Y’all, it’s been ten years since I’ve written about big hair and I’m still trying to get it — big hair, that is. I let the urge lie dormant for a long time, but it was always just below the surface — the longing and certainly the hair (flat is more like it). I also wrote a column about wigs and hairpieces many years back, and I’m still trying to figure out how they work too. Fool that I am, I have recently purchased more hair enhancements and I’m back at square one: no-height, no-volume, no-life hair.
I’ve wondered for a long time if Sarah Palin wears Bumpits. Does anyone know? Say what you want about this self-made Republican whirlwind of a woman, but do not talk about her hair! Why, it’s one of her best features. She also wears savvy glasses, perfect make-up (just a hint) and stylish clothes. But I’m zeroing in on her hair—her big hair. I decided she must be using Bumpits, the “Hair Volumizing Leave-In Inserts” to get the, er, ah, bump. (I’ve just realized why they’re called Bumpits.) So I went out and bought one of the “As Seen on TV” product (but, isn’t everything, dear?) at my local drugstore. The box, which includes three sets and sizes, notes that Bumpits are a trademark of Big Happie Hair. Don’t you just love that? My sentiments exactly: big hair sure does make me happy. And even though I equate big hair often times with Southern women, the company is out of Hawthorne, N.Y. Go figure.
I came home and read the instructions three times before I attempted the ridiculous, because that’s what it was—ridiculous! I’m thinking a woman would have to have a horse-mane-like head of thick, long hair to keep these doodads in place. I could barely cover just the middle of the plastic torture-device with my own hair. It’s for sure I couldn’t cover the outer edges. The Bumpit would slide back, up or over. I even watched a video on the Internet (hysterically funny). Trying again, I teased my hair into one big hairball—pardon the pun, but then I couldn’t wedge the Bumpit in there. And it’s for sure IF I did, it would never come out!
Anyway, I foresee another problem, even if I could get it to stay: What if I walked outside into a windstorm? Would it come flying off? With those menacing teeth and pointy ends, it’s for sure SOMEONE would get hurt! I guess men with toupees worry about the same thing, huh? I wasn’t going to take THAT chance. No sir!
Do y’all remember in the 60s when we women wore “falls” (long, straight wigs—Cher- type), or else “rats” (these were like hairy Brillo pads) that went under your hair for an updo or a “bun.” How about when we wore one braided hair strand glued to a head band? In my ninth grade school picture, I’m proudly wearing one. The bottom of my hair was flipping up, but just barely — though I’d slept all night in painful hair rollers. Even then my hair had a mind of its own. Case in point: Mama gave me several Lilt perms when I was five or six. Day one: Curly. Day two: Straight as a stick! Wah! Wah! Wah!
So I don’t think I’m going to be able to use Bumpits. Hoping for better luck, I bought a medium-length, straight hair piece with a built-in comb that attaches to my crown. Next, I tease and style my hair over it, so it looks natural. The problem there is that this hair piece had a curve to it at the end. I took it to my hairdresser, Susan, aka Saint Susan. She offered to “fix it” for me, then put it on my head and did a little teasing. We both liked it, but we both hated the curvy flip. It wasn’t natural or even believable, for that matter. No problem, she would just trim off the flip, she told me. I agreed. She cut an inch or two, but the flip was still there. She removed it, shook it out and cut it some more. Still a flip. I insisted she could cut it down to the roots if she wanted because I WAS NOT going to wear it with that flip. So she cut it more and more and more. But y’all, that dang synthetic hairpiece, now two inches long, STILL has a flip!
When am I ever going to learn to just live with what I’ve got? Probably never, most women don’t. But I am going to give it a rest for now. Has anyone heard if kerchiefs are making a comeback?
