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Where I’m From: The Teenager

colleen graduation2.png

I am from my father’s eyes
after he saw the holocaust
at Buchenwald
and the nape of my mother’s neck
where white pearls hung
before her thyroid surgery...


It's Never Too Late

I regret that when I was in high school, I never wore my hair in a ponytail. I wanted to. I wanted to look bouncy and fun like the teenagers on American Bandstand. Cheerleaders wore ponytails. So did Gidget.

I knew wearing a ponytail would make life so much easier. I wouldn’t have to tease my hair, sleep on hard curlers, or wear kerchiefs at the bus stop to protect my hairdo from the damp morning weather. But I didn’t have the confidence to make such a drastic change. I knew if I just showed up to school one morning in a ponytail, it would draw a lot of attention. No one in my family wore a ponytail. Besides my older sister Kathy’s friends had told me that if you wore one too often your hair would fall out. I imagined it falling out in a perfect ring right where the elastic pulled the hair together. That was all the excuse I needed to not to risk it.

I was in my late 40s before I wore a ponytail. It was one like Pebbles on the Flintstones wore. I was in a hot tub in California with a group of friends at the time. I put my hair up to keep it from getting wet. One of the other women in the tub, who does not tend to give frivolous compliments, said, “You look really good with your hair up like that.” Now I wear a ponytail whenever I want to and it’s as much fun as I imagined it would be.

Comments

You were a BEAUTIFUL teenager! American Bandstand, WOW! Talk about a blast to the past. I loved that show, as a little girl, and Dick Clark still looks the same! heehee

BTW, pony tails RULE!

You certainly were a gorgeous teenager!!! The other day I was talking to someone older (like in her 70's) who had really short hair and told me how much she hated it. I suggested letting her hair grow and wearing a ponytail.....WELL you might as well thought I told her to wear red paint all over face. She laughed and said, "I don't think so."

Have you read the poem "when I'm older I'll wear purple?" (a purple ponytail?) Why do most women cut their hair when they get older?

I'm reminded of Billy Joel's song "Only the Good Die Young" and lyrics like:

"Come our Virginia don't hesitate,
You Catholic girls wait much too late."

Of course, I don't think he was talking about ponytails. :)

How pretty you were! I wore pony tails sometimes, but my head is as flat as a pancake and I shouldn't accentuate that.

Gorgeous photo!

Colleen: "Why do most women cut their hair when they get older?"

My mother hated my long hair in the 1970s, when I was "too old" to wear it that way, according to her. Usually, I parted it in the middle, front to back, and wore a long "tail" on each side, hanging down the front ... because I chose not to wear a bra, just as I chose to quit wearing lipstick and "make-up" (wow, doesn't that word tell us something about ourselves). I was 33, by the way. Now that I'm more than double that age, I darn well wear it however I please. But then grumpy old women don't care what people say. (Well, yes, we do, but it's the right thing to say, isn't it?)

You were a heartbreaker as a teen, I'm sure. That Portland video is... hard not to watch. I felt slightly guilty for looking. We have plenty of snowstorms which lead to slippery roads like that. I once was driving up to a stop sign v e r y slowly when my car started doing a 360. Very surreal feeling. I still can't believe you're the age you say you are. At one point I calculated you must be in your 50's and still couldn't imagine that. Here's to staying young and vibrant!

If my hair would have been as pretty as yours as a teenager, I would have forgone the pony tail too. Straight hair was in, and mine always had a curling, poofing, ringleting mind of its own.

I had to sleep on curlers and tease my hair to get that look!

Wow, you were pretty as a teen too. Hairdressers always chided me whenever they saw me with my hair up or damage from my pulling it too hard and breaking the strands. Still, sometimes up is fine and good.

Colleen,
What a refreshing story about your growing up in Hull. I too grew up there and whenever I get a chance to tell someone where I grew up, they usually say "that must be a special place". I know and it is. When I brought my wife Ellen (a Florida native) to Hull for the first time, she knew the names of all the surrounding islands, the many hills in Hull and Daley & Wanza a landmark in the town and in South Florida.
For all who read these comments, and had the opportunity to grow up there, most would agree it was special.
Spread the joy of Hull Life !!!

Great to hear from you Jason. I wonder if we know each other or know people in common? Here is where my other writings on Hull (which I also love) are stored: http://www.looseleafnotes.com/notes/where_im_from/

omg, you are absolutely gorgeous, colleen!

i wore a pony tail off and on all my young life and while my hair did not fall out it did break off. elastic which has been wrapped in cloth is easier on the hair.

so you were a shy teenager - you who dance and seem to never meet a stranger in floyd?!

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