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By Pam Burke 

It's been a stupid hair week. That's so aaargh!


I cut my hair last weekend and, since the moment I put the scissors down, every time I've looked at or gotten distracted by my hair, I've thought this phrase first: "What the ... aaargh!"

I spent 20 minutes this morning fixing my hair.

I had a PTSD flashback to junior high days and fully expected to burn my forehead with the curling iron, break out in zits, lose my breasts and hear my mom yelling, "You're gonna be late for the bus — again!"

— 20 minutes. Tuh-wen-tee minutes. I'll never get them back.

Pam Burke

In 20 minutes I could've changed all four tires on my car, using a hand-crank jack. I could've prepared breakfast for 10 people. Or I could've gotten in a week's worth of exercise — I wouldn't have, but I could have, and that's my point.

What is so flaming important about my hair that I would forgo all these activities to flitter about my head with a curling iron? For 20 minutes. Good question.

One simple, reliable truth about my hair that I have trained myself to deal with, or live with is: No matter what the style of cut or how botched it is, the left side of my hair, the always cooperative side, turns under, and the right side flips up and throws in some crazy lock of oddness that requires taming. Always. Until Sunday, June 17, 2012.

Mark that date on the calendar.

Now the right side turns under and the left side flips up. The right side looks good (or at least salvageable or maybe passable) and the left side looks like I combed it with a Cuisinart dual-speed, stainless-steel mixer. And, it is impervious to any efforts at taming it.

It's so bad I can see it out of the corner of my eye, reminding me throughout the day that it looks stupid, therefore I look stupid ... er ... than normal.

I can't tolerate these distractions. I would much rather be spending my time and limited brain power writing passages like:

"We never hear about Second World countries. Why is that? It's like we instinctively avoid using that phrase because we know, in our core we know, that 'second' just means you're the first loser, and 'third' means you'll be acknowledged for giving it your best.

"Third World countries, bless their noble, plague-famined hearts, they try. Despite that they are the clear losers in a field of three, we shall honor their plucky courage to go on and cry at their heart wrenching stories. We'll donate a kidney and our leftovers to them. First World countries, of course, can afford to be too modest to mention their status more than just occasionally, and even then, only with the humble offhandedness of one who owns both the podium and center stage.

"Plus, there's the whole thing about how — when first it came into popular usage — the world ranking system referred to a country's political stance, not its pocket book. People were too busy using terms like 'pinko, commie, red menace' to give 'Second World' a chance to catch on.

"More recent popular usage has changed the ranking to reference a country's socioeconomic status, so now we call Second World countries 'emerging' countries, or 'economically advancing' countries, or China ... ."

See? That was much more interesting subject matter than my hair. I could be writing more of that. But I can't let it go, and I resent every brain cell I've fried thinking about my hair, and every moment I've wasted trying to beat it into submission.

I don't have time for stupid, distracting hair. I don't want to make time for it.

I swear, if all my hair fell out tomorrow ... I would heartily regret every word I've written here, longing for the bygone days when I had hair to complain about instead of stupid hats and the way my bald head looks like a large box with a beak on it.


(A little human nature goes a long way at http://viewnorth40.wordpress.com.)


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