Thursday, April 25, 2013

It's a Hair Thing

Why do I love Debbie Wasserman Schultz? Until we were so rudely gerrymandered apart, DWS was my representative. I loved to listen to her, follow her career, plan for her political future. But no, that wasn’t it. It was the hair, the curly yellow hair.
All of us who are blessed/cursed with curls can identify. I grew up in the 60s, the era of long, straight, shiny, parted in the middle, hair that went right along with the long, thin legs and bodies that were the ideal. And I had this mop of mud-colored stuff that was identified as hair.
When my mother was accosted in the supermarket by one of her friends to tattle on my newly bleached blond tresses, my mother’s response was “I did it for her.” The hair might have been turned from mud to yellow, but it was still curly/frizzy/impossible. We tried everything: heat, irons, chemicals, big rollers, frozen juice cans. Nothing worked. The curls were no more cooperative than the GOP.
My wedding day dawned warm and free of humidity and we were all able to breathe easier. My hair was as cooperative as my husband. A day at the beach—not so much. We all laugh at the hats, wigs, scarves, and misery. Fighting with curly hair was a war that lasted much longer than the one in Afghanistan.
That was then. Look at a picture of a group of Congresspeople. You can always pick out DWS; her hair identifies her. Two years ago I attended a conference with 1500 neurologists. They kept coming up to me and asking me where we had met before. No, we hadn’t met. They just recognized me by my Facebook page, the picture with the curly yellow hair.
Fighting with this hair has been a second job for me. Liberation came in the form of a book that told me never to use shampoo. I only use shampoo twice a year, when I frost my hair, and my hair isn’t smelly or greasy, what a concept. Yes, I frost it myself, another advantage of having curly hair. You can do everything yourself. I cut it, color it, frost it, style it, do it all myself. The curls hide all the mistakes. How much money have I saved in the last 40 years?
One of the biggest problems used to be drying time. Yes, drying time is a problem in more ways than one. I finally solved the nail polish dilemma with a UV topcoat, but hair drying is another story. You can’t use a hair dryer on curly hair.
When I lived in New York, my hair used to freeze while I was waiting for the Long Island Railroad train on the platform in Port Washington. It was then that I learned all about the Eskimos and their igloos. Once my hair dried solid, my head felt warm inside.
Now I live in Florida and my hair no longer freezes when it’s wet, but if I have an early appointment, either I arrive with a wet, stringy mop on my head or I have to get up in the middle of the night to wet my hair, the only way the curly hair manual taught me to handle my hair every day. Eureka, this week I figured out a solution: braids. If I braid my hair in a few places before I go to sleep, I can get up and take out the braids and my hair is good to go. See, you’re never too old to learn something new.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Am I Reading Historical Fiction?

          Wow! I just took a break to check my email and found this headline on North Carolina GOPers want an official state religion

All I could think of was the line from Cinderella, the TV movie, not the cartoon: “Impossible things are happening every day."

I wasn’t the most attentive student of history way back when, but I remember something about religious freedom. Has the political climate oozed so far to the right that we have to add religion to the ugly mess that already includes gay rights, white supremacy, male superiority? The black hole is getting deeper and slimier. 

What are these people thinking? We’re supposed to live in a democratic society where everyone gets a vote and the majority rules. I was one of those who waited in line for over four hours in the South Florida sun to vote. By choice I voted at a polling place where I knew I would meet lots of my African American neighbors. For the second time I shared in their excitement as together we elected President Obama. Funny thing was that people started to show up, having waited for hours at the other polling place, the one near the exclusive shopping mall. Ours was better organized.

Is it possible that the people who are trying to take over the minds and hearts of the North Carolinians really don’t remember any history? Or maybe they really want to continue to fight the Civil War, during which at least 618,000 people were killed. I loved Gone with the Wind, the book and the movie. Remember "Frankly, Scarlett, I don't give a damn?" I do give a damn about freedom of religion.

We’ll be traveling from Florida to New York in July and always enjoyed what North Carolina had to offer. Google Maps, help me avoid those people. We’ll find a route that skirts North Carolina (I guess that’s called a boycott.) even if it takes us longer, a lot longer, and consumes more fuel. Unless the saner members of the state legislature come out against the supporters of choosing a state religion, we’ll take our business elsewhere. North Carolina, you have until July.