Monday, June 7, 2010

Hair Cares

September 10, 1985 Tuesday

Dear Ophelia,
"Well, there is this guy, John, who likes me. He's pretty cute, not really my type though. He told Amy that he liked me. Amy says he loves me. I'm pretty sure that he likes me cause he acts like it but I keep thinking, "once he gets to know me, will he still like me?". Not that I'm a bad person, but he doesn't even know me. 

Anyway, today I wore new white pants with a white blouse and a red sweater over that. It looked real nice, I thought. I'm still waiting for my hair to grow. Mom trimmed the back a little today. My hair looks yucky cause it's in the in-between stages kind of. I just have it parted in the middle. When it gets to one length, I'm going to get it bobbed and maybe a body wave or maybe even a braid perm. 

I'm surprised at how much clothes I have. For me, it's a lot. I have 3 pairs of jeans and a pair of nice wool pants, eight or nine sweaters (I like them now), six shirts and some other stuff. Oh, und two skirts. 

Speaking of und, today in German I learned how to say, how old are you. Wie alt bist du? and some other ways with he, she etc. Yesterday, we learned the numbers. Also yesterday, I went to Jennifer's house. We played monopoly and played with her pets: Cricket (dog-poodle), Monroe (cockatiel), Sophia (cockatoo) and her ducks. She's lucky. Her and Amy try out for all the school stuff even if they don't know how to do it. I think that's neat that they do that, I never could. It's 9:52, gotta go to bed soon. Today I took a test in World History and tomorrow I have a test in geometry. I finished my Condo report so during Interior Design tomorrow, I'll read Dolphins and study Geometry. Love forever, Jennifer. Guten abend!"

Jennifer has always been suspicious of guys who "love" her based on first sight. It's not because of her insecurity, it's because of her practical side. She knew that chemistry is instant but love takes time. She enjoyed the attention of boys falling for her, but she was weary of anyone who spoke of love too soon. She also didn't like the pressure. She didn't want to live up to somebodies preconceptions about her!

Poor Jennifer had to suffer through her awkward hair regrowth also. Drastic hair cutting is an ancient ritual of grief and mourning. You don't even have to know that to respond to grief with a hair cut. It's instinctive and crosses cultures and continents. Looking back, I wonder if Jennifer's severe hair cut after moving to California wasn't a sign of grief. She had only weeks to prepare for her sudden move, she lost some great friends forever, never saw her dog again and she did not adjust well to a new high school in the middle of the school year. She also rejected all of her old clothes and interests. Does this look like a happy girl?

Jennifer soon after her sudden move from Alaska to California

On the positive side, Jennifer learned to roll with the punches. In Minnesota, after another sudden move and another new high school, we find her re-growing her hair, accumulating a nice wardrobe, getting perfect grades, making friends, learning a new language and meeting boys!

Her grief digs deeper into her, becomes part of her, and she begins to craft her outward shell. Maybe this is a natural part of the teenage years--building a shell around who we really are. It protects us while we adjust to adult pressures and relationships. Then, when we hit our thirties, we begin to chip away at that shell to reveal our true selves once again!

Jennifer's 10th grade photo

Girls! think twice about cutting off your hair--growing it out again is no fun! At least it wasn't for Jennifer!

By the way, what kind of high school offers Interior Design as an elective? I mean, it's cool, don't get me wrong, but in light of state budget cuts, it's a total luxury!

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