back in the 80's, when i was about to start the 3rd grade at a new school, i decided i needed a haircut. i had long straight hair, a lot like my hair now in fact. my sister chopped it all off into what was to become my default haircut over the years, a louise brooks bob, but this very first try had a twist. let me just reiterate that IT WAS THE 80's.
she cut everything off except one long strand which fell at the very front of the left side of my face. we braided it. i was teased mercilessly at said new school. the braid was chopped after a few days of just being a little too different. it was, in hindsight, unbelievably cool and cutting edge. i was 9.
this was also the year i sported leggings everyday, ballet flats (real ballet shoes mind you), grecian sandals, knee high mocassins, my mother's beatle boots from the 1960's and a leather motorcycle jacket my sister brought back from london. i had tea and toast every morning, listened to adam and the ants and read The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole over and over again. i wonder (now that i know teachers are real people) what they must have thought of me.
this was (not surprising) my fave video and it explains everything:
as i got older, the hair got weirder. for years my family never once saw my natural color. purple, blue, "flamingo pink" and "pillarbox red" were the norm. somewhere in my mid-twenties, i gave up. every disgruntled kid from the suburbs within driving distance of a "hot topic" had rainbow hair, tattoos, piercings and a nouveau lunchbox-type purse. i jumped ship, grew my hair out, listened to psych rock, ate mushrooms and read I'M WITH THE BAND over and over and over again.
but something is happening this summer, after driving across the country and being able to spot every retro groupie in their GTO's finest i feel the same impulse, to jump ship, to flee from a "tribe" that no longer bears meaning, only fashion sense.
so, hello tom tom club, hello bow wow wow, hello bananarama, hello fuzzbox. hello baggy ripped jeans. hello desperately seeking susan. hello giant men's button down shirts.
after wearing my summer hat to cover up my hippy hair EVERY DAY for two weeks it was time for a haircut. i couldn't stop thinking how before we graduated to full on crayola colored hair, we used to shave the under sides of our heads, bleach what was left and dye it crazy colors. you could only see it if you pulled the rest up into a ponytail, it was all business when your hair was down. we used this tactic to trick our parents and gently ease them into the "punk years". it was that memory that inspired my search for the perfect summer do. after much trepidation, i allowed franny to slice away miles of my long, long hair and take off almost everything underneath. we cut the sides a little short so you won't see me flipping it to one side and spiking out the rest for a couple of weeks. that'll give me time to find the perfect color manic panic...
i thought the perfect way to end the day would be to go dancing with a couple of my fave ladies from way back when.