Hair Gel and Birthdays

Keeping hair hard and crusty for generations.

On Saturday I met my friend Jennifer at a fancy coffee place in West Berkeley.  We have stayed in touch, but the last time we were really close we spent most of our days keeping our hair frozen or stuck in some shape. For me it was a halo of mall-bangs that expanded outward and downward, sort of like a lion’s mane.  Jennifer plastered her hair on the left  side of her head with hair cement known as “Dipity Do” or “Dep,” both which look like green jello with bubbles and smell like hand sanitizer.

I was always more of an Aqua Net girl, myself.  I don’t know if I used Super Hold or All Purpose, but I do know that when they say “All Purpose,” they mean that the Net can not only defy gravity but also turn into a torch when sprayed in front of a match or lighter.  This will come in very handy during the apocalypse, (I think they sell it at Target) but since at 14 we were still light years away from the Trumpfall of humanity, it only served to getting us closer to burning down our parents’ houses.   We did not burn down a house, however, we did go to the late night Talking Heads film concert one night where they played “Burning Down The House” and flirted with college students.  We were only fourteen and, no, our parents were not informed, and, wow, guys are gross…


Anyway, Jennifer bought me a birthday cappuccino and wished me a happy birthday.

“I’m 45…I live like I’m 25…”

“You should wear that as a badge of honor…Everyone wants to be married with kids but the reality is that you are trapped…”

I could stand to be a little more trapped.   Not five-kids trapped, but like husband trapped, or even full-time job trapped.  I have been “blessed” or “lucky” enough to manage to work from home for the past 1 1/2 years while I try to pursue my writing, to varying degrees of success (depending on how you define success).  But, no, this is not what I thought 45 would look like.

Jennifer and I also discussed what to do with the hundreds of notes I received from my other junior high school BFF who we will call RedOne (because she has kids who are approaching that age)  wrote me every single day of junior high school. Well, maybe not all of junior high but definitely spring semester of 7th grade.  We self-tagged ourselves Ladies of the Night and behaved in many ways that rightly should give parents a heart attack.  My friend Jennifer, now a successful documentary filmmaker and I discussed creating some kind of narrative film on our favorite topic of conversation: being 13 in Berkeley in 1985.

Anyway, I’m old.



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