Monday, January 12, 2009

The Toni Torture

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.

Not me.

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-
bad cuts,
nappy, furry, frizzy perms,
catastrophic coloring,
blah braids and lopsided pony tails-
disastrous doos
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,
pulled-behind-the-ears arrangement
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.