Yesterday, in my love/hate post, I mentioned my hatred for my unruly hair. My mom had super straight thick black hair. Yes, as she grew older she started dying those grays, but it was always very black, very straight and very perfect.
When I was 18, my parents brought home a Jeep Wrangler. I had wanted one SO badly, and I can recall that night very vividly. My friends and I had piled high into my 94′ turquoise Chevy Cavalier and spent an evening watching baseball at Legend’s Field (now Steinbrenner Field) and having ice cream at the local Dairy Joy.
My dad had called us one too many times to see where we were and our ETA back at the house, so I knew something was up. Just as we pulled up, my parents (and kid brother) came screaming by the driveway in a white soft top Wrangler. Of course, we were more than thrilled, and chased our new toy all the way down the road until my mom (who was driving) finally hit the brakes and let us climb in. We hung out of the Jeep like a barrel of monkeys as she drove us around the block so many times we started to worry the neighbors.
My mom and I loved that Jeep, and would barely let anyone else drive it. She put big tires on it, cow spotted covers on the seats and drove that thing all over Florida (both the paved AND unpaved parts of FL). *I need to scan a pic of it, so stay tuned….
Back to the subject at hand… hair. My mom had this unreasonably perfect hair; almost wig-like. No matter where we went, she would be complimented on it. Literally every single destination would get an “I love your hair!” comment. Larger places like Wal-Mart or Target would get her 2-3 compliments. I’d usually roll my eyes or try to convince these admirers that it really wasn’t a wig while my mom just giggled away at all the attention. My mother loved attention. She was always the center of every get-together.
One day my grandmother (her mom), my mom and I were in the Jeep going through a Wendy’s drive-thru for lunch. Both of my grandmothers had very thick, curly and unruly hair (sound familiar?).
We had been driving in the Jeep with the top down. When we pulled up to the window, my mom shook her head a bit and all her hairs fell right back into perfect place. I was wearing a baseball cap, and my grandmother’s hair was basically sticking up every which way but down. The cashier took one look at my grandmother, then my mom and asked how it was possible that her hair looked so perfect after riding top down in a Jeep, yet “that other lady” has crazy hair. She was convinced that mom had a wig on, and went so far as to reach out of the drive-thru window to grab my mother’s hair to see if it truly was attached! I remember sitting in the back seat somewhere between hilarity and mortification, while my grandmother attempted to frustratingly finger comb her hair in the rear-view mirror.
My mom used to love to tell this and other hair-raising stories to friends and family and would get into these laughing fits, almost to the point of silence, where she wouldn’t be able to get to the end without some deep breaths in between. And anytime hair compliments would happen while she and I were out and about, she couldn’t wait to get home to have me tell the story to my dad as she laughed and laughed (and I rolled and rolled my eyes, trying not to laugh and break my tale-telling seriousness).
I imagine my mother, up in the heavens, reunited with my grandmother, cruising the shops of the stars getting compliments on her beautiful black hair. Hopefully there’s not too much wind up there. 😉
Miss you mom, Steph