The Spiral Perm
I got my first perm when I was in the third grade. It was a “spiral perm” that made my straight hair cascade into a ton of golden-brown tendrils. It made me feel sassy, maybe a little too sassy, now that I think of it.
The salon was right by my mom’s friends’ house and after the perm was all said and done, she and I rushed on over so everyone could “ooh” and “ahh” over my new do. But they only “ohhed” and “ahhed” for a couple of minutes and then it was on to female conversation.
Being an only child, and feeling as spunky as I did that day, I wanted more of the attention. And I turned into a little curly haired brat.
"Stop Whining!" my mom said; I didn't and I was grounded for a month.
I went home and wrote in my diary about how mad I was at my mom…..and how great my hair was.
A couple of days later, my mom was vacuuming my room and bumped my dresser. The diary fell onto the floor and opened to the last entry. I quickly tried to retrieve it out of her hands, but she saw something that made both her mouth and the diary drop back down to the floor.
It read, “I hate my mom. I wish she would die.”
Okay, okay. Please keep in mind, I was only eight years old and had no concept of the capacity of these words.
But I had never seen my mom cry as hard as she did. In my shock, I didn’t know what to do with myself so I sat at the kitchen table, listening to her sobs.
A little while later she came into the kitchen with a pad of paper and a pencil.
“Write the word hate and say it out loud,” she ordered through clenched teeth, tears streaming down her face.
I wrote HATE in my best penmanship. H – A –T- E.
I whispered it out loud, “Hate.”
“Now do it 99 more times,” my mother commanded. “And when you are done, you will do the exact same thing with the word DIE.”
So here we were, both crying, as I wrote and said HATE and DIE one hundred times each, perhaps gaining a little bit more depth as to what these two words truly meant.
I will never forget the lined paper, how much my hand hurt from writing or the way my curly hair kept falling in my face.
I never wanted another perm after that.
The director changed it a little bit, but I wanted you to get the gist when you watch the video - I hope you can hear her clearly!