Life with Teenagers

what is wrong with my hair?

with one comment

The December sunlight streams through the slatted shades. The dog lies curled on his blue blanket. My youngest teen is sitting in the easy chair by the window with a macbook on his lap.

“Mom, it’s going to be $54.95 for more ram. Can I use your credit card?” he asks.

“My wallet is in my black bag,” I say, shifting my slippered feet onto the coffee table and pulling the wool blanket over my legs. The light in the room is exquisite and I don’t feel like moving except to maybe adjust my ball cap one more time and gather all my hair, pulling it through the half moon of the back into one curly ponytail while tightening the strap.My parents matching black wheelie-bag suitcases line up against the white wall. From where I sit, I can see the remains of our breakfast- a half-eaten apple, cherry and cheese pastry ring, and coffee cups still littering the dining table.

“It’s called the Elephant Bar,” says my father sitting in front of the PC on the desk in the dining room.

“Oh, the one we were thinking of was called the Elephant Walk“, I say.

“Yeah, I thought it wasn’t that big of a chain,” says my girlfriend sitting beside me on the couch. “I know there are few in the Boston area, but not Florida.”

“Pat, it’s called the Elephant Bar,” says my father again to my mother as she walks by the computer desk to stand in front of the large wall mirror in the dining room.

“What is wrong with my hair?” she asks the room. “It used to be thick like A’s,” she looks directly at the three of us flopped over the couch and chairs in the other room, “but now its feeling thin all of a sudden.”

“Patty, they have sushi style tuna for Barbara,” my father says again.

I take my ball cap off and let my hair fall in front of my eyes.

“What do you want to do today?” I ask my girlfriend and start listing the possibilities.

“Why don’t we wait until your parents leave,” she says.

“Mom, is the shipping address the same as the billing address? asks my teen.

“Yes,” I say to him.

“And what is the security code?” he asks.

My girlfriend gets up off the couch to show him the back of the credit card. I grab all of my hair in one fist and hold it above my head.

“I need to get this hair cut,” I say. “Maybe I should call the salon and see if Anthony can fit me in today.” I get up off the couch and take the cordless phone with me on the way to the bathroom. I put the phone down on the sink and peer into the bathroom mirror at my roots.

“Oh my god. Look at these roots!” I say.

I grab a swath of hair from my head and hold it in the air while returning to the bright light of the dining room again, passing my parents still huddled over the restaurant menu displayed on the computer monitor.

“Will you look at this hair?” I ask my girlfriend, bending over the couch with a fistful held high so she can see.

“Wow,” she says. “It’s a straight line.”

“I’d be completely white if I didn’t color this hair.”

“What’s wrong with that? asks my white-haired smirking father from the computer desk.

“I’m too young for this,” I reply disgusted and flop back down on the couch. I let go of my hair again and let it fall around my face and into my eyes in a tangle.

“You look just like you did when you were a little girl and you just woke up,” says my mother joining the conversation.
And to my girlfriend she turns and says, eyeing my feet that are now back on the coffee table “Do you like her slippers?”

“The thing is, I just did them. 70 bucks. And now I have to do them again. I should just pay the teen over there,” I say motioning to him still on the easy chair with his head fixated on the laptop screen.

“Mom, I can’t do your roots. I have to keep my dignity,” says my teen.

I look over at my girlfriend.

“Well… ” she says.

“Honey, you’d do my roots for me? How romantic!” I whisper while jabbing her in the side.

“Well, I can give it a try.” she says.

“I’m worried about Grandpa,” says my mother now walking over to the mirror again. “He’s not coming to Florida. He says he is comfortable being at home. Staying right where he is.”

My father gets up from the computer to stand next to my mother.

“Poppy, will you look at my hair? What the heck happened to it?” she asks.

From my spot on the couch I can see the computer monitor which has just switched back from the restaurant website to the family slideshow flipping through the very recent photos of Thanksgiving day dinner. Fifteen people at my dinner table and nearly four generations. And how is it that my youngest child can barely fit on the chair anymore? That my parents are on their way back to their golf course in Florida? That I insist on a little plate of black olives, celery and carrot sticks in the middle of a beautifully set table at Thanksgiving to help me remember my grandmother, that my own teenage self is more and more a distant memory?

“We had a nice visit,” says my mother gathering up some things from the table to add to her bag.

We did have a nice visit, I think to myself as I soak in the moment, the light, the laziness of a Saturday afternoon on the couch in December with a houseful of family.

“But now its time for us to go back to Floreeeda where it’s warm.” says my mother. “Poppy, we have to go back where its warm.”

And it is time. Time for the older teen to come home from drivers ed class. Time for me and my girlfriend to plan our day. Time for me to get the house back in order, to get ready for the coming week, to do a million things that adults have to do.

But first, I really need to take care of this hair.

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Written by kmguay

December 9, 2009 at 2:54 am

Posted in family, holiday, mothers

One Response

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  1. Why, why, why is it that young rock dudes can have the most unkempt, long, shaggy, probably greasy hair, and look comfortable, contented, cool and cute? I curse the mercurial tyranny of hair.

    xnoxmglox

    December 9, 2009 at 4:44 pm


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