Yes, you are probably asking yourself why would someone do this to their kid? I don't know why, I think she just didn't like me very much. That sweater? And the fly away collar under there is actually back in style! Childhood was PAINFUL. Let me just have a heart to heart with my seven readers out there. My "sistagirls" will already know what I am talking about, but to all my current or soon-to-be transracial mom's to little Black girls, just feel me.....
I was what you would call "bald-headed". Nope, no long pigtails with colorful barrettes and balls. I was just down right bald. My mother, bless her heart, never thought you needed to do anything to make the hair grow. She just let it be free. And boy, did I pay the cost. I mean, I was her "little Princess" and so to her, I could do no wrong. Which made me not quite the favorite to my extended family. So in return, they teased me about my hair. Or lack thereof.
Now mind you, I wasn't the flyest dresser either. My mom was a single mom and she was VERY frugal. Being that I was a small child -- "straight up and down" like the old folks say -- I was able to fit all the ''hand me downs". Problems with that is, I have only one sibling right? A BROTHER, who's four years older than me. And he happened to be of a slight build as well, and he never gains a pound. As a matter of fact he's 38 and can fit his band uniform and probably his prom suit. Anyway, back to my point. Because my mother was so cheap, I wore all of Charles's lovingly worn pants! Yep, back in the day, we had these wonderful little things called PATCHES. Does anyone remember them? My mom would put a patch on the skidded up knee of my brothers pants and make me wear them. Now she wasn't cruel enough to make me wear them out. Nope, only outside where my friends (who were cruel enough to tease me) would see me!
Luckily for me, I was SO cool (okay, not me but my very-popular brother) that no one really teased me... to my face. See Charles was and has always been the popular one. He was like the superstar to the WHOLE family, and my mom has 12 brothers and sisters. Good ole Charles was like the cousin/brother/nephew that you wanted to be related too. I really don't know why to this day. I asked my therapist if it was my imagination. (Just joking I don't have a therapist... anymore). Because of his popularity, I didn't have to endure too many taunts and teases. Plus I was a bully. More on that later.
Anyway HAIR, that's what I was talking about. This hairdo I remember well. My mother lovingly (read: quickly), gathered ( I originally said brushed but realized there could not have been one brush anywhere in this house) my hair up to the highest point on my head and she put a rubber band on what she could, slicked some POMADE on the sides and then she taped this little bow on top. Yep, i knew on my way out the door for picture day that I was screwed!
As bad as it was, my mother got the largest package and lovingly sent these pictures of me all of the country. To about 12 states.
And forever (and now thanks to the internet) I will be immortalized with this shirt, this sweater, this hair and a taped bow.