Does anyone out there remember the bubble shirts of the late 90s/early 2000s? They were approximately 1 square inch and expanded as you put them on. How it didn't constantly fly back up to my face I'll never know, but I do remember having to pull it down constantly. They were a big deal for a small slice of my awkward adolescent past, which means you'll probably see them for sale at your local Forever 21 in the coming months.
The bubble shirt goes down as one of my biggest fashion regrets, accompanied by pink frosted eyeshadow, bleached L.E.I. jeans, and watermelon scented roll-on body glitter from none other than Bath & Body Works. I made the fantastic choice of wearing a purple bubble shirt for my seventh grade school picture. My adolescent skin is shining along with my matching frosted eyeshadow, but neither are to be outdone by the gleam of my braces. It's topped off with a haircut I had gotten a few months earlier, before we moved to the humid Midwest where I learned that I actually have frizzy, wavy hair. My hair fell a few inches above my shoulders. It was sleek at the top, and got wavier toward the bottom, where it spastically frizzed out at the ends. My head was a triangle. Slap on a necklace from Claire's and you should have a pretty good mental image of why the 7th and 8th grades have been blocked from my memory. I would post a picture, but I have blessedly lost my middle school yearbooks and can't find them anywhere. But this picture will give you a good idea of the kind of awkwardness I possessed.
Back to 2015. The last time I got my haircut was 2 weeks before Gracie was born. I've been going to the same girl since I moved to Columbus, and while she's not my favorite, she's never failed me. I haven't bothered to find anyone else to cut my hair, because the risk of being butchered by someone new is too scary, and a risk taker I am not, so I make sure I have an allotted time to go straight home afterward to trim my bangs and restraighten my hair before going anywhere else.
Since I'm about to see relatives I haven't seen for years and my shedding post-partum hair is 40% split ends, I decided to get my hair done Friday. I even had some extra cash to grab a coffee after. A MORNING OUT ON THE TOWN. I was so excited I even wore a dress. I had to be appropriately dressed for my new hair. I didn't have anyone around to watch Gracie, so I took her with me since she's usually content to hang out.
I showed my hair dresser a picture of what I wanted and specifically explained it as well even thought it was a glorified trim. She showed me how short my hair would be after she trimmed a couple inches. I gave her a thumbs up. She started cutting, and Gracie started whining. Then the hairdresser turned on the hair dryer, and Gracie screamed the way I would if someone took my chocolate away. She's transferred her fear of people to loud noises. If she hears a lawn mower while we're out on a walk she goes into hysterics. It's been a lot of fun! I put Gracie on my lap to calm her down while my hair was blow-dried. All my energy went to keeping her calm. I was so flustered that I barely even looked in the mirror to check on my hair. No matter what I did, Gracie continued to scream. I was bouncing her on my hip as I handed over my debit card. As I put it back in my wallet, I realized I had forgotten to tip her, so I reluctantly handed over the cash I had been saving for my coffee. I ran out of there as fast as I could and got Gracie situated in the car where she immediately calmed down and happily played with her toys. Of course.
When we got home I realized I hardly even knew what my hair looked like, so I walked in the bathroom to check it out, and what did I see but my 7th grade yearbook picture staring back at me, minus the frosted eyeshadow, braces, and bubble shirt. Instead of trimming a few inches, she had chopped 6 inches off. She styled it so that the ends were poofy and curled under, creating the dreaded head triangle I sported for ages 11-12. Was this revenge for bringing a fussy baby? Was a frumpy haircut my induction to motherhood? I had had insomnia all week and was severely sleep deprived, I was still flustered from Gracie uncharacteristically screaming in the hair salon, and disappointed I had lost my coffee money on a tip for someone that had butchered my hair. I lost it. The picture I had given her could NOT be more opposite than the haircut she gave me.
I called my mom, and after she saw a picture of my hair, she immediately said "Michelle! It looks like your 7th grade yearbook picture!" And I laughed so hard that she had the same reaction I did that it made everything a little bit better. I fixed the poofy ends and straightened my hair again, and it looks much better, but I swear it looks shorter every time I look in the mirror.
I've accepted it and all is well. My hair might not be the way I had wanted it, but at least I have things I didn't have 15 years ago: a flat iron and non-expandable clothing.
Well, unless you count my maternity clothes.
Maybe things haven't changed as much as I thought.