Originally posted Jan. 6, 2013
Tonight, I’m sitting here at the computer with very short and very crooked bangs.
Yep, I broke the rule.
(I also broke it back in October 2020 when I cut my bangs with a steak knife while camping.)
It was probably the first rule I learned when, in junior high, I finally became the keeper of my own hair. When no longer was I under the rule of my mother and her crazy whims to perm my hair the night before school pictures, to keep my hair short, and to shampoo it while I laid on my back on the kitchen counter with my neck breaking as it hung down into the kitchen sink.
Now I could grow my string straight hair long and my bangs could come down over my eyes and I could shampoo it myself in the shower.
I grew up when long bangs down to your eyelashes and longer was the way to go.
You know the song from the musical “Hair”…
“Oh say, can you see my eyes, if you can
Then my hair’s too short”
So, when I’ve had bangs, they’ve always been long. In fact, there’s a long history of straight hair and bangs in our family. Here’s a photo of my mother — I think she’s about ten-years old in this.
Obviously, her mother celebrated her straight hair and worked with what she had.
Not mine — she’d give me a Toni perm the night before school pictures Every, Single. Year.
This is what she’d do to me. And the boy who always sat behind me, because we were always in alphabetical order, would complain about the stinky smell.
As soon as I got into seventh-grade and my mom relinquished control of my hair, both on my head and on my legs, I did this:
Better, right? I started growing out my bangs and kept my hair natural. Look at that smirk.
So, anyway — you know the rule…
….Never cut your own bangs when they are wet.
But, yesterday I took a hankerin’ to cutting my bangs. No big deal. I do it all the time. But this time was different. I did it while my hair was wet and for some reason my head was half-cocked to the left.
Now I look like I did when I was four and did much the same thing. (Well, I know I don’t actually look like I’m four, but you know what I mean.)
I wish I could find the photo I remember my mom showing me years and years later, but here’s one taken last night.
It’s okay to laugh. I haven’t stopped.
I did something very similar about 10 years ago, when I was going through the very dreaded ( and rightfully so) menopause. I woke up one night soaked through and through from night sweats, and decided right then and there that if I cut my hair, I’d be much cooler. I pulled my hair, which was then shoulder length, up into a pony tail right at the top of my head. I thought I’d give myself a shag cut — how hard could that be?
I had remembered while in college that several of my dorm mates did it, so why not? I had remembered them looking great.
I stood in front of the bathroom mirror and took the scissors to my hair.
I threw the hair on the floor, turned off the light and went back to bed.
The next morning, which just happened to be a Sunday morning, I nearly fainted when I looked in the mirror. It was a shag alright. What the heck had I done? I must have been possessed (which I was — by the demons of menopause).
I had hair sticking out in every direction. Parts of it only about two-inches long and other parts about eight-inches long. But absolutely no rhyme or reason to it. I don’t have any pictures of that, which is a good thing. It would be enough to scare you back to grade-school.
It was just a mess.
And what can you do on a Sunday morning?
I called my friend who had always done my mother’s hair. She felt sorry for me and told me to come to her house.
“Yikes! What have you done?” she said. (She actually used other words, but I won’t use them here.)
Needless to say, she fixed me up — with very short hair.
I thought I had learned my lesson.
Clearly, I hadn’t.
I’m sure that’s why my mother was so reluctant to give up control of my hair…she knew I’d never learn.