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More Hair

25 Jan

There were so many comments about hair yesterday, I thought I’d reblog an old post on that very subject.  I wrote it way back in 2009 so I doubt if any of you have read it.

I don’t like shopping; I never have, even when we had plenty of money. I am intimidated by bored and rude sales assistants – but at least they are better than hairdressers. Hairdressers are scarier than dentists; scarier than walking Stockport streets at night; scarier even than a doctor’s cold hands at a five-yearly check-up. They hold the key to my appearance in their hands, and I am powerless to stop them having their wicked way with me.

I once had a hair cut. I asked the hairdresser to bob my hair to the top of my shoulders, and give me a fringe. As she was combing my hair she remarked on my natural kink, saying that she had one and it was useless trying to fight it. She decided to give me some layers to make it manageable, and then she began cutting, and cutting, and cutting; a snip-snip here; a snip-snip there; here a snip, there a snip, everywhere a snip-snip….

I was in the chair for at least an hour but by the time I realised how short my hair was going to be, it was too late to protest. I wasn’t wearing my glasses and her friendly chat had lulled me into a state of torpor.  She bobbed me to the top of my neck, not my shoulders, so I had what’s known in the hairdressing trade as ‘short hair’.

The hairdresser later confessed to my Mum that she just couldn’t stop cutting, and I was sitting so quiet and accepting that she kept talking and cutting and cutting and talking and cutting in panic.

Tory Boy decided to grow his hair long when he was fifteen. I had to accept his decision but it drove me nuts, particularly as he is the only person I know who can wash his hair without cleaning it and dry his hair so that it remains wet.  Aren’t adverts misleading? As a child I thought only brunettes got dandruff because there were no blondes in the Head and Shoulders ad. I was astonished when Tory Boy got dandruff: my then scruffy blonde baby never rinsed his hair properly, of course.

Then there was the unexpected side-effect of his unplugging the hairdryer without switching it off. Every time I came to use it, it would explode into action as soon as I plugged it in, leaving me several heart attacks closer to a hospital. I tried telling him politely, and followed it up with a threatening email when that didn’t work; eventually I was forced to hide in the kitchen, jumping out on him whilst simultaneously turning on the hairdryer as he walked past, so he could have the hospital bed next to mine.  It didn’t work; he looked at me as if I was stupid and, when using the dryer, began exaggeratedly showing me he had switched it off, and then secretly switching it back on again to catch me out. My only choice was to ban him from hairdryer contact altogether and wake him an hour early so that his hair had time to dry naturally before school. Lack of sleep on my part meant that strategy lasted one day.

Hair plays a big part in my life. I wear a full body apron, no sleeves, and a tubee over my head when I cook, à la Yentl, because the favourite saying in our house during a meal isn’t, ‘That was delicious, Mum,’ or even, ‘Well, at least you tried,’ but, ‘I got the hair.’ My hair finds its way everywhere: the usual places like plug holes and bed, but also into all food (even when it’s stored in the fridge) and behind the toilet. I don’t know how it gets there; it’s not like I ever go behind the toilet to clean.

Even Christmas Dinner can be hair-perturbed: one year, things went better than usual in spite of my mild hysteria, first over cooking, then on putting my chair and all my weight on TB’s foot (screaming adolescents are not good for my nerves, no matter how much pain they claim to be in).  My hat would not fit on my head over my tied-back hair, and I pulled out my clip in a hissy fit, threw it on the floor and tried again to adjust my hat, which snapped back over my right ear, leaving it ringing, me sulking, and my family laughing.  That was the year the boys gave me thoughtful gifts: TB bought me a month’s supply of Maltesers and Spud bought me a Christmas apron, a collapsible washing bag, and a pair of nose hair clippers.

I truly believe that the hardest part of being a parent is letting my children go, which is rather ridiculous, given that I spend all my time preparing them for independence, for a time when they won’t need me. Having said that, there are mornings when I am more than happy to let some of my children go…like the morning when TB berated me for being cruel, wicked and unfair, for not only did I make him polish his shoes and apply his acne cream, I didn’t pass him the lemonade bottle last night when it was me who wanted him to tighten the top after pouring him a drink while he was drying his hair, thus making him late for school fourteen hours later and forcing him to rush.

I admit it: I am a dreadful mother; I thought so as I watched him through the window, strolling to the bus stop while fiddling with his mp3 player, hair doing a passable imitation of Jimi Hendrix in a wind tunnel, clearly determined not to miss that bus he was so late for. It was not the first time my teenage son had stressed me out: he once managed to turn a civil invitation to the cinema into an argument that left me rescinding the invitation and stabbing an innocent chicken sandwich. This is the child that I took shopping with me when he was nineteen: determined to one day rule the world (watch out teachers, you’re heading for a colony in Antarctica), he spent the time choosing alcohol supplies, riding the trolley, and out-Barry Scotting Barry Scott with his Cillit Bang advert impression.

A final word on hair things: the Hub once made pom-poms with our niece, helped her with her cross stitching, made bracelets, and beaded her hair, much to Spud’s disgust at such girlie activities in the man who claims to be his father.  He can cook, he can sew, he sings soprano to my alto…the boys claim he is the most feminine macho man they know.  Twenty-one years of teaching our sons male-female equality and they still think cooking is women’s work.  I don’t know why: never in their lives have I served them anything edible.

A last word on the Hub: when we were courting in our teens, I sat with my cropped head and watched his mother plait his pony tail, muttering all the while, ‘I expected to do this for me daughters but not for me son!’ No wonder he never objected when the gerbils groomed his moustache. And don’t start feeling sorry for him because I’m giving away his secrets: he likes to be kept on his toes by me, believing contrariety is the spice of wife.

 

Joke 307

25 Jan

Why did the capacitor kiss the diode?

He just couldn’t resistor.

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