{Mistaken For Someone Else's Pants}

Not me.  Just like the scarf.
I have hair issues. People know this about me.

When I was a little girl my sister K. had the long hair and I had the short hair. I wanted the long hair. I wanted plastic barrettes with stars on them and and those super awesome ponytail holders with the two huge plastic balls on either end that look like they might come in handy in a knife fight... (if you didn't have a knife.) I dreamed of doing that flippy thing with my hair that Charlie's Angels did when they were being super tough and hot at the same time. (Did you ever see Sabrina Angel pull that move? No. Sabrina had short hair. Sabrina was the practical one not the pretty one.) I did not want to be Sabrina Angel. (Although at one point I did want to be Mary Lou Retton. Long hair : 16,789,023 ... Short hair: 1). Mostly, I ended up wearing many variations of short hair, usually curled in a tight roll around my face, and  I heard lots of questions like "What size shoe would you like for him?"  Also, sometimes I had a perm . Yep, a short hair perm.  (I may have liked my hair better if it had been blonde or red or that really shiny black that my Asian friends had, but even my color was rather... let's put it this way - I have a friend who refers to our hair color as "New York Rat". )

As a teenager I was all about changing my hair. I grew out my hair and colored my hair and, on occasion  permed my hair. (Apparently a girl can never get too much of a bad perm). I wore curlers and made my bangs really tall, and carried Aquanet in my back pack... just in case.  I shaved the back of my head once.  I had an asymmetric bob - twice.  I used Sun In multiple times. (PS - Sun In only turns your hair blonde if you start out blonde. Otherwise, it turns your hair orange. Just a friendly warning to all you would-be Sun In users. Also, henna is also very effective if you are a fan of the orange hair.)

Finally at the end of my freshman year of college, and mostly to show off my dream-of-the-90s ear piercings, I embraced my inner pixie cut, hacked the whole mess off and found, to my total astonishment, that I really like having short hair.  It makes me feel pretty.  I have been wearing it relatively short ever since and my long hair envy is a thing of the past (like my ear piercings)... except when I don't want to do my hair.  Up-dos are hard to pull together with 4 inches of hair.  Luckily, Pinterest and YouTube have solutions for just such a moment.  I call it "the short hair ponytail", you might know it as a "scarf".

When I first started wearing these a few years ago, I mostly stuck to cute little wide headbands.  These are a fashion gateway drug, and in the last year, I have slippery sloped into a full-on, hard core user.  My favorite scarves now cover my whole head and are tied in a huge knot of material all twisted around at the back like a bun.  I love wearing them and they have become my go-to for those flip-a-coin-between-showering-and-having-lunch-days. (Yes, sometimes I shower at noon people.  Don't judge me.)

One of these non-shower days happened last Saturday when my husband was out of town and I had promised my kids I would take them to see the Alphabeticians (two dads who are apparently getting the band back together) at our local library.  We got there too late to get seats in the cushy chairs, but early enough to get good spots on the floor near the front so that no bovine growth hormone using preschoolers would plop down in front of us.  The space appeared to start filling up, but really it was just the space around me starting to fill up.  I got that feeling that you get when someone is standing too close behind you in line at the grocery store, but you can't really turn around to see what's up with them because they are too close to have your face that close to them.  So I just sat there with all of these people and their kids pressed around me and tried to enjoy the songs about , you guessed it, the alphabet.

At the end of the concert, I grabbed as many of the hands of as many of my kids as possible and turned to try to flamingo walk my way through the huddle of people hosting an Occupy movement in my personal space.  I'm not sure if there is an official term for a whole heck of a lot of Muslim women sitting all together decked out in full on hijabs, but if there is, that is what I saw circled up around me and my makeshift headscarf.  Trust me, I know the "Hey, we don't know you.  Did you just move here, or are you a new convert?" face when I see it, and once they got a look at me and my kids, these ladies had it.  I don't know what my face said, but my mind was inner monologueing like crazy; "Oh... oh no... no... I am not Muslim. No... not Muslim; Mormon.  You know... like Mitt Romney?  Ummm...  not that there is anything wrong with being a Muslim.  I am sure you are very nice people, I just ... um, I just didn't wash my hair and ...' cuz it's short, so the head scarf... and then I sat on the floor. I wasn't lying to you or anything. Wait. Is it rude to be talking about not being Muslim in my head, because I am sure you are very nice people."

As I saw it my options were "say something stupid" or "smile and stay silent".  I went with the latter and managed not to step on anyone from my new community as I headed for the door.  In the end, I really am sure that all of those Muslim mothers, who were there for the same reason I was - our kids, really are nice people and I decided I am okay if people think we are all together.  I do like myself a colorful headscarf after all... and I can think of way worse things to be mistaken for than someone of a different religion, (like a 12 year old boy with an inexplicable affinity for bad perms ).  
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Leslie Boyce said...

This was hysterical! You are an awesome writer.

Rachael said...

That is hilarious!