Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Perm Disaster

Back in the early days, and I am speaking 40’s, I was attending a one room school house in the state of Oklahoma near a town called Glencoe. I was excited about getting a perm. I had never had one because money was something that was always talked about, but never seen. My rich brother had joined the Air Force and was now a private stationed in Hawaii at Hickam Field. I wrote him a letter pleading with him to be so kind as to send a few dollars so I could get a perm. I explained to him that everybody thinks I am the ugliest girl in school and if I had a perm it would really help the situation. (Little did I know it would remove all doubt) Much to my delight and surprise he sent the money in his next letter. In the next few days he also sent me a beautiful fresh Hawaiian Orchid lei. I thought he sure likes me better than he used to. One Saturday morning, my mother and I got all gussied up and went to town to get this perm. They shampooed my hair and put a lot of rollers all over my head and than sat me in another chair and began to clamp something that hung down from a huge machine of some kind on to each roller. It must have been plugged into electricity. I don’t know how long I sat under that monster, but it got hot and it got hotter. I tolerated it because I wanted curly hair, like Shirley Temple. Finally the torture was over and I could look in the mirror. I saved my tears until I got in the car. It was the worst disaster you could possible imagine. One huge tumble weed sitting on top of my head is what it looked like. It couldn’t be covered up. It was big. Whoever coined the word big-hair must have gotten a glimpse of me. I had to go to school so I put the exotic fresh Orchid lei around my neck and to school I went. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.