My hair is bird-feather thin and straight as a board. It has been parted in the middle and over to one side, but that’s about it. I had experimented with the little Pebbles Flintstone ponytail on top of my head, and the Princess Leia braids wrapped around my ears. My favorite was the Katharine Hepburn bun on top (always worn with a turtleneck jersey: turtle never folded over).

Jody Rich naturally turned to her mom, a beautician, when she wanted a cut that would turn her long, thin hair into Farrah Fawcett’s luxuriant waves. How hard could it be? Photo courtesy of Jody Rich

My hair was straight and wispy. Not a wave to be found. Do you remember Farrah Fawcett’s swept-back ringlets, which framed her face? Well, I wanted that look. Did you know that my mother was a beautician? Well, she was. What could go wrong? How hard could it be?

Mom didn’t pay attention to “Charlie’s Angels” hairstyles, so I described the look. I remember her clearly telling me that she wasn’t sure about cutting my hair. Yet, I persisted.

Mom took out her Fazio beauty case, removed those ever-sharp scissors as I draped a towel around my shoulders. I sat in a kitchen chair and she tenderly snipped off hair on both sides of my head. Again, she said, “Jody, I don’t know about this.” I assured her it would be great.

I walked into the bathroom, took a look in the mirror and burst out crying. Mom took out her razor and tried to temper the blunt cuts. It was not a good time.

Now, did I have a blow dryer and a round hairbrush? And more importantly, did I know how to use them? Did I own a curling iron? I say, probably not. Sister Deb’s hair was a Twiggy style, short cut. Mine had always been straight and long. Younger sister Lisa was about 12 and couldn’t have cared less about hair. I was the only long-haired one.

I had envisioned my face suddenly surrounded by full and wavy hair, like Farrah’s. After the hysterics, you can see by the picture, I decided to simply ignore the whole thing.

Decades later, I asked Mom to trim my hair and she said, “No, I cut your hair once, Jody, and you cried. I’ll never cut your hair again.” (Bam: I hadn’t been the only person in the room that day.)

I had never once thought about my mother’s feelings to my reaction in 1977. It was 40 years later when I got to see my mother as a whole person, not just my mother. I apologized and we talked about the entire episode and it all turned out fine. We had a good hug, tears, and comforted ourselves with a cup of tea and a couple of Windmill cookies.

So it had been a bad haircut for both of us, but Mom always had a good comeback for situations like this. “It’s hair. It will grow out.”

It did.

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