I read a funny and painfully true post on The Shameful Sheep blog about the embarrassing things mothers/parents do (http://theshamefulsheep.com/2017/07/thanks-mom/)
and I was reminded of my mother’s obsession about hair styles, among other things.
As small children, the female head of the household didn’t pay much attention to what we looked like. She saw to it we were clean, and had clothes to wear, but such hygiene habits like brushing our teeth, combing our hair, or learning the techniques of makeup application did not appear on her radar.
Her lack of interest in such things may have something to do with the amount of time left in each day after she and Dad put the papers ‘to bed’. Because they were newspaper publishers, and deadlines, press breakdowns, paper deliveries, etc. consumed close to 16-18 hours each day. This left my two sisters and me to create our own entertainment and the freedom to explore various ventures unencumbered by parental oversight including the way we looked.
However, once we passed the magic age of 25 and were out of college, Mother began scrutinizing our hair length, our hem lengths, and our overall appearance. She had more time for such observations, and wanted to share her vast amount of expertise with what she often thought were her ‘unkept’ daughters.
We laughed and complained often about this behavioral turn around because she unsuccessfully tried to be diplomatic and subtle in her advice giving.
I remember visiting Mother when I was well into my 40’s. She took a brief look at me, and asked, “What are your long-term plans for your hair?”
After a moment’s pause, I quickly answered, “to have it.”
What was she talking about? Who makes long-term plans for their hair?
But, of course, she didn’t care about my hair plans, she was telling me to Please Make Changes to my unacceptable coiffure.
Laughter was the best way of diffusing this strange dialogue and letting her know that my styling would remain as currently worn, until I had a written strategic plan to be voted on by Margo’s Hair Style Evaluation Committee that meets twice a lifetime and on which Mother does not serve.
She nodded, knowing full well that she was not permanently silenced. After all, she had friends on that Committee.
Good grief, I love Mother.