Earlier this week I was commenting back and forth with Autty Jade about the wig she is wearing in her new grivitar picture. One thing led to another, and I made her a promise to tell her the story about my wig. So here it is.
I’m giving away almost the whole story, but I can’t write unillustrated stories. This WAS a wig, a fall actually because the front part of the hair is mine, but not THE wig. I had several because my boyfriend at the time didn’t like the way my hair was cut – way too short. It grew, and grew, and grew. It grows fast, too fast, and out of control. Actually I hated my hair – long or short it was always thin and always straight, and never smooth or in place. By the time it grew out I enjoyed wearing a variety of different colored, inexpensive wigs.
Our mother worked in the largest mall in the Northwest at that time. We often went to work with her where there was more to do than at our house. Our favorite recreation at the mall was ice skating. Lloyd Center still has a large ice rink at the center of the mall surrounded by shops and the largest department store in the city on the top floor. A railing prevented people from hurling themselves from the top level onto the rink and getting a free skating session. But people stood around the perimeter of the high railing and watched the skaters whirling around below. On the lower level, where the skating rink was, people sat in the upscale restaurant and watched the skaters.
On this particular night I prepared hurriedly, pinned my hair up, and hastily threw on a wig, similar to the orange wig in the picture, but frosted gray – which, for some STRANGE reason, must have been popular at the time. No make-up and I was ready to go. Mom didn’t want to be late to work!
Like we did about most things, Randy and I competed about who would sit in the front of our little VW Beetle. I usually won. I was the oldest, the bossiest, the ..ok it ends about there, but I liked to win. While Mom scuffled off to work, we ran to the ice rink, and bought our tickets, anxious to get on the ice. Randy beat me onto the ice, but I was close behind him, and soon we were doing what we did best – competing.
The weirdest thing had happened to Randy that year. When we moved to Portland I was 15 and stood a proud 5 feet 4.5 inches tall. Randy topped out at 5 feet 3 inches. (ha ha) The way younger brothers are supposed to be. He started growing when he turned 14 or 15. He stopped one year later at 6 feet 3 inches tall. I didn’t make the adjustment immediately, I was still older and bigger in my mind.
Equality had always prevailed between us. Two only children parents didn’t know how to differentiate between their children except to make everything the same. If I got 10 French fries, he got 10 French fries on his plate. If I stayed up until 8:00 p.m., guess who else stayed up? If I went skating… You get the idea. All of the sudden Mom was telling him to be careful with me because he was stronger than I was. GRRRRR. Equality was no longer a given. Sometimes he could do things I couldn’t do.
Like I said, I didn’t change well with the changing times. I bought the tickets and we raced to the side of the rink. I’m sure I laced my skates faster, but he still beat me getting on the ice. At any rate we got out on the ice the same as usual, and I challenged him to a race, the same as usual. And I was doing well. We were neck in neck all the way through the first corner. Then he put his giant legs in gear and with one easy stride glided past me like I was standing still. I couldn’t take that, and I dug in and raced harder. As I crossed my legs around the last stretch of the corner for just one more great push, part of my skate stayed cemented in the ice. Just one little prickly pointy part of my skate refused to budge, and the rest of the skate decided to stay with it.
That left me in an awful fix because the top part of my body was going at full speed down the final stretch of the race, and the very bottom of my body was glued somehow to the rink below it. So that’s what happened. The top part of my body kept doing what it was doing and the bottom part did it’s own thing, and I lay stretched out prone on the ice between the two parts. That would have been fine if only I’d been wearing my own hair. I was accustomed to falling. Skaters tumble constantly. But my wig was still racing, and it kept going across the ice beyond my head about 30 or 40 feet before spinning to a complete halt. Randy gracefully rounded the next corner before he noticed that his spunky sister was MIA.
He was the only one who didn’t see it, however. The floor guard instantly sped to my aid, spraying ice chips in my red face as he turned to make the rapid stop to help me up. “Are you OK?” he asked politely.
Of course I was OK. I was just mad, and my wig was out of my reach, and my hair housed 100 bobby pins all sticking in different directions along with the mess of dirty hair under them. I ignored his outstretched hand to use both of mine to crawl invisibly over to my wig and get it on as fast as possible. Which I did. Even so, I could still see the guard bent over double laughing after he was sure I was all right.
When you know that everybody shops at THAT mall, and any one of them might be someone from school, there is no time to waste when you have lost your wig. I shoved that brown-gray mass on my head as fast as I could before anyone on either level could notice that it was missing, then I jumped up, and raced to the bathroom. I couldn’t see. Something was terribly wrong. I kept brushing the hair out of my face, and skated for an eternity.
The bathroom – at last – I looked in the mirror. My wig was on backwards. I never wanted to go out again. I took it off and threw it in a locker. I sat for a few minutes debating about what to do. Mom would get off work at 9:00. It was only minutes after 6:00. The night was young. I proceeded to unload my hair of bobby pins. Style was a moot point. Fine hair blows around anyway.
I still had a race to win.
The Eternal Traveller http://theeternaltraveller.wordpress.com/ may enjoy preparing for the holidays, but she schedules in time to travel during the rest of the year. When she travels she likes to take her time exploring. “It’s a lovely way to see what lies beyond the tourist strip and spend time with the locals.” Her photographs are outstanding. If you enjoy castles, her Bus Trip Through Bavaria is a must read. Even her Photo Challenges offer more than a picture of a green romanesque cauliflower. Some people travel alone, some take along a little something extra. Where do you think this traveler is headed? Find out on The Eternal Traveller’s blog.
Do you have a moment in time where you wished you could disappear forever? I shared ONE of my many embarrassing moments. Now fair is fair. It’s your turn!
- Two shoes, two different colors to an interview?
- Something broke?
- You fell off when you were standing on the table?
- You patted the wrong girl’s tooshie?
- You were onstage when…