As I got ready for work, I pondered a very important question: Am I the only girl from the 1980s who can't get the hang of a flat iron?
For those of you (i.e. men) who don't know, a flat iron or straightening iron is used to straighten one's hair. Again, don't ask me how it works. I have straight hair and somehow can't make it work.
Men, you are probably wondering why you should continue reading beyond this point. Actually, you are probably wondering how you made it this far, but just know that you won't be disappointed. I am about to answer an age-old question, one that husbands have been asking themselves since marriage was invented, you know, the question you ask aloud while you're sitting in the truck waiting for her to emerge from the house, so you can finally leave...
What is she doing in there?
The short answer: Her hair. Yes, even if she comes out looking exactly (or even worse) than she went in, chances are it's the hair.
Back in the 1980s, nothing was easier. All I needed was an Ogilvy home perm and a can of Aqua Net hair spray. Now those were the days. There's got to be some truth in the ozone depletion joke. It's honestly a wonder I have any hair left to straighten. I'd perm it, tease it, turn my head upside down to spray it, curl it with a small curing iron -- the bigger the hair, the better. The result was something like a lion's mane. I thought it looked great, so good, in fact, that I kept that look well into the 1990s.
I guess I should have known it was going out of style when I was getting a perm and another hair dresser walked in and said, "What's that smell?"
Shortly after, I met a lady from church, and she asked, "Is your hair naturally curly?"
"Well, no, it's a perm," I confessed.
"Oh, I hear those are coming back."
That was officially my last perm. From there, I tried every other hairstyle known to man or woman kind -- I copied Jennifer Anniston's (who didn't?), Katie Couric's, Kelly Ripa's and my hairdresser's, though the last proved problematic.
"How would you like your hair cut today?"
"Oh, just cut it like yours."
She then turned to the girl next to her and asked, "How do you cut my hair?"
They don't cut their own hair, it suddenly dawned on me.
And the colors, oh, the colors. I ran into a guy I knew from high school recently. His first comment?
"Your hair's a lot lighter than high school."
I saw my husband visibly cringe.
I simply said, "Yeah, I don't know how that happened!"
I've had brown hair, black hair, blond hair (my natural color, of course), red hair -- what my son likes to call yellow hair -- frosted hair, two-toned hair and many shades in between.
And products -- don't even get me started -- hair gel, hair spray, root lifter, silky spray, shampoo and conditioner that I had to take a second mortgage out on. And the styling contraptions -- small curling irons, larger curling irons, medium, spiral, diffuser for the hairdryer and every contraption in between.
As a result, you'd think I'd have the most beautiful hair on earth or at least on my block. Maybe if I could take my head off and style it and then put it back on. But, no, my best friend is the ponytail, which is exactly how my hair ends up after I've done all of the above. In fact, I'm usually pulling it back as I open the door to the truck just in time to hear my husband mumble: What is she doing in there?