Ode to My Mullet (or When You Have Nothing Nice to Say, Pretend You Didn’t Notice)

Lindsay suggested I do a retrospective. I thought it would be a nice way to wrap up my birthday week, but all I can think about is the mullet I used to have as a kid (followed by a series of bad perms). I still have a mullet these days; I just wear it on the inside. It’s like the essence of mullet. My hair is long in the front, but I can’t grow out the white trash.

Maybe it’s a bad idea to write about my life when I feel like crap?

Speaking of bad hair, though, I used to date a guy who had a perm (I’m sorry if you’re reading this, guy whose name I won’t mention!). He was a regular fixture at my house before we’d even started dating (in fact, I’m not even sure if he was my boyfriend at the time of this disastrous hairdo). One day while we were hanging out in my parents’ basement, he told me that he was thinking about getting a perm. I don’t remember what I said – probably something noncommittal, maybe even vaguely encouraging. I’ve never been good at giving people honest feedback when I have something negative to say (not to their face, at least). I should have said “WHAT THE EFF ARE YOU THINKING?! DON’T DO IT, YOU BIG GIRL!” because soon after, he showed up at my mom and dad’s, a single curl poking out of his tightly drawn hoodie. I thought “Oh, dear god. No!” and immediately started feeling embarrassed for him. I didn’t know what to do or where to look. What do you say when someone you care about has gotten a stupid hairdo that’s bound to get him beat up at school? I certainly didn’t know, so I did what I’m best at – I denied that the awkward situation existed. I looked everywhere but at his head and pretended I didn’t see the curls. Even when he finally pulled his hood back in this like, awkward and shy “ta-da!” moment, I CONTINUED to pretend that his hair was still straight. I bounced around, looked at the television, and avoided turning my head in his direction until he ASKED me what I thought about his new hairdo. I was like “Perm, what? I didn’t think you got a perm!” Dude went from having stick straight hair to this mop of unruly curls AND I PRETENDED I HADN’T NOTICED. I am so awesome.

Many years later, when another boyfriend (who will also remain nameless) came home with a mohawk (which was infinitely more obnoxious than my ex’s curls and, as a result, slightly more embarrassing), I resisted the urge to ignore it (oh GOD, I wanted to ignore it), and in the end managed to say 2 things: 1) “Oh, Eric” (the name of the friend who shaved his head), and 2) “I like it because YOU like it” (which is basically code for YOU BIG FREAKING ‘TARD! Do you even know who the Dead Kennedys are?!). It’s not that I am against mohawks – there is a certain place and time for them – but that place and time will never come for that particular countrified boyfriend  (sorry, Babe).

Then again, I had a mullet and I volunteered for not one, but SEVERAL perms (spanning many years) in my youth AND now I sport a head of broken-ended hair that a) isn’t suited to my face, and b) never looks brushed, so… glass houses and stones and all that. I’ll shut up.


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