Isn't it funny how complimenting a friend's new do at her kids' birthday party, and the subsequent discussion, can remind you of one of the more traumatic moments in your childhood...?
When I was little, my mother was meticulous about my hair. Every night after bath time, she would blow dry my hair using a round brush so it had pretty curls, then for most of my childhood she'd slap a couple of pink foam curlers around the front so my bangs would look good. (Questionable looking at the pictures now if they looked good, but hey, it was the eighties!)
My luxurious locks did not go unnoticed by my classmates. One day in fourth grade, some of us girls were in the bathroom together, and Allison Varmer commented that she wished she could have curls like mine. Being the 1) helpful and 2) confident person that I am, I promptly dipped in to my acid wash jean purse and pulled out the round brush my mom sent to school with me every day. I remember it clearly: red handle, black bristles with red tips. I told Allison I was happy to do her hair the way my mom did mine. She was pleased and ready for her makeover.
I sidled up to Allison, selected a section of hair just like my Mama did each night, brushed down it with the round brush, then curled it right up. And by "up," I mean straight up to her scalp.
If you are a man, this might not sound any alarms for you. If you are a woman who has ever used a round brush, you probably know that this was a big ol' OOPSY DAISY! That brush was stuck. I mean S. T. U. C. K. The hair had wrapped itself Medusa-style all around that brush and it was not going anywhere. I was horrified. What had I done?! I was just trying to help enhance Allison's fourth grade coif!
The teacher was alerted. Then the principal. Then Allison Varmer's mother was called to come pick her up and take her home, because there was no way in hell she was going back to class with a big ass red round brush sticking off her head. And the worst part was that she didn't come back to school for a WHOLE WEEK! Oh God. I remember very clearly the feeling each morning of that week when her seat was empty, how awful I felt for being the cause of her absence. She didn't talk to me for a very long time after that, and I heard her mom had to use peanut butter to grease her hair up enough to get the brush out. Whether that was true or just a rumor started by 9-year-olds I'm not sure.
I never did get that brush back.
And now that I think about it, I hope I apologized once she came back to school, although I may have been too afraid she'd hit me to do so. So if I didn't, and you're out there somewhere: I'm sorry, Allison!