My daughter has been obsessed with getting a curling iron. That’s right, even though we have two girls in our house, we have not, to this point, owned a curling iron. Ever since I grew out my two-layered, carefully sculpted/teased/sprayed to perfection “mall bangs” in the early 90’s, I have neither owned nor used a curling iron. Kind of like I did a barn-door in the opposite direction. I used to get teased by friends and family when I was a teenager about how much time I spent on my hair. Now I just blow it dry and that’s the end of it.
Because here’s the thing that I have now realized: I am really bad at doing hair. I am all thumbs when it comes to french braiding, no matter how many times I practice. When I do two piggy tails on my daughter, it turns out acceptable, but there is always one that is higher than the other, and the part in the back is all skewed, giving the impression that I forgot to put my contacts in before I did her hair. I was never able to do any of those super-cute little girl hairstyles on her. In fact, when she was a toddler, I kept her hair cut short in a cute little bob so that it was easy to care for, with minimal tangles and no need to do fancy stuff with it. I can do a basic ponytail. I can also do the very popular ponytail-half-bun variation in which you don’t pull the tail of the pony all the way through so as to give the impression of a messy bun, but really it’s just a ponytail that gave up right before the finish line.
Leah has more money in her bank account than me, because it turns out that if you save your $7.00 of allowance per week for almost your entire childhood because all you can think of to buy with it is candy, but your parents won’t let you buy candy, you end up being Bill Gates. So she decided that she wanted to use some of her money to buy a curling iron, in an effort to attain the coveted “beachy waves” that all the cool girls are wearing now. I couldn’t argue with that, so we headed over to Walgreens the other day to buy a curling iron. The previous weekend, she had been visiting family, and Aunt Jen had curled her hair beautifully, so she was set on getting the same kind of curling iron that Aunt Jen had used. Never mind that Aunt Jen has some supermodel qualities that I will never have. Leah had so much confidence that I was up to this task, I kind of felt sorry for her.
So this curling iron. I’m looking at it, and it doesn’t have one of those push-lever things, like in the 80’s. You’re just supposed to wrap your hair around it by hand and, um, not burn yourself. What? Oh, but it comes with a 3-fingered glove to use on your “wrapping” hand, so that’s helpful for the clumsy gals like me. I tried to convince her to get the push-lever kind, but she wouldn’t have it. I also thought an iron with a nice wide barrel would be good for those coveted waves, but no. Aunt Jen used THIS one, we must get THIS one. Thirty bucks later we are back at home, and that lever-less, narrow-barreled thing is warming up on the counter. I think I heard it laugh an evil laugh at me. Maybe that was my imagination.
I tried so hard you guys. My supermodel sister-in-law even sent me a tutorial video with a drop-dead gorgeous twenty-something beauty blogger, which I watched dutifully. I did everything she told me to do, I swear. Here is the inspiration, and the outcome:
Then I tried to do myself, just in case. And it turns out that when I use a curling iron, my hair ends up looking almost exactly like it did in Haiti, when exposed to 100% humidity. Also a lot like Monica Gellar on Friends, when she went to the Bahamas.
I give up, man. I just can’t do it. I will never be a beauty blogger. I will never have beachy waves. My child will have to learn to do her own hair.