Splitting hairs and/or heirs Picture this: Four woman sitting in a living room watching TV. They're all, in some way or another, playing with their hair. A grandmother twirls long gray locks around her index finger. A mother pulls out a blonde strand, slowly runs it through her top front teeth then casts it aside by letting it drift to the floor. She's pulls and repeats. A daughter twirls chunks of her long, dark, curly tresses around her index finger. Another daughter runs her fingers through her wavy auburn hair and along her scalp, feeling for bumps. I'm an heir to a hair obsession. It's been going on at least three generations. My mom's habit is the weirdest one -- we tell her she's going to make herself bald if she doesn't stop it. My sister and I have no idea why she does it or where she would have picked up a habit like that. My habit (I'm the last in the list) has an explanation. When I was little, I had a patch of exzema on my scalp about an inch behind my left ear. Like most people when told not to irritate an inflamed area, I picked at it. And picked at it. And picked at it. I'm pretty sure I thought that I could make it go away by taking it off. Considering that, I don't know how it ever went away. Sometime during college, though, those dry patches stopped appearing. So now what do I do? If there's ever any kind of spot on my scalp, I'll pick at it. I have a spot now that I just can't manage to leave alone. But this isn't limited to my scalp. David yells at me when I pick at scabs, but I just can't help it. And I know some of ya'll know exactly what I'm talking about because a fellow blogger, whose name I won't reveal (maybe she'll reveal herself), once asked if she could peel the skin from my sunburned back. I mean, I'd have done it myself if I could have reached it. (I told her no, but not before she could grab a section and pull it off. Yowza! I think she actually giggled a little.) This habit makes having my hair colored a bit of a sticky situation. Have you ever had those chemicals touch a spot of raw skin? Yiiiiiiikes. The five or so days before my appointment are deemed a no-picking period. Usually, I'm able to stick to it. But afterward, it's back to the old habit. But now, I'm going to try to stop it. Oh who am I kidding? I will try though. Because you should be nice to your skin. And in the immortal misheard lyrics (by me) in an early-1990s song by Snap called "The Power," -- "Skin, skin, skin gotta have it."* *The real lyrics are "It's getting, it's getting, it's getting kind of heavy." Another misheard version I found online was "The kitty, the kitty, the kitty's got a hatchet." Mwahaha. Bad kitty!


Blogger MountainSide ART said...

Oh geezzze kid. Why'd ya have to tell on me? What can I say? It's a comfort thing....some people chew their nails off, I just pull my hair out. It's sorta like how a baby has to rub its face with it's soft blanket....gives a calming effect, sort of. Know what I mean, "girl who used to run around with a homemade tiger pillow, full of holes, and rubbed so thin the stuffung was falling out of it?????" I don't know if you remember it or not, but it was very hard for me to get that thing away from you so I could wash it...and when I did put it in the washer, you always stood in front of the washer/dryer waiting for it to come out again. Yelling all the while "My Kiger mommy, my Kiger. I want my Kiger please". Bless your little heart. I love you.

6/02/2006 08:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Maliavale said...

Hey, she told on me, too! I'm the burnt-skin picker. I think? I just wrote about being a picker a couple weeks ago.

The hair-pulling thing, if it gets out of hand, actually can be a medical condition: trichtillomania.

6/02/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Jasclo said...

I guess I deserved that. But aww... my Kiger!

And Malia, yep... twas you! And really with the condition? Huh. Did you hear that, mother? You're a maniac. I knew it. I just knew it. :)

6/02/2006 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger stefanie said...

OK, how strange is it that I don't even know Malia in "real life," but I totally guessed that was her? (Maybe it was the "picker" entry; I don't know.)

Also, I know that song is a very often misheard one (a friend in college said his dad thought it was "Skin, skin, skin on a rabbit"), but I really, really thought the real words were "it's gettin', it's gettin', it's getting kinda HECTIC." That's not it?? I must go off to my Internet resources to find out...

Oh, but I LOVE the "kitty's got a hatchet" version. Hilarious. :-)

6/04/2006 01:35:00 AM  
Blogger stefanie said...

A-ha@ Well, if I'm wrong, then I'm not the only one:

6/04/2006 01:38:00 AM  
Blogger Jasclo said...

steph, that's what i thought they were saying too! but i had to google the song lyrics to find the title and artist and that's the only reason i saw it was "heavy." i'd always thought it was hectic, too.

6/06/2006 02:01:00 PM  

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