August 12, 2011
I think it’s pretty clear that I’m not very comfortable about sex. Thankfully, there are people out there who know what they’re doing and know how to talk about it. IT! One of my favorite people in the world has a blog dedicated to educating you, the general public, on all the peculiarities of sex and making you feel oh-so-good about it. A while back, she told me the funniest awkward story that nearly made me pee my pants. Oh yes, self-urination.
So I present to you Julia of www.itsnotthatweird.com and her awkward moment, THE BANG:
If I’m kidding myself, I refer to the stretch of time between first grade and fifth grade as my “avant-garde” period. I was a confident, peppy little freckle-faced kid who was just taking a risk to distinguish myself. Maybe I was trying to stand out so the cute Japanese math whiz (it might be a stereotype, but it’s true) would take notice of me. Maybe I was saying “eff you” to the popular kids with their glossy ponytails and perfect freckle-free skin by establishing my own definition of style. Whatever the reason, I was breaking out of the perpetually confining middle school culture.
But if I’m being honest, I was suffering from a self-esteem issue so bizarre I now have a self-esteem issue about having had this self-esteem issue. (Don’t follow that? Neither do I.)
When I was younger, I had long, unruly hair that I would only brush if my mother threatened to take away my library books (I am sounding nerdier by the second here. Yikes). I typically kept it in a low ponytail or, if I was feeling particularly festive, in Princess Leia-inspired buns that my mother would have to painstakingly create before going to her slightly-less demanding job as a patent attorney (am I the only person you know who ran an eight-minute mile in gym class in Princess Leia buns? I hope so). This would have been relatively run-of-the-mill “young girl hair weirdness” except for one idiosyncratic fact: I for some reason believed that when my hair was pulled back off my face I looked exactly like our nation’s first president, Mr. George Washington. And it wasn’t like I thought I resembled him – I thought I was a dead ringer. I thought people would be pulling dollar bills out of their wallets to compare as I walked down the street. It was pretty fucking serious to me.
This left me in a bit of a mess hair wise. I didn’t want bangs like the other girls had because I thought they looked girly. I also couldn’t have a bare forehead because I’d never be able to let my hair loose (it was so snarled I probably would have snagged on a door and starved to death) and when it was pulled back, I thought I looked like a founding father. So I invented a solution that I now call “The Bang.”
The premise was simple. I didn’t want “bangs.” I only wanted one. So I forced my mother to cut a jagged, single chunk of hair that fell right in the middle of my forehead. I sincerely believed that this small hunk of hair would disguise my eerie resemblance to Washington, and no one would confuse me for a miniature version of him and ask me for my opinion on matters of states’ rights.To this day I am simultaneously proud and incredibly embarrassed by the whole thing. I kind of can’t believe that I wore my hair that way for FIVE of my most formative years. I’m also proud of myself that I never realized that I looked like a total idiot. I just did my thing, and I was able to grow up to be the bizarre person that I am today. I no longer have the bang (although I do have bangs plural) but to this day I still try to avoid being scrutinized in the presence of a dollar bill. You just never know.