Friday, April 20, 2012


Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood
The prompt:  It’s time for a change in outward appearance, be it a character, yourself, or someone in your life. In 500 words or less, write about a makeover of your choice (hair, clothes, makeup, facial hair for the menfolk), fictional or memoir/creative non-fiction. Let’s think about how physical appearance changes can affect the inner landscape.

She remembers sitting in the old kitchen chair.  A shiny, plastic apron tied behind her neck. Daddy has his scissors, the ones left from when he used to have a beauty shop.

Snip, snip. Bits of hair fall to the floor. She is getting a pixie cut before starting kindergarten. Her hair is kept this way for a few more years.

After third grade she lets it grow. It grows long, straight, and fine.

The body perm in early high school gives it some life. She uses a curling iron every morning to make the face framing bangs do something. Even if that something requires a can of hairspray, and perhaps resembles a slinky. The back is still long, if a wee bit wavy.

By her senior year, she sprays and back combs those bangs into "big" hair in the front. Nothing can convince the long hair down her back to do more than hang there.

Later, in her twenties' comes the tight curly perm that lasts three or four months. She has it re-permed regularly for several years.

And has it frosted. Gets the ends trimmed. Lets the bangs go.

By thirty, she has a daughter. Her own mother tells her it's time to cut her hair. "You're too old to wear it that long."  She laughs and lets it grow.

She is still ignoring her mother's opinion after she turns forty. Though she returns to the bangs, to hide the new lines on her forehead.

The fifties arrive with gray. It frames her face. She accepts its presence. Brushes it into the light browns that still fall to her mid-back.

At fifty-five, the gray rebels. It has body. It refuses to blend quietly.

She looks at her reflection. Her mother isn't there anymore to tell her it's time to cut her hair. 

She knows.

She sits in the vinyl chair, the apron tied behind her neck. "Cut it, just above the shoulders. And keep the bangs." She says.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes. It's time"


  1. Hair is such an important aspect of our outward appearance. A bad haircut takes so long to grow out, it's scary to consider getting it cut at all. I've only had short hair a few times in my 41 years of life, and I never liked it.

    I love the way this post focuses on the hair, but takes it throughout her life. The only real concrit is that you don't need the apostrophe on twenties'.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I'll never understand how you women just decide on a seconds notice to chop your hair.

    My wife and daughters do this. suddenly, one day, they just have to drastically cut their hair. I like how you build up the confidence before the act


  3. Oh. This:

    She looks at her reflection. Her mother isn't there anymore to tell her it's time to cut her hair.

    She knows.

    That is really the heart of this piece for me.

    I enjoyed going through the stages of hair and different looks and different levels of comfort, holding onto the length the whole time.

    But that one moment, letting it go and simultaneously thinking about motherly advice? It was so poignant.

  4. there is something about hair. For some it becomes almost like a security blanket that we hold onto far too long. And others can't get rid of it fast enough :)

    I enjoyed this. It showed the transformation, even just a slight one, into the grand metamorphosis :)

  5. yeah, im with angela on this one. this was a beautiful, poignant look. and Ive participated in a number of those hairstyles!!

  6. I love how you took something so simple like a hairstyle and told a wonderful story about this woman's life. It was a beautifully written piece.

  7. Loved this. I can track my life experiences by my hairstyle, too, what a great way to tell her story.

  8. I love the progression of this piece. Lovely and well done. Excellent take on the prompt.

  9. Angela keeps coming by and commenting my comments before me. I agree completely. The whole piece coalesces in those lines.