My daughter is sitting in the car, telling me all the things about her hair that she hates. She’s pointing out this strand and that strand, discussing color, highlights, non-existent split ends and the terrible, terrible length. Obviously something must be done. And done quick to avoid catastrophe before people see her later that night at the coolest party ever.

I suggest we drop into the local haircutting chain which rhymes with Poopercuts because they are cheap, close and cheap. You have never seen a look of such distain and disbelief in your entire life. She wailed and gnashed her teeth exclaiming that no one there would even have a real hair cutting license and that if one of them touched her hair it would never, ever look good again because they don’t know what they are doing and then she would be ugly and have no friends and it would ruin everything for ever and ever. And then she spontaneously combusted *poof* leaving only a charred mark on the passenger seat of the van. I told her we could go check the place that is more expensive and where there seems to be all manner of importantly tanned women with long, fake and shiny nails encrusted with jewels toddling around on high heels two sizes to small*, talking on their cell phones and carrying their tiny dogs in little purses. Why must this rant include small dogs? I don’t know, but it does.

After 2 hours and an unmentionable amount of money, of which she paid half because there is just no way I can justify paying that much for hair, she had the hair she had always wanted (for the past entire morning) and she gushed and looked at herself in the mirror all the way home pointing out how it was just exactly how she had always dreamed hair could look. I was pleased to have been able to facilitate this momentous occasion for her. And also, world peace.

Fast forward to the next morning when I pick her up from her friend’s house where she spent the night. She is tired from all the antics and lack of sleep. And then she asks me if I notice anything different about her. Now, I know that this is a historically bad question and the bane of the sexes in some circumstances. I’ve been asked how old I think someone looks and how much I would guess they weigh before creatively turning the conversation towards something safer like, oh I don’t know, penguins. Or Monopoly. But this is my first experience hearing it from my own daughter.

After a lengthy and uncomfortable pause, during which I’m trying to figure out how to remain calm when she tells me they snuck out last night and got matching tattoos with the words ‘Tiffany + Alex = BFF 4EVR’ across their hips, she interrupts me mid-nightmare-thought with, ‘My hair, mom! Look at my hair!’

Since I’m driving, and people that know me, love me and have my best interest at heart, Alex included, know that me just paying attention and going forward and staying within the dotted lines is sometimes as much as I can handle, she quickly follows it up with, ‘Wait. Look when we get to the light.’

The mile between that comment and reaching the light was very looooong. And when we got there, I turned slowly to look at her. And looked at her. And saw…..nothing.

She says, ‘So, after you dropped me off last night, we were getting ready and M told me that my hair was, like, totally, totally great except for that my bangs were too long and I needed some more layers right here? in the back? so she and T, who are both, like, totally into hair and going to be professional hair cut people when they get out of high school, are, and I’m not even kidding mom, genius with hair. So they gave me some more layers in the back and fixed my bangs for me. Don’t I look great?’

*The other day I was out and about and noticed a plethora of people walking around in sandals because, hello? it is hot. But more than half of all the people wearing sandals, flip-flops or other manner of toe-exposing shoes were allowing some part of their foot to touch the ground as they walked. A big toe here. A little toe there. And heels of all kinds. I think that is odd. They must go home and find that they have a mostly clean foot with only the usual wear and tear on it and then that one part, that slice, that is completely covered with black tar and sidewalk filth.

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  1. The shoe thing? That annoys me, too.

    The hair thing with your daughter? Wow. Did you EVER hit the nail on the head. Same conversations with mine…

  2. Heh. My son, the almost 20 year old, walked into the house last night and said “well!” I said “well what!” and he said “don’t you notice something?” umm ummm another piercing. It took me a good 3 minutes of staring at him to realize what was different. I hate it when my kids ask me if I notice anything different. I never do. Well except the time Michelle died her hair “pink and green leopard spots” – that, I noticed.

    Kids. Sheesh.

  3. I LOVE that hair story. It is so incredibly fabulous and right on track for a teenage (?) girl. I live in flip flops and all of my feet stay on the shoe at all times. I purposely buy them 1/2 size bigger bc of this. Also I am neurotic enough that I will not wear any open toe shoe unless I have “maintained” feet – pedicure. I HATE iccky feet and long toenails …. ewwww

  4. You know the scary thing? My oldest is only 11 and this kind of thing happens to me all the time. As far as the shoe thing? I’ve never understood this one myself. Besides looking ugly, I don’t understand how it can be comfortable.

  5. She sounds so much like my daughters, it is wild! Isn’t it so rewarding to spend so much money on a young girl’s hair, only to have her inexperienced, non-licensed, overbearing friends cut it/color it again????!!! It’s like, why didn’t she just have them do it in the first place? Or Poopercuts? But no…it has to happen the way it did with your daughter. Exhausting. I’m telling you. Exhausting.
    This is why mothers have to spend hundreds of dollars on their own hair – they get gray hairs from teenage daughters.

  6. So funny and so exact! As the mother of a teenage girl, I have spent the better part of the last month searching down all the “just right” clothes, shoes and accessories to escape dorkdom. As we all know, if you show up at school wearing the wrong thing – you will have no friends, people will point and stare and you probably won’t be given a working locker. Don’t even get me started on hair. She is biracial, so I have spent mega bucks on many sessions of hair extensions, braiding, relaxing, etc. Sometimes I wonder if I will survive her teenage years.

  7. The feet hanging off the shoes thing drives me batty. I always wonder if maybe they didn’t bother trying them on when they bought them. How can that be comfortable?!

  8. I figured that women wore small shoes because they couldn’t find the correct size in the store. They think, “Better too small than too big!” I assumed they didn’t WANT to have too-small shoes. I must be wrong if it’s so prevalent. And sidewalk filth on one’s toes? So. totally. gross!


  9. How nice that she insisted on a fancy haircut, and then let her unlicensed friends take scissors to it afterward. At least she’s happy with it…

  10. God, this is funny. Your daughter is adorable, and so are you. I have to chime in re: Poopercuts and say uncategorically that THE WORST haircuts I have EVER had occurred at that very chain. There was one particularly notable incident in which the cutter of said hair spent the entire duration of my haircut screaming obscenities at another one of the “stylists” and angrily yanking at my hair while cutting it chunks of it off seemingly at random.

  11. If you pay attention, you will notice that many women wear shoes that simply do not fit.

    On another note, I live near SDSU, wear many girls like to wear white, foam platform sandals. Inevitably, those white sandals become dirty. Maybe I’m just becoming an old fart, but there is something very cheap about a girl with dirty white platform sandals.

  12. I’m just glad that I have perfect children and that I NEVER have these kinds of conversations with any of my kids– EVER. They know how special and unique they are and revel in the joy of being different. HA! well… except for that one time…

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