Will work for a decent haircut
I got my hair cut today. I sat the chair and DEVOURED magazines, because I don't get to read them much these days. Ironically, Jim has a penchant for signing us up for every subscription known to man, and I have, oh, about 10 1/2 months worth of remedial preiodical reading to catch up on. Since we had Maggie it's just hard to find time to read them.
I happened to catch an article (can't think of the author- sorry!) in which a theory was explored. Her theory was that pretty people get lazy and never develop character. They are never forced to hone their social skills, sharpen their minds, or learn how to tell a story so funny it leaves people gasping for air. The woman who wrote the article told her younger brother that he should date someone who was not attractive but had a great personality. If he couldn't find that, he should date someone who didn't become attractive until they were at least 18 years old. Someone who had been ugly as a child. The final option was to find someone who was pretty, but had lived through terrible experiences, and had been forced to develop character that way.
Yes, this photograph is me. In the third grade. I was probably Shawn Cassidy's biggest fan at the time. Let's just suffice it to say I was not encouraged to enter childhood beauty pageants. Let's also say that my mother should have been arrested for allowing me to have my school picture taken with hair like this. I had sideburns for the love of God. My mullet was at least 6 weeks overdue for a trimming. I am surprised no one called social services.
I was an ugly baby. Even my grandmother told me so. She told me that when I was born, friends and relatives would gather round my bassinette, gaze down, swallow REAL HARD and say something to the effect of ".....Oh. My.....She has such nice....ears. Yes, ears. She has lovely ears!" Then they would change the subject. Ususally by asking for a jigger of scotch. Quickly.
My mother told the nurses who cared for her after my birth that she was not taking me home until they gave me a nose job. AND when the nurses kept telling my father how much I looked like him, she asked them to stop reminding him, lest he feel bad for either A. cursing me with looks that OBVIOUSLY did not work on a girl, or B. inferring from their remarks that that meant that he too, was as butt ugly as the day was long.
For the first 13 years of my life, I was regularly mistaken for a boy. Then I grew boobs, and it was clear that I was simply a girl who kind of looked like a boy.
I would like to think that I have character and intelligence and a witty personality. I would also like to think that I would have had character and intelligence and a witty personality even if I had been born a flaxen haired beauty whose mother had her hair cut on a reasonably regular basis. And don't even get me started on the clothes.
I will admit that I worried that Maggie would be born looking like me, more for her sake than mine. I knew I would love her even if she looked like E.T. , but she was born and she was a beautiful baby. I wouldn't even know if she was ugly actually. I was meant to fall in love with her regardless, and that is exacly what I did. Maybe she is ugly, maybe she is pretty but I really don't care because she is my sweetface stinker.
There are people who take a disconcerting amount of pride in the appearances of their children. It makes me sad to see that. It also makes me want to parade Maggie in front of them with a runny nose, gunk all over her face, an ill fitting outfit and her helmet. Because yeah, my baby wears a helmet, and yeah that is one bad ass HelloKittymotherfucking sticker on the front because she is my baby girl and my baby girl likes hellomotherfucking kitty. Shoot. Someone kick me in the head if I lay claim to my child's appearance for affirmation as a person.
So while my mother may have criminally neglected to keep up with the obvious overgrowth of my mullet, she CLEARLY was not one of those people who derived their self worth from the appearance of their children. CLEARLY. Lucky for her, because if she had been, she may have gone straight home from the maternity ward and stuck her head in the oven.