For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be petite with small feet and curly hair. A sallow complexion would be a plus but with two of the palest people in Ireland for parents that was a non runner. I didn’t get my wish. I’m almost six foot and have poker straight hair. My beautiful ten year old has straight hair much to her disgust. She’d do anything to get it to curl. I remember her going to bed with a head full of bendy rollers only to wake up the following morning resembling Annie. Yes, she has a beautiful head of red hair. She wasn’t impressed with the tight granny curls that greeted her in the mirror inside of the long wavy locks she had hoped for.
I went through my childhood dreaming about having curly hair. Mammy Byrne was only good at ponytails. No plaits, no matter how much I begged, pleaded or cried and definitely no curls. These ponytails where usually finished with ribbons. I remember green ones to match my uniform, I had lovely polka dot ones and I recall a special white pair with braiding down the edges that some child on the street got a lend of and I never saw them again, but that’s a story for another blog! Back to my curls or lack of. Way back in the 80s crimping was all the rage. Rather than spend hours straightening our hair to within an inch of its life we crimped and if you where really lucky permed our hair. Mammy Byrne wasn’t into the perming of eleven year olds hair (thankfully!) but I did get to have a head full of crimped hair a few times.
A cousin of mine came to Ireland and we were lucky enough to have her stay in our house. The excitement was fierce. Anyway, as well as spending time in ours she got to visit all her aunts and uncles. There were quite a few as my Dad is the youngest of 14. It was during one of these house calls that I got my lovely locks crimped for the first time. To this day I still idolise the cousin who (kinda) made my wish come true. I entered the house with long straight hair and left looking like Toyah Wilcox (well, not quite, but a girl can dream!).
Time marches by and life goes on and we tend to lose touch with those we don’t see all the time. However, special memories always have a way of keeping some people close to heart. So it was with a smile on my face that I accepted a friend request on facebook from my personal hair crimper a few years ago. I hadn’t seen or heard from her since my childhood. Facebook reminds me of school in some ways. There is the popular crowd with two million zillion friends and the not so popular. I really think it can be used to cause a lot of hurt and at the same time I know it is a great way of keeping in touch with those who have helped create the memories of our youth. So as much as I moan about the evils of social networking sites I secretly count my blessings that through one I am able to keep in touch with my international family. Instead of sitting reminiscing and wonder how these special people are, I can say hi at the click of a button and can gain a glimpse of some of the memories they are in the process of making.