Open Letter to the Person
Who Told My Mother
Her Hair Looked Good This Way

By Lockie Hunter

Perhaps you could not anticipate that she would take your words with such gravity that her hairstyle would remain unchanged through Kennedy’s untimely death, the tumultuous years of LBJ, the Nixon scandal, the lost years of Ford, the Reagan administration, the Clinton years, and now well into the Bushes' dynasty? Were you just being polite?

I ask you, honestly, was this hairstyle ever in fashion? I cannot identify an era when it would have been leading edge. It is not Mod. It is neither hep nor hip. It is neither punk nor conservative. It defies gravity and fingerprinting. Many have tried to characterize it and have become lost. When mother moves to a new city and is fated to seek a new stylist, she often asks that I — a woman teeming with words — tackle the job of describing her “doo.” I meekly cast it as a sort of a modified bob with a large clump teased onto the top — Westminster show-poodle fashion — the crowning touch of which is a large cone of swirled hair that resembles cotton candy. So much does this “crown” resemble cotton candy, that it is reported that as a child I used to reach greedily for it and say “candy”. Then the other adults would laugh with such force... And you. I hope you’re happy.

Did you say something like, “This is your signature style?” or “Don’t ever change, even when countless hairdressers, friends and family advise you to change?” I noodle over your exact words. Frankly, it keeps me up at night. I mean, what were you thinking? Was it an act of derring-do? Perhaps you were a little drunk that day? You had a highball for lunch?

Although I concede her hairstyle does add at least a foot to her stature, and being petite, she appreciates this. Every time we discuss her height, we add, “And with hair, why, she is at least five feet three inches tall." Were you entered into some sort of cosmetological hair height contest?

Did you tell her that this style was “lovely, simply lovely; why, you’re as pretty as a picture,” as some sort of dare? Perhaps you were being sarcastic? This last scenario seems the most likely. You were being sarcastic in your “compliment,” and mother, being the unpresumptuous lady that she is, why, she simply misunderstood. That “compliment” was an act of pure evil. Well, I just hope you are pleased.

The good folks at BigHairDooCorp, owner of the Aquanet Hairspray brand, send mother a Christmas card each year, as she is the second largest buyer in the upper peninsula. Sadly, mother may be personally responsible for well over 1/32 of the ozone depletion in her home state. Some estimates hold the figure at a full 1/16 percent. And, by association, you are responsible, as well. Do you read the memorandums of the polar caps melting? There are entire islands that are at risk of being swallowed whole by the expanding ocean. You are basically at fault. I hope you are satisfied.