Wednesday, July 13, 2011

'50s style goes to my head

My grandma washes her hair once a week. I now understand why.

I am recovering from a bouffant.

My mother-in-law turned 50 on Saturday. In celebration, we held her a ’50s-theme party, complete with an inflatable juke box, retro record decorations and sloppy joes from Barbecue Bob’s (yeah, I wasn’t quite sure how that fit in either, but no one complained – except me when I sloppy joed on my white apron. Yes, apron. Read on).

In typical overboard Heckel manner, my mom and I decided to get our hair professionally “did” at a Loveland salon, Serenity Hair Designs.

Four hours later, we fox-trotted out with flippy ends and roots ratted toward the heavens. My bouffant incorporated a thick headband. My mom’s: a droopy white bow. She rocked the bobby socks and canvas shoes, a swing skirt, pearls and a pink polka-dot scarf.

I accented my white eye shadow with a pleated, June Cleaver button-up dress and square-toed buckle shoes. I added a white apron for the funny factor (I don’t know how to serve cookies even if they come straight from the Safeway bakery).

I thought my costume was totally the cat’s pajamas.

Until several days later – still scraping the hairspray out of my locks – I stumbled upon and learned my look was entirely ’60s. The fifties were soft, feminine and curly. No blow dryers and tangle towers.

Golly, if I’d known that then, maybe I could comb through my hair today.

I blame the inspiration for pouf-head on my gramma, who to this day sleeps in a satin cap as to not disturb her stiff hair-cocoon. She gets her tresses washed and formed at the parlor every Saturday. (By Friday afternoons, she’s usually reaching for a fork or candle snuffer to itch her scalp without disturbing the ‘fro.)

And after hours of cooking under the astronaut-helmet hair-dryer, I don’t blame her for trimming her beauty routine to a weekly affair.

Of course, unlike mine did, my gramma’s ‘do looks timelessly stunning. I can’t imagine her with any other style. It’d throw my world off axis, like when your teacher gets a bad haircut or when my dad shaved off his beard after 21 years.

Some styles should never change. And could it be that everything comes back in style if you just wait long enough?

Tell that to the poor kid at McDonald’s who was too confused to give me my soda on Saturday.
My husband was supposed to pick me and my mom up from the hair place, but he couldn’t find it. I sucked down a Diet Coke in about 8 seconds and therefore needed another one, so we told him to meet us under the nearby big yellow arch.

By how he scowled at me, I’d say the cash-register kid didn’t appreciate my ensemble. I wanted to grab him by the ears and ask him if his mama didn’t teach him no manners. That lil’ whippersnapper looked about 10 years old, anyway. Don’t know what they’re doing hiring toddlers. And the only straws left were too short for my cup. I almost asked for my 79 cents back.

Oh, heavens. My gramma’s hair has gone to my head.

Photo by Iman Woods.

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