A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: 80s hairstyles

OMG. What have I done?

There is only one thing worse than accidentally giving your child a bad haircut…


Nature Boy, 4-years-old, the first and last time I ever cut his hair. (circa 2003)

Nature Boy, age 4, the first and last time I ever cut his hair.


…and that is paying someone else to give your child a bad haircut.


Before during and after of my son's worst haircut



Don’t say a word.

I already know. Believe me. I know.

Even The Gatekeeper, who is truly the most stoic and level-headed of any man I know, was PISSED when he saw what that woman did to our little boy.

“Were you on your phone?! How could you not notice what she was doing?”

“No! (Maybe.) I was right there! I couldn’t tell she was going so short! And then when she started to blow it out, I just figured we could fluff it up again when we got home. I had no idea.”

I specifically asked her for a trim. I only wanted a trim. And she was the one who gave him his very first haircut several years ago.

Bucket Head's first haircut

So what if English isn’t her native language! It’s just a trim. What could go wrong? (Famous. Last. Words.) 

But when she brought him over to the cash register she said, “His hair very stubborn (sic), but I cut all the curl out for you.”

OMG. She thought she was doing me a favor…like curls were the mark of the debil.

Y’all…I have cried real tears over this. Don’t worry, never in front of him. I put on my bravest face and told him how grown-up he looked. I even secretly called his Kindergarten teacher to give her a heads-up so she wouldn’t freak the freak out when she saw him.

But my baby. My curly headed little cherub. His shining glory scattered across the barber shop linoleum.

I feel like I’ve slapped baby Jesus across the face.

It’s just hair. It will grow. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. But you see, there is a legend in my family of the time my mother cut my cousin Matt’s baby curls off and they never returned. I’m pretty sure my Aunt Debbie has never forgiven her sister for that.

And so I wait. And I pray that Bucket Head’s curls will return.

And they probably will. He’s almost six-years-old, after all. These aren’t just baby curls.

But the saddest part? (to me, anyway)…

Bucket Head LOVES his new look.

short haired Bucket Head

He asked us to buy him a comb…his very own comb. He’s never owned one before.

And we keep catching him in the mirror, combing his hair flat as a board. It’s painful to watch.

It’s actually feathered, and a little long in back. Sometimes, in certain light, he reminds me of a mini Larry Wilcox from CHiPs.

Larry Wilcox from CHiPs

He said to me, “I feel like a new man.”

I had to bite my lip to keep from laugh-crying.

“Don’t you like your curls, honey?”

“NO. I hate my curls. I hate the way people are always touching my head. I want to look like all the other boys.”

It breaks a mama’s heart, I tell you. To hear your child “hate” an integral part of their being.


Leslie with She-Mullet, 1982.

But I feel like I have to let him explore his new look…just like my mother let me experiment with Sun-In and She-Mullets.

Of course, I was twelve, not five! I thought I had more time.

So we help Bucket Head comb his hair flat and I try my best to not touch it, even though it pains me to keep my hands to myself.

I can only wait and wonder. Will he come around? Will he learn to love his curls someday? Or will the desire to conform stifle his ability to see how perfect he already is, exactly the way God made him?

It is only hair.


Please. Save me from myself. Assuage my guilt. Tell me about the time you accidentally slammed your child’s hand in the door or Sharpied Groucho Marx eyebrows on your kid because you thought for sure they would fade away before school picture day. Tell me something. Anything, really.


Play that funky music, white girl.

This week’s Listography over at Kate Takes 5 is called “Now That’s What I Call Music!”

No, this weeks Listography isn’t your Top 5 favourite bands or Top 5 albums. It isn’t your favourite musical genres or most admired soloists. No, this weeks Listography is confession time.

First 5 albums you ever owned.

SWEET! I do loves me some classic tunes, as evidenced in my awesome dance moves to KC and the Sunshine Band last week. Hmmm, let’s see….

1.) It was 1977 and I was the proud owner my very first single: “Da Doo Ron Ron” by Shaun Cassidy.

I was only 7 years old, but I thought he was the bee’s knees. I mean come on… look at that kisser. Oh how I wanted to change my name to Jill! Yep, I was pretty sweet on that Hardy Boy for a minute there, but it didn’t last. Something was missing…

2.) Fast forward two years to 1979. My parents’ divorce was final and the disco era was in full swing. (I don’t think the two are unrelated.) I had outgrown my infatuation with squeaky-clean teen heartthrobs and was eager to graduate to something with a little more, oh I don’t know… verve. I had some money burning a whole in my little Sassoon jeans and I wanted desperately to own something by that hunka-hunka-burnin’-love, Barry Gibb, the foxy lead singer of The Bee Gees. Only problem was, I didn’t know his full name. Thus, under the supervision of a clueless teenage babysitter, I went into a record store and inadvertently purchased a copy of this:

That’s right. Not Barry Gibb…. Barry WHITE. “The Maestro.” A.k.a. “The Walrus of Love,” a nickname that encompassed his corpulent size, his deep voice, and his reputation as R&B’s most romantic ladies’ man.

I’m not a gambling woman, but I would wager my last nickel that I was the only 9 year old white suburban girl in the history of the world to ever buy a Barry White album. And let me tell you something, when I got that LP home and put it on my record player, it was devastating. Hearing that shockingly sultry bass “Can’t get enough of your love, babe” voice instead of the high-pitched falsetto “Well you can tell by the way I use my walk…” I was expecting, created a sense of sadness and confusion I cannot begin to describe. On the plus side, a soulful seed was planted that would influence my music tastes for the rest of my life.

Just so we’re clear…

I wanted this:


But I accidentally got this:


And became the only Barry White album owner in America
who looked like this:

(I like how all three of us have basically the same hairstyle.)

Don’t let my “girl next door” look fool you.
Apparently once you go black, you never go back.

3.) So anyway, it took a long time to get over that mistake and the curious stares from my parents. But later that year, a friend of the family took pity on me and bought me a copy of “Breakfast in America” by Supertramp.

I enjoyed it. It was catchy…. albeit a little white for my taste, and not Barry White, if you get my drift.

4.) Thankfully it wasn’t long until I discovered “Celebration” by Kool and The Gang.

My third grade teacher, Mrs. Andrianos, let us bring records to school once a week to share with the class and I must have brought this one every week for the entire year. Any 9 year old can bring an apple for the teacher, but it takes a special child to bring the funk.

5.) That was the same year (1980) I discovered my reason for living…

Diana Ross, The Supreme Diva…be still my heart. I sang along with “Upside Down” and “I’m Coming Out” until I wore a hole in that LP. To this day, I cannot hear either of those songs without grabbing the nearest microphone-shaped-object and doing my own little Diana-Ross-wanna-be-dance. When I saw her on Oprah earlier this year I cried. I cried even before Oprah cried. If you and I are ever at a karaoke bar together and I am good and hammered, you know what to do if you want to see me make a gigantic ass out of myself (more so than usual, that is).

I know this listography is limited to 5 albums, but in full disclosure, you should know that apparently Diana Ross was merely a gateway drug for the next few critical years of my musical development…

Well thanks for coming along with me on this musical journey down memory lane. If you enjoyed this little sideshow, go see what the other crazy kids who linked up to Kate Takes 5 shared for their Listographies. My word, the things you can learn about a person!

Until we meet again,


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