Mart lotion aisle on Monday. We were there to purchase yellow yarn for Caroline’s stitchery project, but I managed to finagle my way over to the lotion section. And there in the aisle was a woman who had a purse very similar to mine, which sparked the conversation. She was looking to purchase the type of lotion that gives you a warm, tan-like glow, made my Jergens, I think. Because I was standing there, disengaged from the people around me, minding my own business, blending into the crowd, blankly surveying the varied lotion options before me, she asked my opinion.

Since I tan easily, even when I try to avoid it, I didn’t have an opinion on that particular product. Seriously, I can sit inside, next to a window and get tan. I think I even tanned through the umbrella at the pool last year. That’s okay, though, my opinion wasn’t really necessary, as this particular woman had many opinions and personal anecdotes that she was more than willing to share with me in the lotion aisle at Wal Mart.

We’re talking everything from kids and technology to her upcoming foot surgery, which coincidentally is not being done by the podiatrist who botched her bunion surgery to the type of face cream she uses. She formerly used Oil of Olay; now she uses Nivea. She told me about 5 times. Because she likes a “dewy” look.

She was an engaging woman, but as much as I like talking, I can’t say that conducting that detailed of a conversation in the lotion aisle of Wal Mart is my favorite way to spend an afternoon.

Wow, that was one gigantic tangent.

So, as I was saying, I had curly hair on Monday. Caroline and her friends were enamored by the loveliness of my bouncy locks. Although, they didn’t remain bouncy for the entirety of the day; perhaps the “dew” level decreased? Since the curly haired Alison was a new and captivating topic for them, I told them of my big haired teenage years. I even tried to locate a picture to show them, but I couldn’t find the one I was looking for.

During my search, I came across many pictures in our photo box; most of which I’d like to burn based solely on the condition of my hair. I went from big curls and big bangs to straight hair and straight bangs that I curled under. Not a good look. Not at all.

Some people look back at old pictures and reminisce fondly. I look back at old pictures and want to grab a match.

Is that normal?

I certainly have not had a life in which wanting to burn pictures is warranted. Sure, I’ve had my fair share of hair catastrophes…and there’s the lingering acne I had for, oh, 18 years of my life, but overall, my life has been pretty good.

I’ve never lacked food (clearly). My parents never mistreated me. I’ve always had a warm bed to sleep in and cable TV to occupy my sad little brain.

Overall, life has been good. Not charmed, but good. Solid. Stable.

All good things.

And yet, why do I want to burn the memories I’ve captured on film? Besides the whole hair thing, of course?

It doesn’t seem normal that I’d want to burn the pictures that were taken of me in my youth. Not as a little kid, but as a teenager.

Thanks to my pathetic nearly non-existent, dateless, teenage social life, my teenage years weren’t as tumultuous as some. It was all very good. And normal. Hardly worthy of an after school special.

I’m not sure what it means when I have a hard time looking at the pictures of my “wedding.” While the outcome of the day doesn’t make me cringe (I want to be clear here!), the actual pictures make we want to look away.


I never considered myself normal, so odd is probably a good way to describe it.

I don’t even recognize the person who is in those pictures. I’ve grown and changed SO much, as we all are apt to do, and I don’t see ME in those pictures. I see someone very different. Someone who I never really knew. Mostly I’m glad I’m not that person anymore, but also can’t help but wonder who she would have become had her circumstances been different.

I guess that’s a benefit to marrying young. You don’t have to worry about losing your identity because chances are, at the ripe age of 19, you don’t really have a well formed identity. Really, who knew what and who they were at 19? On a blog I read, the author asked her readers who had or who would like to change their last name upon getting married. The answers were pretty much split 50-50. The author herself had not changed her name, but many of her readers had, or planned to.

Of those who didn’t change their name, many claimed that feeling like they’d be missing who they were if they got a new last name was the number one reason why they hadn’t or wouldn’t change their name.

I can understand that. However, I feel like I never figured out who Alison Kennedy was before I became Alison Smith.

Not that any of this is bad or wrong or weird. It just is.

I don’t know what any of this has to do with curly hair or burning pictures. All I know is that I’m glad that I’m not the person in those pictures anymore.

And also, apropos of nothing, I’d just like to add that Craig had a whole lot more hair 15 years ago.

And I had big boobs.

Yep, I said it.


How things change.


2 responses

  1. Thanks, Sissy! Even though my big hair ended up on your desk in English class? I remember you saying "your hair is lovely, but please remove it from my desk."The good old days.<3


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