28 August 2005

Down A Peg Or Two

Apologies to those rare few who recall my novice posts and have already heard me compare myself to a fisherman's friend - not the cough sweets, the craggy old man sketched on the packet.

It is sadly true that, although of almost pure Welsh descent, I have London skin and hair - it looks best with a layer of pollution. Since we moved to the coast just under a decade ago, my hair has resolutely determined to look like the stuffing from a horsehair sofa, barring copious amounts of gloop which will settle it for half a day at best.

Add to this that my silver hairs (not grey, I bypassed grey and went straight to the colour of angels wings) start out as curly as pubes. The fringe, which, for fifteen years was my one patch of silver, is now sleek and glossy. Everywhere else, however, my dry but wavy hair is bolstered into bizarre shapes by an erratic, underlying corset of pube-like coilsprings. Some arrange themselves on the top and I look like one of those Barbie dolls that got lost at the bottom of the toy box. Dry and whispy bits are not supposed to stick out at funny angles even when you've just combed them, but tough luck on me.

So I am growing it. I refuse to resort to old lady bouffant a la Thatcher, and anyway, long hair usually weighs itself into submission, which is just what I am hoping for.

Lewis often tells me I embarrass him. Thats his prerogative, just as its mine to do the best 'embarrassing mother' routine that I can possibly muster. Today, however, he reached new heights in this war of wide eyed sarcasm.

We were discussing having his friend Haydn back round to play one more time before school restarts. (In England, Autumn term doesnt begin until the first week of September; probably because we don't do Thanksgiving.) It went on, as follows:


Lewis: Well, okay, he can come round here, but, just don't be so friendly, you scare him.

Me: Lewis, be serious, did Haydn say I scare him? How?

Lewis: Well no, you just creeped him out a bit.

Me: ???

Lewis: He just thought you smiled too much and kept offering him things and talking to us and werent being like a proper mum.

Me: Oh, oh well okay, I'll leave you two more to it, next time. That ok?

Lewis: Well, its okay, its just that hair, and when you look all bushy and you keep smiling, it IS a bit creepy.

Me: Go on..................

Lewis: Yes and the way you're so friendly to everybody and keep saying hello to people and you look a bit mad with that hair and then you smile and say 'Hello Stranger!' ALL THE TIME, and you're just really embarrassing and why cant you be like normal mums and not smile and not talk first?


I tidied my hair, pumped it full of conditioner, got it almost glossy and tucked it behind one ear, but no. I am, he says, too old for young woman hairdos. He looked horrified.

Poor Lewis, it seems a'proper mum' to him is one who doesn't know all the kids in his class, can't talk at their level and wouldnt want to, wears tidy, boring hair, and never smiles. He's got six more years at the very minimum under my roof, I hope he has a longsuffering nature!

(And no, I am not going to tell him the 'mad woman hair' comment got to me, but I am wondering how I would look bald, with maybe a few scalp tattoos.)


doris said...

Ha-ha! You just have to ham up your embarrasing mother routine! And plump out that hair and show him what scary really looks like, but oh, bless him. It is sad what bothers our kids about us.

I hope you enjoy reading back over this post in months to come and have a good chuckle because it reads really funny. Life is so much funnier than fiction!

fineartist said...

Oh my gawsh Cheryl, this was a HOOT. I can just see you, see it all playing in my minds eye. Garrison Keilor once said, and I am sloppily paraphrasing here, “Embarrassment, nothing shows love more than the affliction of being embarrassed by those who we love the most.” Or something like that. I agree. I lived with my grandmother when I was a small child, for the most part, and she used to embarrass the heck out of me, but now, as I think back, some of those embarrassing eccentric habits of hers are the ones I miss the most.

My hair is much like yours, so I torture it into submission to behave, by blow drying and ironing. That’ll teach it.

I could paint those head tattoos for you….I have done that before, it is so fun. I’ll bet that would make Lewis pass completely out on the spot. God love him, he will have children of his own someday, probably, any consolation?

Le laquet said...

Kids - you can never do anything "right!" I'm with DOris on this one - ham up the "mad scary mum" routine and drive them mad.

percys world said...

hi .
secret tip that works.
olive oil.
rub it in the hair and put a scarf on leave it on for a few hours then wash it out.
your hair will have new life.
learnt from a italian girl friend.
dont say i give you this tip.
must keep my tough image.lol

Cheryl said...

Percy - cheers! One to try . And I aint seen you, right? (wink wink)

zilla said...

Got quite a chuckle out of this post, Cheryl. Although I absolutely love your hair as it is in your profile pic, I accept your inclination to disagree. It is every woman's prerogative to hate her hair.

The fact that Moose's friends fear me was never shared with me by Moose. Nope, I heard that one straight from the mouth of the anxious friend. Liz had given me a wide-eyed "uh-oh, we're in for it now" look. I said, "Liz, I am not scary." He said, "Yes you are, because you know everything before we tell you. How do you DO that?" He was 17 at the time. I think I said, "Nevermind how, just don't go doing things you don't want me find out about, and everything will be okay."


Shannon said...

You do realize that you'll have your revenge for his behaviour now.

In 30 years time he'll have a child just like himself and then he'll realize that his dear sweet "crazed mum" probably wasn't all that bad!

I think the shaving your head with a fake scalp tattoo or two is brilliant!

MissMeliss said...

When your son is older (40, perhaps) he will realize that having a "proper mum" would have been boring and horrible. I know this because I had a crazy and eccentric mother, and while she used to positively REVEL in embarrassing me, I'm a better person for it.

anniebee said...

Aren't kids wonderful? Son 1's idea of a compliment is to call me a 'great big lump of loveliness', whilst Son 2 keeps going 'Eh eh eh' like the character in Little Britain (why did they have to call her Anne)?
My grey hairs were very curly at first. I envisaged having a white poodle perm by now! Fortunately they are straighter now. Trouble is, with very dark brown hair and lots of almost white 'greys' there's no hope of hiding them.