Have you ever looked at a picture of yourself from your teens and thought “What were you THINKING?”
I’ve had a few of those moments.
I developed early, and for many years I was all boobs and ass. Today I would kill for that figure, but at the time I mistook curvy for fat, and started dressing in really baggy, dowdy clothes that my mother helped me pick out. Today my mother dresses like a (fashionable) teenager, but back then… well, let’s just say that I still have nightmares about flannel and shoulder cushions.
She also cut my hair. Can you say “mullet”??
This was the 90’s, most people outgrew these fashion tragedies a decade earlier, but my hometown – the city of absolutely nowhere inside the arctic circle – wasn’t exactly up on the latest haute couture from Milan.
So yes, my teen years were difficult. But I can’t blame my mum for all of it, much as I should like to.
You see, I was obseeeeeessed with romance novels. You know, the cheap, trashy kind with lurid pictures on the front cover, that luckily has a flexible enough spine that you can crack it and turn it inside out and pretend you’re reading some timeless classic instead of yet another story where the poor but beautiful virgin is seduced by the rich and handsome rake who falls madly in love with her just before she is kidnapped by the evil maharaja. The evil maharaja ALSO falls in love with our beautiful virgin, and threatens to take her virginity, and the beautiful virgin, helpless and frail, is unable to stop him. Luckily, at the very last second, the handsome rake arrives. He has searched high and low for his beloved, and he storms the castle of the evil maharaja, rescuing the beautiful virgin and brings her home, where they marry before finally consummating the relationship.
You know the type. And if you don’t, well, I don’t believe you. My taste in literature hasn’t changed much, but nowadays I try to read books where the heroine rescues the hero at least as often as he rescues her, and where the state of ones virginity does not define either character.
Anyway, reading this kind of books is a dangerous thing for a young, impressionable girl. One of the books described the poor but beautiful virgin standing on a cliff, the wind flowing through the blonde curly waves of her hair, and the hero spotted her, thinking she looked windswept and interesting, as well as poor, beautiful and virginal, of course.
Well, that image haunted me for YEARS!
I was DETERMINED that I could be windswept and interesting as well, so all through my highschool years I sought out every gust of wind, every gentle breeze, every little puff of air, picturing the willowy dance of my golden locks (I mentioned the mullet, right?), and desperately hoping that my Mr Right was around to see me.
My older brother begged me to at least draw a brush through the tangled mess my hair was becoming, but I scoffed at his claim that he was embarrased to be seen with me. Prince Charming was coming, he was just around the corner, and he would take one look at me and GET IT! He would understand, he would see the REAL me, helped along by my windswept and interesting hair, and we would live happily ever after.
I’m still waiting for him, my prince. My hair is no longer windswept, but a combination of hightlight and lowlights keeps it pretty interesting. I both wash and brush it regularly now. But to this day, I don’t wear a hood or a hat while walking outside in windy weather. You know. Just in case.