This is my twelfth post, for age 12, of the October Memoir and Backstory Challenge hosted by Jane Anne McLachlan. My previous posts: Baby Speed Eater, Two Tales, Curls, Most Magical Christmas, Kindergarten, Places, Mental Health in 1969, The Boxcar Children, The Little House Books, Too Thin, and Four Square.
The girl in the Peanuts comic strip thought naturally curly hair was a good thing, but I didn’t see the appeal. In 1974, I wanted hair like Laurie Partridge from The Partridge Family — straight as uncooked spaghetti. Instead, I fought a battle to uncoil my corkscrew pasta hair.
When I was younger, Mother always kept my hair cut short to make it easier to get the tangles out. In sixth grade, I argued that I was combing my own tangles out and I should get to let it grow. By the time I started Junior High, my hair went to the middle of my back — but only when sopping wet and when I pulled the curl out with my hand. Once dry, my hair was hard to control, so most of the time I tamed it with barrettes and pigtails.
By Christmas of that year, I had been to my first school dance, where I danced with two boys (according to my diary). The pigtails didn’t fit my new more grown vision of myself, so I visited the hair dresser for some advice. The result was a medium length cut and a set of giant pink hard plastic rollers that I was supposed to use every night.
My mother predicted, correctly, that I wouldn’t be happy sleeping on rollers. A few months later, I was back to short and curly again.
Did you have hair woes in Junior High?