Monday, November 06, 2006

I remember making my mom cry in 1981.....

My friend, Raychelle, from church was heading into Lethbridge with her mom for a shopping day, and they invited me to join them! How exciting!! Raychelle was one of my more thrilling friends, full of paradoxes. She was very popular at school, yet she was a faithful church attender. She was nice to me, yet she was one of the beautiful people. It didn't add up! Blond feathered hair and sunny smile, she was an angel to me of kindness. I got permission from my mom, and off we went for the day.

We went into all kinds of great shops, trying on all the trendy clothing. I could almost imagine I was one of the beautiful people, hanging out with Raychelle in the mall. Her mom looked at her watch. "Girls, it's time to head to the hair salon. Raychelle's appointment is in a few minutes."

Raychelle was whisked off by the beautician. As I sat in the salon with Mrs. West (names changed just to be safe), we began pouring through the hair-do magazines. "Look at this cute cut, Paula. I bet it would look adorable on you!" It was short, spiky on the top, with little long wisps of hair at the back. So new-wave! I agreed, yes, it would look good on me, in some other lifetime. "Paula, if you get this hair cut, I'll pay for it. You need a new look." Mrs. West said with finality.

Huh? What? My hair was just past my shoulders, long and thick and with no style at all. I usually just ignored it. A radical short funky hair cut was mine for the taking? I felt like I was on a game show. "Monty, I'll take door number 2" "Congratulations, young lady, you've won your first stylish hair cut!"

Soon it was my turn in the chair. I was trembling with excitement as the chunks of hair fell to the floor. I was being transformed! I was one of the beautiful people, but even better because my haircut was daring and unusual!! When the beautician was done, I looked at myself in the mirror and couldn't believe it. I looked like someone from Friday Night Videos. I looked like I lived in a city. Wow!

When I got back from the drive, after thanking Raychelle and Mrs. West profusely, I bounced into the house, thrilled to show my family my new do. My mom took one look at me and started crying. "What have you done?"

"Mrs. West payed for it, Mom. I didn't pay for it." Why was she upset? I spent no money!

"But Carol's wedding is coming up in the summer and you girls were all going to have long hair!" More tears. This was the first I'd heard of the long hair plan. I slunk to my room and sat on my bed, angry and sad and deflated.

Carol, my sister, came into my room and sat beside me. "I love your new haircut. I think it makes your eyes pop out. You look beautiful." We hugged. I did not understand my mother at all.


Pondering Pig said...

Great story, Paula. I just love reading about your exploits. For their content, but also for your clean narrative flow and careful simple word choices. You never get flowery! You've mastered the difficult KISS principle, those hard words -- "Keep It Simple, Stupid!".

Spoke said...

One of the things that sux in life, is when people force their expectations on other people just so they can feel good or look as if they are in control. It's a great way to have things happen exactly how you want them to. A sinister method to get things done that YOU should do yourself. Mum's do it, World Leaders do it. Church Leaders do it...any one with any kind of authority is capable of it.

Spoke said...

dads do it too....

KimberleyJ said...

My mom did that the first time I cut my hair too. She told me later it was because of the shock of seeing me look so different and so grown up... and so pretty. I felt better after that. Maybe your mom saw that too?

Take 2 said...

Glad Spoke clarified that dads do it too.

Everyone can be like that.

I can only hope and pray that when my daughter does something drastic with her I will be openminded.

Truthfully that goes for anything. Thanks for sharing.

I bet your cut was cute. Have any pics.


PS Sounds like Carol was an awesome big sis

Becca said...

Moms seem to be a wee bit hesitant about hair it seems. Mom used to always have mine done in an afro similar to Little Orphan Annie or bangs. when I wanted my hair long and straight and without bangs, shenearly had a heart attack. She nearly disowned me this week after the low lights were put in.

Lynnette said...

1981 eh. I was one year old then. Haa haa.

papa herman said...

What a warm and kind response from your sister.

Amber said...

Sometimes I wish I wonder what it would be like to have had siblings (or a sibling)... Would they have countered harsh remarks made by my parents? Would we be able to support one another now with family-related stuff? Maybe... or maybe it would be another relationship in need of mending.

The Wizened Wizard said...

My mother was a good hairdresser and a great mom. The problem was that her clientele was my friends’ moms and the teachers and cafeteria ladies at my school... You can imagine that the styles they all liked and the “beautiful people” style I might have wanted were two different things. I couldn’t go to another hairdresser because that would have so hurt my mom’s feelings! Lucky for you to have been liberated by Mrs. West! (My solution came in the sixties: long, straight hair was what the beautiful people were wearing).

I can’t help thinking that your mom’s tears were really rooted in the realization that you had turned to Someone Else’s Mom for guidance your own mom had previously provided.

Amazing how the simplest of things – in this case the snipping of hair – inflicts wounds remembered forever. Thanks for stirring some memories of my own.