June 27, 2009

Farrah Fawcett Wings

When I was in middle school all the girls wanted "Farrah Fawcett wings." I had very long straight dark hair. So straight, in fact, that my friend Jenny (there were 6 of us "Jennifers" in my reading class that year) used to say that my hair was like a horse's tail...which is rarely Farrah Fawcetty but probably more Farrah Fawcetty than my hair.

I stood in my kitchen and told my mom and our neighbor Paula the artist, who was always up for experimentation and fun, that I wanted Farrah Fawcett wings. It seems, at least in my memory, that they looked at each other, decided they could do it, perched me atop the kitchen stool, reached into a drawer for some scissors and on both sides of my part cut an inch of my hair at the forehead.

Farrah Fawcett wings did not magically appear on my head that evening when Paula and my mom lopped off two small swatches of the hair that used to lay flat down the sides of my face. My "wings" did not flap for joy when they were cut free from their lengthy ends, they didn't even seem to notice. They did not boing up naturally into a lofty pretty frame around my face, Charlie's voice did not come forth with my mission from our old black rotary phone, I didn't grab a handgun out of my bell bottom jean's pocket and run off down the street giving chase to a litterbug. None of that happened at all.

I just went into the bathroom, looked in the mirror and was brought face to face with an earthly truth, one that I had not fully accepted or understood until Farrah. It was there in the three foot by three foot bathroom off our laundry room where this girl with forever long straight hair contemplated the unknown world of hair styling and the great depth of knowledge and skill needed therein. It wasn't just a thoughtless frivolity to have a hairdo after all. It was a carefully executed plan and it needed to be brought to fruition by a person who, who, who...wasn't me.

My hair was styled in one of three ways: atop a kitchen stool by my mother with a pair of scissors cutting straight across my back...at the piano playing my pieces while my mother brushed, barretted and braided my hair just minutes before I'd dash out the door and down the street to school...or reaching for a rubber hair band as I rolled out of bed, gathering it all up in my hands and twisting the band around it as I descended the stairs and voila.

Let me put it this way:

It was the general consensus among my elementary school classmates
that I was an Indian.
But then I went to middle school and -

Woo! Look at me go!

Best friend Jane's were comparable.
Here's Jeni. She tried too.

Here's my friend Jennifer who said I had horse hair,

she tried wings too....and she perfected them the next year. Go Farrah!

These next two Jennifers, Jenny B and Jenny S....

didn't even try for Farrah Fawcett wings... and I respect them for that.

However, Joan P. and Joan M....

did give it a go.

Steve knows a good thing when he sees one.
Even our teachers got in on the craze.

Settle down Mrs. Lucas!
Loved Ed.

And here's Rhonda.

I don't know which show she was watching.

I'm thinking maybe I aspired to the wrong angel.


rosemary said...

my hair and my teeth and eyes dominated my young years....not the Farrah era...before that when the bubble/flip/pageboy were "in." totally opposite of you i had curly weather frizzy hair, crooked teeth and wore glasses. Not a good trifecta for the late 50's early 60's. i have struggled with my hair, blow dryers, curling irons, hot curlers, spoolies, you name it for over 60 years...only to have burns, backwards flips and little frizzy hair sticking out from my helmet of hair spray. Now..who cares. I watched Farrah's story last night...to bad she "couldn't care less" about her hair earlier. you were adorable, Jennie your wings were just invisible that's all.

Mom said...

My daughter did have Farah Fawcett wings. I'll have to find a picture. I loved seeing your old pictures.

Paul Nichols said...

Word verification is "pride." Interesting.

Well, you can be proud of this exceptional post. A different twist on already tired news. (Although, not as tired as the news of that famous fellow who passed away later the same day.)

What a great way to remember your "good ol' days." Nice job. This is salable, and I suggest you try it somewhere. It's an upbeat and happy article.