Thursday, October 21, 2010

Annie, Only Not as Cute and Singing Off-Key

I have always been a people-pleaser. I wanted people to like me and approve of me. Hence, the constant need for attention. I wanted people to look at me and say, "Wow! Look at her! She's special!!" And because we adults know how much fun it is to give constant attention to a child... I quickly stopped being amusing at a pretty early age and turned into just plain annoying. Soon, I began to feel sincerely hurt when people didn't like me or approve of me. I would cry a lot at school. So, starting pretty young, I was labeled "crybaby", which I rightfully deserved. I hated it, but I will admit that the label was accurate.

Just because I got older, it didn't change my desire to be a people-pleaser. I did, however, learn to control the amount of obnoxious I brought to the table each day. I learned to read my audience: if they liked to laugh, I'd ham it up. If they were more quiet, I'd ease into the conversation gently and follow along until an opening presented itself. They laughed at me? I laughed along with them.

Back in Sixth grade, my sister was all about the Ogilvie Home Perm. She had her set of rollers and papers and our house got that familiar stank every six weeks. Finally, my mom convinced me that I too should get a perm. I didn't want to, but in my attempts to please my mom, I begrudgingly agreed. At least I insisted that I go to a salon to get my perm. I mean, I wanted a professional to do it. And.... off to JCPenneys I went.

Yes, JCPenneys. Why, I still do not know. Here is the result:
That perm was the most horrible thing I've ever lived through. Bar none. My mom swore up and down a stack of bibles that she loved my hair and it looked cute. Bless her heart, she was the only one. I regularly was told that I looked as if I'd just stuck my finger in a light socket. In retrospect, I think I looked like a white female version of Eriq LaSalle's character in Coming to America.
Photo courtesy of

Maybe if I'd had a decent voice and some red hair dye, I would have tried out for our city's summer stage production of Annie. But, since I can't carry a tune in a bucket, that option was out. I was destined to exist in frizzy hair hell until it grew out enough for me to cut it off.

This post was supposed to be about a wardrobe malfunction for MamaKat's Writers Workshop, but does hair count as wardrobe? Close enough.

Texan Mama


Bridgett said...

I think my favorite part of this (besides the stock photo of Eric) is that your mom had to convince you and you didn't want it to begin with!!

Gigi said...

Oh yes, hair can be a wardrobe malfunction! I've had quite a few myself.

Although, I do think you looked cute with that perm.

Aunt Crazy said...

Girl, I rocked the Olgive home perm more times than I care to remember!

I definitely think hair can and should be considered a wardrobe malfunction...hahahaha

Jennifer said...

I wore a perm pretty much all through the 80's and into the 90's. Luckily my Aunt was a hairdresser so she did them for me. Not that it didn't ever look bad, but still. I'm so glad that I realized I don't need them though.

ridgely johnson said...

I think getting a perm from JCPenney's counts for a lot ;-)

Bear and Bones Mama said...

It doesn't look too bad! My mom always swore that it was her right as my mother to give me a home perm. I refused for a long time, then gave it. NOT GOOD. I also let her at one point when I was about 16 do home highlights - really NOT GOOD. My hair was never the same, considering I went from dishwater blond hair to Loni Anderson white hair. Ooooooo, it was horrid.

Crystal said...

I suffered from those Ogilve home perms too- my entire childhood- every summer. Even in HS- I have a damaging photo of me in Annie-style hair. It truly should be burned. EEEK!


Laura @ The Things I Said I'd Never Do said...

Oh man. I had a perm too. Unfortunately I have very thick, heavy hair so it looked poofy AND it didn't hold well. It was straight for about three inches at top and a string waves for the rest of the hair. It was pathetic.

Michelle Saunderson said...

My mother tried to give me a perm on several occaisions. But, for some reason, it just would not take in my stubburn hair. After a few times, my mom got sick of paying for the perm and quit trying. When I was even younger, she always tried the whole banana curl thing and that never worked either. She used to get so mad.

Jennifer said...

I had lots of those "spiral perms" in the 80s and 90's. And then would tease the perm.... I thought I looked so awesome.

Mama Kat said...

I was talked into the dreaded perm as well. You were not alone!!