Last week when I was at the Y, getting dressed alongside the high school girls' swim team, I listened to the girls chattering about their insecurities. A blond girl was going on about her feet. She didn't want anyone to see her feet. How can I swim and not show off my feet? she asked.
Seriously. Feet? Okay, maybe she was being silly. But everyone started checking out her feet. I like your feet! the girls said in a chorus. They're so long and skinny. Like tree roots. They started giggling and comparing their feet.
Then another girl started whining about her weight. But you aren't fat, the girls chimed in. They were right. She was as skinny as the rest of them. Me, I hate my lips, another said.
Maybe this is an all-too familiar scene. They're teenage girls, after all. Problem is, I felt like I was one of them. I wanted to join in--It's my hair I hate. Look at my limp, lousy pin-straight hair!
I stood there, blow-drying my hair. Styling it with a flat-iron. I hate how long it takes. I was just thinking I was done when I pulled out a hairspray I'd ordered on Amazon that was supposed to be unscented. I gave one quick squirt, two, then I inhaled. Oh shit! I smelled like a toxic flower. My hair felt like tinsel.
I had a phone meeting with Nicole, my writing pal, and I was really excited about it, so I thought, Maybe all I need to do is open the windows on the way home. The smell will blow away. No such luck. At home, I put a scarf on. Then a shower cap. Still I could smell my hair. How do you escape your hair? I thought about wrapping my head in Saran wrap or tin foil. Finally, after another shower and blow dry and yeah, styling session, I called Nicole. I didn't want to admit what took me so long. Why I was so late for our phone call.
What can I say? My hair and I, we have a very difficult relationship.