July 07, 2010

Annabelle's Tangled Hair

We got most of the closet unit assembled yesterday, as we discovered we probably should have bought the 18" rather than the 27", for best fit in this particular closet. We'll complete the installation today, and get the necessary "stuff" hung on the walls, and the July stage of the bedroom makeover project will be complete. Bed linnens, finishing touches, and window treatment is on the agenda for August, but until then, I'll have time to return to writing and tatting. In the mean time, here's a story I wrote for my daughter in 1996, when she had similar problems, but thankfully, didn't come up with any of the same solutions. --Anne Annabelle was five and she had beautiful hair. It was long, past her waist, and it was golden yellow. Every night when Annabelle went to bed she took a bath and washed her hair. When she was in her nightgown her mother would carefully comb the tangles out of her hair. Every night the tangles hurt and Annabelle cried. If that wasn't bad enough, every morning when Annabelle would get up and get dressed, Annabelle's mother would very carefully comb the tangles out of her hair again. Annabelle's hair was always tangled in the morning. In fact, sometimes she felt like there were snarl monsters hiding under her pillow, just waiting for a chance to tie huge knots in her hair. Annabelle's mother said, "There is no such thing as a snarl monster. Having tangles is just part of having long, beautiful hair." One day Annabelle's mother had some friends over. They were sitting in the living room talking and Annabelle was playing with her dolls nearby. One of the ladies mentioned that she had been to the beauty salon the day before, and she'd had an oil treatment put on her hair. She said that it made her hair softer and easier to take care of. Annabelle went to bed that night, thinking about what the lady had said. Oil was slippery, and it would probably make her hair slippery so that the tangles would slide right out. The next morning Annabelle got up early and tip-toed down to the kitchen before her mother was awake. She got out her mother's cooking oil and poured it carefully into a glass. She dipped her comb in the oil and tried to comb the oil through her hair, but the comb got stopped by a particularly large tangle. Annabelle frowned, then poured the whole glass of oil on her head, mixing it in like shampoo. Some of the oil ran down her face and some of it slid down the back of her neck. There was quite a lot of it on the floor, and a large drop was hanging right on the tip of Annabelle's nose. Annabelle's mother came into the kitchen to make breakfast. "Annabelle! What are you doing?" Annabelle smiled at her Mom through the oil dripping from her hair. "I was just giving my hair an oil treatment so that I wouldn't have tangles anymore." Annabelle's mother sighed. "Oil treatments are put on hot, and cooking oil isn't the right sort of oil anyway. Tangles are just part of having long, beautiful hair," said Annabelle's mother. Then Annabelle had to take an extra bath and wash her hair three times to get all of the cooking oil out of her hair. When her hair was clean and dry, Annabelle's mother combed out the tangles. It hurt. Annabelle cried. She thought about cutting her hair short, but her little sister Suzie had been in big trouble when she cut her hair. Suzie had cut off her bangs. She'd looked pretty bizarre while her hair was growing back in. Annabelle decided that she didn't want her whole head to look as funny as Suzie's bangs, so she decided not to cut her hair. One night while was watching television she saw a commercial for some face stuff. It was supposed to make your skin smooth. Annabelle wished that there was some kind of magic goop that would make her hair smooth. The face stuff was made of honey and oatmeal. Annabelle went to bed that night thinking about the face stuff. If honey and oatmeal were good for your face, they had to be good for your hair, right? After all, your face and your hair were both part of your head. The next morning Annabelle got up early and tip-toed down to the kitchen before her mother was awake. She got out the oatmeal and the honey and mixed them together in a bowl. She made sure that the mixture was nice and thick, just like the stuff she'd seen on TV. Then she spooned it onto her head and mixed it in like shampoo. Some of the glop slid down her face. One big clump of it tumbled down the back of her neck. There was a big splot of it on the floor, and a large chunk was perched on Annabelle's nose, right between her eyes. Annabelle's mother came into the kitchen to make breakfast. "Annabelle! What are you doing?" Annabelle smiled at her Mom. "I'm using honey and oatmeal to make my hair smooth so I won't have any more tangles," she explained. Annabelle's mother sighed. "Oatmeal and honey are good for skin, not hair. And tangles are just part of having long, beautiful hair." Annabelle's mother repeated. Annabelle got marched off to the bathroom to get her hair clean. It took four shampoos to get all the oatmeal out of her hair, and, when her hair was dry, Annabelle still had tangles. They still hurt and Annabelle still cried. One Saturday afternoon Annabelle Father took her to see a movie. It was a Western. Annabelle loved Westerns. The girl in the movie wore her hair in braids while she was in bed, and she didn't seem to have any troubles with tangles in the morning. Annabelle thought about that. She reasoned that if her hair was caught in the braids all night, it couldn't get tangled up so badly. That night before Annabelle went to bed, she asked her mother if they could try her idea. Mother thought it was a good idea and braided Annabelle's hair. The next morning when Annabelle got up she looked in the mirror. Some of her hair had come out of the braids. She thought her great idea hadn't worked, and that made her feel sad. Slowly she pulled the elastic bands of the bottom of the braids and undid her hair. At least the braids had left her very straight hair hanging in ripples. Annabelle thought it looked nice that way. Annabelle took the comb to her mother. The few tangles in Annabelle's hair were small. The only part that was tangled was the hair that had come loose from the braids during the night. Annabelle was excited! Finally she had found a solution! Now Annabelle's mother braids her hair every night before she goes to bed. When she gets up Annabelle takes out her braids, and her mother combs her hair. Every morning there are only a few, small tangles in Annabelle's long, beautiful hair. They only hurt a little bit... and Annabelle doesn't cry.