Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Year I Got a Hairpiece

My excuse- it's the early '80's, everybody was doing it.  The problem- my hair.  I have a lot of hair.  I have a lot of really fine straight hair that refuses to hold a style.  As a child my hair was always in the way.  It took forever to wash and dry.  And the worst part was I think my mom dreamed of a little curly haired daughter so I would have to sleep on the dreaded pink sponge rollers.  I hated the sponge rollers more than anything in the entire world.  I don't know what was worse, waking up with a sore head or waking up and everything was slightly damp because the hair didn't dry all the way.  Slightly damp hair meant sitting under the hair dryer.  Yes the one like you see in beauty shops.  I devised a plan to get rid of sponge rollers forever.  The Dorothy Hamill.  It was the answer to all my problems.  I was like 8 or 9 so I really didn't care that I looked like a boy.  NO MORE SPONGE ROLLERS!!!  Unfortunately my new found freedom presented a new problem.  A very big problem.  The Nutcracker.

I was a student at Nan Klinger's School of Ballet.  Nan Klinger wasn't just a dance instructor.  She was completely hardcore.  She founded the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet and some of its dancers even went on to the NYC Ballet.  We knew this because she told us this every class.  Ballet was not something to be taken lightly.  It was a lifestyle, not an after school activity.  If Nan saw you out in public she would pat you on the butt to make sure you were holding those cheeks in tight.  Clench those cheeks, shoulders back, head held high.  ALWAYS.  Your hands should always be in position, slightly bent cupped inward.  I don't know if this is why, but my fingers are permanently bent in this position.  It always seemed odd to me that our ballet school that was so great was in the basement of some building.  It also seemed odd to me that Nan could teach an entire class without having to ash her cigarette.  Smoking kept her thin I suppose.  Anyway, I had been in ballet long enough and I had mastered my basic techniques so I was going to get to be a Party Girl in the Nutcracker at the Akron Civic Theatre.  Every little girl's dream.  I was so excited.  And then I went to class with my new haircut.  Nan was not impressed.  She took one look at me and I was out.  She probably would have kicked me out of the class, but I am sure we were prompt payers.  I was devastated.  Nan Klinger may have owned the ballet world in Summit County but she was no match for Kate (Kathy then) Little.  My mom is not someone who lets things stand in the way for what she (or her daughter) wants.  You can say the words Kate Little in some circles and things just happen.  Even if she isn't there.  Anyway, mom was not going to let a bad adorable, trendy haircut get in the way of my stage debut.  She took some of the hair that had been ripped off by the sponge rollers that were now not being used and had a wigmaker match a hairpiece.  I had the most beautiful ringlets and I didn't have to be tortured all night to get them.  My dream came true.  I danced in the Nutcracker for about 30 seconds and got to come out for the bows.  Next step if I kept up the hard work would be an angel.  But alas, I grew weary of ballet and moved on to other activities. Nan Klinger survived without me.  

Thanks mom for not letting anything stand in my way.

Preparing for the big night with help from Graham and Ness

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