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Oh, to be Jo...

Issue Date: Friday, Aug. 22, 2003

For many moons my mother styled (an I use that term loosely) my sister's hair and my hair in two ponytails. One on either side of our little pea sized heads. She kept this style of efficiency for so long that when I wore my hair down I had a distinct, straight part down the middle of my scalp*. Our hair is curly, so arranged in the perfect little ponytails; they would (sooner or later) work themselves into what I lovingly refer to as “doo doo curls”.

*The word scalp sounds dirty. Much like scarf. But I love the word scarf.

Yep, Reb and I, cutie patooties with our doo doo curls.


Reb and I are two years apart with her being the eldest. One beautiful Sunday afternoon after church in Hartwell, GA, our Aunt took us to the local Dairy Queen for a treat. We were probably 3 and 5 years of age.

I guess we were very good during Sunday School and the service that day.

The three of us flounced into the door of the Dairy Queen, Oooh’s and Ahh’s followed our entrance and Aunt Jean ushered us around the whole restaurant to meet all of the town folk. We were sufficiently charming and totally cute. Using all of our new words to impress the elderly clientele. [Yep, we were in that stage.]

Aunt Jean got us each a Dilly Bar, or some such scrumptillyicious treat.

Reb and I stood facing each other in the booth bench seat. We did the ‘cheers’ motion with our Dilly Bars and said in unison, “Penis On Your Ice Cream!!!!”… Loudly.

Talk about shock value.


Annnnywho… my sister and I wore our hair in doo doo curl pony tails so often that while on the swim team, our hair would (wet or dry) remain in doo doo curl fashion.

This was never a problem when we were little.

When my mother would actually blow dry and style our hair, it was such a rare occasion that we would complain the whole way through the process, but once momma was done, we would race downstairs to sit in daddy’s lap and show him how pretty we were. He would make all the right “Oh my! Who is this pretty young lady?” and “I hardly recognized you, you look so grown up!” noises and we would be appeased at having to sit through what seemed like hours of torture for that small praise.

As we got older, we started doing our own hair. Wee.

I had long curly light brown hair and my sister’s hair was thicker (and curlier) with an auburn tint to it. We wanted to be stylish. We wanted straight, thick, blonde hair that hung to our waist. We wanted nothing to do with the naturally curly chia pet’s growing from our heads.

We washed and dried our hair every morning. Hot rollers burning our poor little ears for 40 minutes while our hair was sufficiently beaten into submission by boar bristle brushes and Aqua-Net hairspray. The curling irons to straighten and then curl our hair into Farrah-esque wings on the sides of our heads.

I decided I wanted bangs and being the do-it-yourself type of girl, I cut them myself.

Whoa. Bad mistake.

To make matters worse, my hair had been trained to lay in a perfect part on top of my head. The part was fine, but I wanted the bangs to gently curl over my forehead in a Jo-from-the-Facts-Of-Life sort of way. I looked like a smarmy version of a French butler with little greased back hair. Mmmmm sexy. If I sprayed my bangs within an inch of their little lives I ended up looking like Mamie Eisenhower.

Go ahead. Click on it. I can wait.

Got the idea?

Sexy huh?

You want me… right?

Shut up. Stop laughing.

Not funny.

The reason I even brought this up was because I used a blow dryer this morning. I styled my hair. I used a curling iron. I even used hair spray. I thought that I had enough control over my hair and enough years under my belt to be able to handle a hairstyle on a Friday.

I finished with my torture routine and went to go show Mister how cute I was. He made the sufficient “Wow, You are really pretty” And “I am such a lucky man” noises, I was satisfied.

Freud… Shut up. No seriously, it’s just ironic. I said to hush.

I walked out of the apartment confident. I felt good. My hair is way too long, but it looks soft and touchable. Yay me.

About an hour ago I looked into the mirror.

The friggin "part that will not die" is back.

I’m more Natalie than Jo.

That sucks.


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To understand this dear reward (above) at all, you must hie thee on and read gatsby’s grape ape entry and my comments.

And because of said comments he sent me my very own dream turtle in an email titled wee gift with these words attached, “my purple monkey is booked solid so i ordered you a tangerine turtle. hope he proves helpful.”

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