Most kids remember wonderful things
about their first year in kindergarten.
All the bold primary colors,
miniature seats and desks,
making new friends
and sharing Kool-aid at nap time.
What I remember most is
my terrible perm.
And, to top off the humility-
my mom gave me this fuzz-ball-doo
the night before class pictures.
I actually tried to smile in the photo-
But my arms stayed stiff at my sides
and my jaw locked in a horizontal frown,
conveying to all-
(even these many years later)-
my supreme discontent.
they say if you give a child
paints and brushes,
he will tune his creativity.
If you give a child the gift of music,
he will most likely endeavor
to follow the musical arts.
Give him a tool set,
and he will learn to build.
Got a new one for ya.
Give a five year old girl a bad perm
and she is destined to have bad hair days-
I'm not blaming Mom.
There's no way
she would have wished
such a terrible curse upon me.
Plus, I think my two week crying jag
got her feeling pretty sorry
she had ever bought that box of Toni.
My past is dotted with unruly hair-
nappy, furry, frizzy perms,
blah braids and lopsided pony tails-
and hilarious helmet heads.
The result of these many years of anquish is
that I wear my hair straight and simple now.
No curling iron, gel product,
hair spray, or flattening processes.
Just a good old fly-away, sloppy,
that still manages
to cause me much agony.
Of course, now I have the
added problem of perfecting the color.
Each time it comes out a bit
blonder, darker, damaged, or dorky.
There is no happy medium.
No perfect solution.
No consistency in my coiffure.
But, as a result of my childhood affliction,
I can spot a hair-impaired woman in any crowd.
I feel sorry for her-
knowing that years ago
she was subjected to the
Toni torture also.
It's too late for me.
Fate dealt me a defective doo.
But, young mothers-
please take heed.
Learn from my sad story.
When it's time for school photos,
just give your kid a paintbrush,
a trumpet, or a hammer -
and tell them to smile.