“You have got to be kidding me,” I bellow as my family is in stitches, tears pouring down my husband’s cheeks as he glances at the faded photograph from 1979. That’s me-four years old, an innocent little girl with big brown eyes. Little did I know that 39 years later, I’d be the laughing stock of my entire family and one very dear friend.
I immediately picked up my phone and texted my mom and dad who were vacationing in the Sunshine State. I begin with the faded photograph only, no words. In fact, I’m speechless.
Response, “YOU are adorable! Where did you find that?”
In an instant, I respond. “Not so sure about my haircut!!!!! What were you thinking?”
“Well, it was easy for you and you WERE cute! Styles change, :)”
To describe “the cut” is going to take some effort. Bear with me. Bangs that stretched down my entire forehead with a blunt scissor angle-straight across my overgrown, dark brown eyebrows. Some may say what resembled the start of a unibrow. Bangs that obscured my eyes like a Sheepdog. The rest, a combination of a bowl cut as if the hairdresser placed a bowl over my head and cut away and what my dear friend, referred to as a mullet.
My loving mom responds, “You actually didn’t like to get your haircut! You cried every time. :)”
Flash forward one day. My twelve-year-old daughter asked for a Mommy/Daughter day. Off to the West Farms mall we trek so she can visit Abercrombie Kids. Since we’ve already traveled quite a distance to shop, I do a Google Map search, “Current location to 91 Ridge Road, Avon” to discover we’re only 22 minutes away from my childhood home.
“How would you like to visit Mommy’s old stomping grounds, sweetie?” I ask. “Absolutely, Mom! That sounds like so much fun. I can really see the house where you grew up?”
After an hour or so of exploring the old neighborhood-where we used to ride our bikes until sunset, my old bus stop where Speedy-Dog would greet us daily and Riverside Farms-the convenience store the neighborhood gang would visit to buy penny candy, we took the drive to visit my elementary school. Much to my shock, it was gone but along the way, we stumbled upon the Hair Barn where I used to go to get my hair cuts.
Do you ever have a familiar sight jog your memory within an instant? The kind of childhood memory that can only be refreshed by actually seeing (in person) this visual? “Katherine! That’s it! That’s the place-the very place-I stood, wailing at the top of my lungs, heels dug deep into the dirt, I am NOT GOING IN THERE!”
The Hair Barn, horrendous childhood hair cuts and a poor mom, desperately trying to get me in the building all flashed in front of my eyes.
I pulled the car into the closest parking space, picked up my phone, took a new photo and texted it to my parents. “Remember this?!” “It’s still there? I can’t believe it,” she replies. 39 years later. What a memory.”
“What a memory,” I repeat. Now when I peer into that four year old little girl’s eyes, I no longer see the hideous haircut, but am brought back to my childhood, a day of bonding with my daughter and the love shared with my mom and dad.