26 June 2012

Ostrich Hair

When I was a baby my hair stood straight up on end. My mother enjoys this story, and lovingly tells about using Bryll Cream in an effort to tame my whispy locks.  It didn’t work though, because my hair refused to lie down. I’ve seen the pictures, and I was adorable!

Eventually my hair thickened into a rich, thick, glossy brown mane and, and became (next to my excellent ankles), one of my best features.  Then of course, I shaved it off, became a baldy, and spent the winter with stubbles and a wig. Now, I’m happy to report that I have full coverage. It came in quite gray, but is now a rich (bottle) not-so-natural chestnut.

It is however, quite whispy. After all, it is baby hair. And like the baby hair of my youth, it stands straight up on my head. No matter what I do, and no matter how hard I try, my hairs have no interest in reclining. They stand up straight up as though they’d been yelled at, and I look like Don King, or perhaps a baby ostrich.

‘Hey Alfalfa.’ said Jim, as he walked by me over the weekend.  I nodded glumly, and sat patiently as he patted down my hair, then watched it jump back to attention. He did it a couple of times, then wandered away whistling merrily, buoyed by all the fun he’d just had.

On Saturday night we went to a party and I knew I couldn’t go out wearing my hat. Firstly it’s filthy, and secondly it’s too tight. I think my head is getting fat, and I’m tired of having hat marks on my forehead at the end of the day. So I took great pains with my hair. I got the blow dryer out of hibernation and fired it up. Because my hair is so fine, it was dry in less then 4 seconds, and ready to party. It tried patting it dry – but to no avail. So I drove to the drugstore, loaded up on few styling gel, and poured it on my hairs.

With half a pound of gel, it did indeed stay down, but I looked like a 60’s mobster. Jim suggested it would be more stylish if I brushed my bangs down in front, rather than try to hide them. I had to break it to him that I  I don’t actually have any bangs, as the hair directly above my forehead is still on vacation.

Later that night I was sitting on my bar stool with a tumbler of wine while an acquaintance stared at my head. I have a pretty good-sized cranium, and without much hair, I feel like a giant light bulb ‘Your hair is short,’ she said. There was a small silence while I sipped my drink and she continued the examination, searching for the positive. Finally she brightened, ‘Hey, you have a dimple!’

I took out my old baby picture, and sure enough, there it was. God, I was adorable. And with my middle-aged eyesight, the baby in the picture didn’t look much different than the lady in the mirror. Giant head, horizontal hair, chubby arms, and the dimple. However the baby in the mirror didn’t look so self-conscious. And why should she? She was oblivious to hats and blow-dryers, and had yet to be slathered with Bryll Cream. Baby Janet didn't think about the way she looked at all, and cared about what was in front of her, rather than ostrich hairs on top.

So I’m trying to take a page from my own book and enjoy what’s ahead - without waiting for my feathers.


  1. Anonymous27 June, 2012

    I'm thinking maybe Buh-wheat, Alfalfa was more of a greaser.

  2. Lol - I'm really enjoying your blog! It brings back lots of memories from 16 years ago! It will get better ;)