You can flat out believe whenever my family (twenty-eight in all) get together, something weird will happen. No, make that several occurrences of weird somethings. Well it happened again recently in New Bern, N.C. No surprise there, since New Bern and I have a weird history: I was BORN in New Bern at St. Luke’s Hospital, but when we left there, my parents drove us to our new home in Jacksonville, N.C. (thirty-five miles away). Anytime New Bern readers look at the back of my books, the buzz starts, “I don’t know any Ann Ipock. Do you? When did she live here? Did she go to New Bern High? Who IS she?” I’m starting to feel like President Obama having to explain my birth certificate. Hub Russ was also born in New Bern, but no one questions him, since his home was a mere eleven miles away.
To further explain this birth place vs. home place: My family did live in New Bern, but then Dad got transferred with his job to Jacksonville when Mom was about eight months pregnant. Understandably, she wanted her familiar doctor to deliver. Anyway, New Bern is a small but picturesque, historical town with many retirees. In fact, I still have relatives in that area. Furthermore, who could not love New Bern with Nicholas Sparks living there?! Not only that, but Governor Beverly Purdue owns a home a few doors down from the aforementioned baby faced, popular author, Nick. (No, I’ve never met him, but I’d like to, and I’m big on nicknames—no pun intended.)
Anyhoo, we have a running discussion with some family members (okay, it’s actually one: Keith Huxley, my sister Nancy’s hubby) about the pros and cons of GPS devices. We don’t own a Garmin or a Tom-Tom, and I don’t want one. We do, however, use Mapquest; which this time turned out to be wrong! Wrong! Wrong! (More about this later on.) I got a little suspicious when the hotel directions read, “go over the railroad tracks and make your next right.” Huh? So we did that and we ended up on a short and narrow residential street that was, well, just plain scary looking. I knew the Riverfront Hilton was not going to be there. So we retraced our path, and drove over ANOTHER set of railroad tracks and indeed found Middle Street. Of course when we arrived, everyone said, “What took you so long???” Did I mention that I called thirty minutes earlier saying we were a mile or so away?
But that’s okay. Guess what Keith did? Now, keep in mind that the hotel was two blocks from the Chelsea where the wedding reception was being held. We heard there was a shuttle but after yakking about the pros and cons (which I still don’t understand) no one wanted to take it. So we formed our own shuttle service, with Keith volunteering to make two trips from the hotel to the restaurant. Well, Katie and Michael and Heather and Huck (Huck is Keith’s son) knew he was on the way. After twenty minutes Huck called his dad only to find out Keith had driven over the bridge! Why? Because the GPS was wrong! Aha! Now, Keith doesn’t know that I know this, but I am still laughing because of all the grief he’s given us for not buying one. This is the same brother-in-law and sister that went with us on a cruise last May to Bermuda. We drove around in circles near the port for an hour due to a ding-dong parade.
The actual wedding reception was just perfectly splendid, though. Maggie and Brian got married in Virginia Beach last July with only their immediate family. They planned the reception later as Brian is military and they were being sent to a new duty station, Cherry Point. And now, bless his heart, he’s on his way to Afghanistan. But the soiree was perfectly planned down to the very last detail and Maggie did an excellent job. The meal, the music, the ambience, the introductions, laughter and reminiscing were just terrific. Maggie was so thoughtful that she even handed out goodie bags, info on New Bern and typed instructions to their home — about twelve miles away — for a brunch the next morning. But, guess what? I lost the instructions and Katie said not to worry because she had them (I assumed she meant from Maggie.) So, off Russell and I go following Katie and Michael. We arrived ONE HOUR later. Why? Because Katie had Mapquest directions and they were WRONG, as well! Eventually we turned around on a two lane dirt road probably ten miles past their house. I said a few choice words and I’m still apologizing to everyone. Eventually we made it to the brunch, but not before people started calling us on our cell phones as we traversed the country side, saying, “Where are you?” I finally said, “If I knew, I’d tell you!” I wanted to add, “I don’t think we can get there from here.” But I didn’t. And we did —arrive, that is — eventually, no thanks to GPS or Mapquest.