Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Does preppy come in pill form?
Anyone who knows me knows I have one cowlick in the front of my hair and two in the back. Why my parents left me in the care of bovines in my formative years is anybody’s guess. The cowlick in front is a nuisance to someone as particular about my appearance as I am. For the remainder of this entry, I will refer to my cowlick as the swoop as shortening it to, simply, ‘the lick’ makes me as uncomfortable as I was accompanying my niece to the premiere of Eclipse, one of those horrifying Twilight movies. Since when did pasty become the new chic? If I were in high school now, I would be muy popular (that’s Spanish) as I am so pale, I’m almost translucent. And I have been known to sparkle in the sunlight. Well actually I freckle, but they both end in ‘kle’ so I’m still in the game, right?
So, when the swoop is parted on the left, it causes my hair to swagger into a formation not unlike Conway Twitty. For those who aren’t familiar with Mr. Twitty (may he rest in peace) you can reference John Travolta in ‘Grease’ or Johnny Depp in ‘Cry Baby.’ If you’re younger than that, you shouldn’t be reading this and need to go to bed. I feel quite sure it’s past your bedtime, child. However, if I part my hair to the right, the swoop leaps into a formation resembling Superman, from the movies starring Christopher Reeve, not the TV show where Bo Duke was the Dad.
The point I am trying to make is why do we call it a cowlick? Why this particular animal? Why this particular gesture? Did it actually happen to someone back in 16whatever? I have researched the history of the swoop and here is what I found. They are also referred to as hair whorls and trichoglyphs. It was started in the 16th century and referred to the way a mother cow licks her young’s head causing a swirling pattern in the hair. While those are interesting facts, the name needs work, doesn’t it?
Trichoglyphs could be useful in my quest to use as many obscure references as possible in casual conversation. Telling someone I have multiple trichoglyphs could elicit all manner of responses depending on whether they thought this was a medical condition, weird animal or tattoo. Hair whorl could be interesting although it would be consistently misspelled by a citizenry who for some reason can’t seem to master the proper use of your and you're.
I realize the word cowlick is not something to which most people pay much attention; however it is the one thing keeping me from becoming completely amazing. I think we can all agree with fantastic hair I could take over the world. Well, hair and a family fortune. And considering my Dad lives with me, I’m thinking the family fortune is nowhere to be found. When he asks me why he couldn’t he have been born rich instead of good looking, I wonder myself. About the money, that is. I have grown accustomed to ignoring my father’s lunatic rants about his awesomeness at anything other than reality show competition-level eating, Olympic caliber flatulence and, oddly enough, crocheting.
Yes, my redneck, macho father crochets. It’s an interesting dichotomy to reside in someone who retains no semblance of the couth he apparently faked throughout my childhood. Don’t even start with me, the man leaves his (sugar-free) Popsicle sticks stuck to the placemats on my dining room table along with used blood sugar test strips, crumbs of indeterminate origin, his electronic solitaire game and whichever paperback western he is enjoying at the moment. It looks like he robbed a Walgreen’s. And he never says “Excuse me,” when he passes gas from either end. He ignores it, guffaws or begins to look for the frog he assures me he just stepped on. I rest my case.
But, back to the crochet, which is French for “hook”. He is pretty adept at a skill he obtained while being jailed for some random fight on some random weekend in the bustling metropolis of Lake Providence, LA when he was younger. I’m not sure if it was one of those times where he got in a fight because he was bored or simply doing any manner of things that were illegal in that era. I can never depend on him to stick with the same lie twice; much less tell the truth once. But whatever the situation he is a skilled crochet artist. And he produces them at a rate you can only compare to Southeast Asians sewing hidden buttons for Tommy Hilfiger. He crocheted 8 afghans and 4 scarves between Thanksgiving and Christmas. He’s already finished a gift for someone who is retiring in June.
I have made more runs to the craft section of Wal-Mart for thread than an ill-prepared Vacation Bible School teacher. And if I have to lie to the woman at the check-out line about my daughter Kinley’s last minute school project one more time, she’s going to get suspicious. Apparently, I do care what Esperanza thinks of me. Oh, did I tell you that I now have a daughter named Kinley? She’s ever so sweet. She is a carbon copy of my niece Payton. So much so I could use Payton’s photos and say they were Kinley if push came to shove. Not that I would do it. Well, at least not more than once. Okay, twice. Okay, once at Wal-Mart and once at Target. Lydia, my Target cashier, seemed curious as to why I had so many boxes of popsicles, Uncrustables and kool-aid. “That darn Kinley,” I laughed and gave her my patented “parent shrug”. “What can you do with a teenager?”
What am I supposed to do, admit the Uncrustables are for me? That’d be like admitting I like the song by the boy who used to have the haircut and that I stood in line (in line!) to see Toy Story 3 and that’s a bit more mature than I care to be at this juncture.
And I fully intend on blaming The Dad. Apparently lying is contagious. I knew catching “country” was just a gateway, y’all. I’m slowly becoming a redneck. But I’m going to do everything in my power to fight it. In fact, tonight I’m wearing a tie and matching pocket square to bed.