Hair is the difference

I always knew that because of this head of hair, my life would not be charmed, I’d always be different, and that I would get more than my fair share of shit.

When I was little, it was because of the hair I’d get chased by nuns with yardsticks that hit my butt with amazing accuracy. When I was in high school, it was because of the hair that I was the only girl in my sophomore class called out by the principal with a bunch of guys for putting a condom on the teacher’s desk. Until that moment, I had never seen one before. But, because of the hair, the wild hair, I was suspected of having the personality to match.

I left home and joined the USAF when I was 18. Oh hell how the hat would not sit on my hair. I’d get it cut short to avoid hat hair, but the curls and the fuzz still found a way to stick out, and so I did. I was no beautiful Private Benjamin or butt-kicking G.I. Jane, but I was an airman, and my hair added a sense of airiness to my disposition. You know, I got along well in the military. I enjoyed being in an industry where I was of few women. I don’t regret being in the service. It gave me time to grow up a little bit.

After being stationed at Edwards AFB in California and at Hickam AFB in Hawaii, I decided to stay in the Islands. I learned to surf, which went well with the hair, and I got to meet and date some 98Rock DJs, probably because of the hair, and I also fell into the wrong crowd, which eventually disowned me because I couldn’t even pray right. Yay, me.

I can’t blame the shitcan that is today on my hair, but it did give me cover when I cried at my desk a few times, quietly, like I had to blow my nose for allergies kind of crying. The van was getting serviced for a broken automatic door and the price kept climbing. The software at work didn’t cooperate so I couldn’t do a rush web update and save the day.

Hey, at least I didn’t fall! (rim shot?)

Finally I get to drive home after ransoming the van from Kaimuki Toyota. Minding my own business, in the center lane dropping from H-1 Freeway onto Kalanianaole Highway, traveling east bound, on my way home to Hawaii Kai, I see a bouncing golf ball out of the corner of my eye. To the right of me is Waialae Golf Course. I’ve been driving past it for years. I’ve been wondering for years if a golf ball might hit me someday, while driving or riding my bicycle. I braked, it hit the windshield and it stayed, like it was a hole in one.

I called John, using my bluetooth headset of course, and said OMG I just got hit by a fricken golf ball!!!!!

You know, I have to be good for something right? When my van got hit by the golf ball, I didn’t go all over the road, I didn’t rear end anyone. I didn’t slam on the brakes, I didn’t cause a pileup. I kept my cool. I drove to Aina Haina Shopping Center. I called the police. I waited patiently, I sent twit pics and Tweets and Facebook updates and waited for them to arrive. I filed a report with them. I came home. I called the insurance company.

With a head of hair like mine anything can happen. At the end of the day, that same consistent halo of wild personality is there in the mirror, reminding me that there were no promises that my life would be an easy ride through adolescence, college, career, relationships and motherhood. Every step of the way was going to be bittersweet.

Every step of the way would have its kinks.

By lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Arts teacher, English Learners Coordinator, and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.


  1. And believe it or not, someone fell in love with me and married me! Did he have any idea what he’d be in for?

  2. Without that hair, your girls wouldn’t have the mom “with the easiest hair to draw.” And who knows? Without that hair, maybe that guy who fell in love with you would never have noticed you.

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