Now in all due respect, that's a compliment, because my mother was a beautiful natural blond woman. She had a healthy head of thick coarse hair which was frequently difficult to manage. Thank heavens for her they invented hair spray. When I was young I loved to play beauty shop with my mother's hair. Occasionally, I successfully built a nicely stacked bee-hive or later a lovely french twist. I liked her hairdo best when the french twist was made popular by Princess Grace Kelly.
I, too, had thick heavy hair as a youngster but it was not pretty. It was dreadfully hot in the summer and my ponytails never stayed in. One summer day when I was a teen or pre-teen I wanted to go to a Saturday afternoon movie with friends, but mother put her foot down and said, "Not with hair like that! You may stay home and let me fix it, go to the beauty shop and have Olean Simpson cut your hair, or you may stay home. Period!" That Saturday I trudged to Simpson's beauty shop on G. st and had my long heavy brunette hair cut off. I have no memory of what it looked like, but I think I remember it felt good. Of course, I didn't let my mother know I liked it.
A few weeks later our book club was discussing "American Thighs" by Jill Conner Browne. I had asked everyone to bring a picture of their childhood, and to bring memories of growing up. I brought several old "Seventeen" magazines from the 1960's. We laughed and shared our stories and then passed around our photos. How was it that some of us looked so much alike? Hairdos, glasses, drab dresses, or was it the black and white effect? No matter, it was good laughter for the soul. When I passed my photos around I actually passed the picture of my mother. Everyone agreed it looked just like me until someone read on the back. I had to confess, "Yes, the bushy hair belongs to my mother, and to me."
Now it feels blessed to say I look like my mother. I haven't cut my hair yet. Instead I bought a handful of clippies that hopefully will hold my thin fly away curly hair back from eyes. This summer will once again be a test of endurance or of "hair" products. No matter what, the next time I see my mother in the mirror, I'll smile back and say, "Thanks Mom, I love you. What do you think of my hairdo?"