Humor,  Womanhood

Something substantial.

It’s Monday night. That means it’s story time.

This is a continuation from the previous post. You don’t need to read the previous post to know what I’m talking about. This isn’t like a sequel to a movie. I would never make you go back and re-read something because then I’ll lose you.

Stay here. Put your feet up. Grab some wine. This is story time.

Ok, you can let down your hair too.

That’s what I’m going to talk about. Hair. My something substantial, my something of considerable size, is the hair on my head.

My hair and I have a sad and pathetic history. My hair, for the majority of my life, was the cause of humiliation, groundings, a streak of playing wingman for my hot friends, and a disappointed husband.

I am a child of the 80s. I had bangs. This is not anything traumatic because everyone had bangs. Square after square in the elementary yearbooks produced no foreheads. One year, my hair one-upped everyone else. I had short hair in the front and long hair in the back. Together. Short hair and long hair together on my head. I had a mullet.

I hated it.

In middle school, my friend bleached a chunk of hair on the back of my head. I wanted a blonde streak in the back when I pulled my hair up in a high ponytail. It ended up looking like, “peanut butter! She let her friend dye her hair and it looks like peanut butter smeared on the back of her head! I don’t know what to do with her, Tom! She can’t go to school like this!” my mom screamed over the phone.

I hated it.

Summer of 2000. I permed my hair before I left for college. Let me say that again – I permed my hair before I left for college. I am the final person to get a perm in the history of perms and then I went to college. I was the wingman that smelled like rotten-egg perm hair at frat parties.

I hated it.

I chopped my hair off after our wedding. I chopped it off again after I gave birth to Emma. I chopped it off again right before I gave birth to Kate because I knew I wouldn’t have time to chop it off with a newborn and a 3-year-old. Even though shorter hair is easier to care for, Scott fell out of love with me a little less with each chop. “You just look better with long hair.”

I hated it.

I made bad hair decisions.

I didn’t know how to control the beast on my head. I prayed my daughters wouldn’t get my hair. They didn’t. Emma has curly hair with sun-kissed highlights (that I wish I had) and Kate has silky straight blonde hair (that I also wish I had.)

I have ponytail-holder busting, thick hair. Clips won’t hold it up. I had 92 bobby pins in my hair on my wedding day. Most hats are too small for my head because I have a good two inches of hair cushioning my scalp. I cringe at the word “volume” on any hair product. Men with receding hair lines stare at me with envy. Probably.

And now the beast is framing my face with silver. When I pull my hair back tight, I glimpse at grandma-me in the mirror. I chase Scott around the house and ask if he loves his future wife. His answer is always a horrified yes.


34 years of bad hair has taught me that you don’t tame a beast. You feed it. You accept what is yours. My parents, my peers, the men in my life – they don’t get to tell me about a bad hair day. Bad hair is my own decision. I have a full head of hair that will never need help “volumizing.” I have hair that will curl and stay curled without hair spray. 

My hair is wild and untamed. It feeds on humidity. It only knows how to grow bigger. After years of self-loathing, maybe it taught me to grow too. My hair is my something substantial.

No one let me get a perm.


Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. I am still doing the Somethingist challenge on Instagram. Check it out – I have video of wild horses running away from my mane.

Do you love your hair or do you hate it?