Tag Archives: Mother-In-Law

I Don’t Own My Hair


My sister and I have a pact:  We don’t make major changes to our hair without calling the other one first.

A couple of weeks ago I violated this pact.  I didn’t plan to or anything.  I just went in to get a trim on a haircut that I’d actually gotten a few compliments on.  But then, at the salon I saw a picture of (insert angels singing and harps strumming)   The Haircut of My Dreams.

Straight bangs across the forehead and straight bob.  It looked simple yet funky, exactly what a woman going through a mid-life crisis needed.

Now, I’m not stupid.  I mean, I did realize that the woman in the picture was probably a teenager and that her hair was shiny and red, but it was straight and one thing my hair has always been is straight.

The first time I married, I inherited a mother-in-law who owned a beauty parlor — not a salon but an old-fashioned beauty parlor.  Where women sporting pink curlers sat under dryers and came out flourishing bouffant hairdos that challenged gravity.   She considered my baby-fine, straight hair as a personal insult and tried everything in her arsenal.  And yet, week after week, the minute I walked out her door, it all fell into a stringy mess.  The closest she came to any kind of success was the year she put in a perm, had me wait an hour and then put in a second perm.  I rocked that 70’s afro for at least a week.

Now I was sitting in a comfortable chair, in a beautifully appointed hair salon imagining myself walking out the door with the hippest haircut.  I did ask Pamela if she thought I was too old for the cut and being the kind, yet honest person that she is, she said, “You could do it, you just have to OWN it.”

I told her to go for it and closed my eyes, imagining when I opened them, I’d own my hair like this woman.

Owning your look.

It didn’t happen.  Because, evidently – I don’t own my hair.  Well…and also because I’m not twenty…and I have wrinkles…and I don’t walk around wearing bright red lipstick all the time.

In Pamela’s defense, I’d begged for this haircut and, being the professional that she is, she let me come back a week later so she could undo what I couldn’t own. (Free of charge I might add – go see her at Alquemie Salon.)

I tried whining to my sister but she reminded me that, “that’s what a pact is for.”

Will I learn from this embarrassing mistake?  I doubt it.  I was going through some of my mother’s old journals and came across this entry – “Teresa arrived with another of her crazy haircuts.  I couldn’t say anything nice so just kept quiet.”

Hmmm, now that I think about it, everyone has been very quiet around me lately.


Thanks for coming to Crazie Town.  I appreciate all the tourists who visit and especially all the people who invested in a time share opportunity (i.e. subscribers).

Talk to you next week!

Old People Could Rule The World

I’m blessed (as a writer, anyway) to have a family filled with colorful characters.  My mother-in-law, Althea, is a perfect example.  We joke that she never had a thought in her head that didn’t come out of her mouth.  But, I always know where I stand with her and I love her very much.

One of my favorite stories about Althea happened on a holiday at my house. I was giving thanks for how well we all got along even though we had such a diverse group.

“We have people that are old and young, black and white.  We have democrats and republicans, gay people and straight people…”

“Wait one minute,” Althea shouted from the back of the group.

Everyone froze – except the gay couple who were inching their way toward the exit.

“I want to know which one of you is a democrat!” she demanded.

That would be me, by the way, but I have decided to stay safely in the closet.

Since then, Althea’s had a stroke and is living in an assisted living facility near us.  I can only imagine how difficult it is for someone as independent as my mother-in-law to be told when to wake up, when to eat, when to shower.

I went to visit her earlier this week and arrived at shower time.  As the nurse was undressing her, Althea asked that the nurse scratch her back.

“I’ll do it when you get in the shower.”

As Althea inched her walker from the bed toward the bathroom she asked again.  “Scratch my back?”

“When you get in the shower,” the nurse repeated.

Althea made it to the entrance of the shower and stopped.

“Scratch my back,” she demanded.

“I told you, I’d do it when you got in the shower.  Now please, just get in and sit down.”

Althea looked the nurse right in the eye and said, “I’ll get in the shower when you scratch my back.”

The two adversaries stood glaring at each other.  Finally the nurse reached out and scratched Althea’s back.

Score:    Naked Old Lady-1/Nurse-0

I’m hoping I’ll be half as strong-willed as she is when I’m 87.  How about you?