I have curly hair. It’s a blessing and a curse. But mostly a curse. It’s uncontrollable. It’s extremely moody. It reacts violently to humidity at any level. When we make lists of places we could potentially live, London, Seattle, the Rain Forest and any latitude between 15 degrees North and 15 degrees South are ruled out.
Besides that time we lived in the San Joaquin Valley for 7 months, I have always had to deal with humidity in some form, whether it be snow, rain or the most cruel humidity of all, misty-spitty-not-quite-rain. Straight-haired women feign jealousy of the curly-headed, but in reality they do not even want to know the lengths we go to just so we don’t look like Medusa or Weird Al Yankovic or Bette Midler in the late 70’s. On dry, summer days when beach hair is in, we love our hair. But on Prom Night 1999 when you wake up to rain and know that your life will be over if your hair looks bad, you’d kill for those straight, silky locks. Kill. When you straighten your hair once a year and nearly everyone you meet tells you that they “like you better with straight hair,” you want to strangle them. Oh do you really? Well, thanks for that tips, but I have curly hair and this took me 45 minutes of blow-drying, an hour with the straightening iron and a baseball size wad of pomade. So you better get used to liking that disorderly mop I usually have atop my head. Not that I’m bitter.
The kinky haired women of the world will tell you that it takes a lot of little pieces to keep their hair looking presentable in all weather conditions. Little, tiny pieces, called bobby pins. Hats, scarves, headbands, and barrettes all play their part. But bobby pins are like the link that holds everything together. On the wettest of days even a hat can’t contain the force of my hair, so bobby pins keep the insubordinate pieces in check. A headband or scarf can tame frizz with the best of them, but bobby pins must be used to keep the hair from rejecting the scarf altogether. On their own, bobby pins can conquer a cowlick or flatten a flyaway. I buy bobby pins in bulk and I use them liberally.
The thing is, bobby pins are slippery little suckers. They fall out of my hair while I sleep, out of my pockets while I sit, and out of my purse when I dump it out frantically searching for something. They slip in between cushions, into the carpet, under our pillows. And somehow, while I never seem to notice as they slip into the abyss, Dave happens upon them around every corner. He steps on them on his way to the bathroom in the night, he sits on them while watching his programs, he spies them in every corner. And frankly, it’s driving him nuts. Goodness love him, he barely says boo about it. I walk around wailing and moaning about wet towels on the bed and change scattered about on every surface, while he silently collects bobby pins and deposits them on the stand next to my bed, like a nightly Santa Claus who only brings curly-haired girls bobby pins.
Finally, when he finds a bobby pin somewhere unsightly like inside the refrigerator or attached to the collar of his shirt, he breaks his silence. He begs, he pleads, he implores me to keep tighter reins on my bobby pin army. This blog is to tell him, apologetically of course, that there is very little chance we will ever live in a home that isn’t crawling with them. I need them. They are the smallest cog in this crazy existence of mine and without them the surrounding implements would gradually fall apart. I can promise to do my best to pick them up when I see them, but like my affliction of not being able to shut drawers or cupboards, I see little hope for a permanent cure.