Unfortunately, it really is all about the hair

Originally Posted Online: Sept. 02, 2014, 11:00 pm
Last Updated: Sept. 02, 2014, 11:37 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
By Sally Eberhardt

The good, the bad and the ugly? Choices! Decisions! There's no "life choices" soapbox speech coming your way today. No time for that conversation when, after all, nothing waxes more perplexing than your hairstyle, my friend.

First, you must admit to the choices you made; so find the photo album. Whether you were considering Peggy Lipton straight, Farah's layers or Howie Mandel smooth, you've struggled. Maybe it was your senior prom? Your wedding? Oh, and don't forget the big kahuna of hair: the class reunion. You've been there, too.

For the past 20 years, I've dashed into my hairstylist's salon, wearing a baseball hat, clutching a "torn out of a waiting room magazine," ragged-edged photo.

"Can we try this?" I ask pointing to the hair. I've toted in magazines, photos, sketches and even videos to show what I think I want or, shall I say, who I want to be.

"Sure, I think we can do that," laughs my congenial stylist, scissors ready.

Despite all the head shots I've brought along, I revert to a default setting: Meg Ryan.

Who can forget Meg Ryan's shaggy crop in "You've Got Mail? Not me since there's at least five years of photo proof. Meg was cheerful, upbeat and exhibited a spring in her step as she corresponded with "everyman" Tom Hanks. If only I could look like our Meg, then, as the final strains go, I'd be over the rainbow.

Years pass and Meg's hair went a little more intense with "Proof of Life"; longer, yet still unconstructed.

Unfortunately, my coif resembled more Afghan-hound than Meg chasing through South America with Russell Crowe! But, wow, maybe there was a more exotic life for me with that hair ... yes, somewhere in Illinois. Hope remained.

Even today, the hair dilemma continues to vex me and seemingly unrelated, marketing phrases such as "what's in your wallet?" catch my attention and spark curiosity. For example, do men stash hairstyle photos in their wallets for their trip to Carl's Barber shop? If they do, I don't want to know and I don't care unless it is a hairstyle that would work for me.

There's even a connection between hairstyles and attending meetings. I've sat in countless meetings, appearing attentive but really thinking, " Where does she get her hair cut?" "Does she have highlights and low lights?" "Did Joe go to Hair Club for men?"

And what about the infamous mullet? Before thinking I will trash the mullet -- think again. For those who lived in the 80s, you rocked the mullet and so what if your family photo ended up on an unfortunate family photo site? You were in style and I defend your choice.

Let's face it, hair captivates us and seems to tantalize us with possibilities, choices and decisions.

For my mom, it might have been Jackie Kennedy or Audrey Hepburn. For my grandma, maybe Rita Hayworth or Jane Russell.

The times in which we live our lives, whether we like it or not, are marked by the icons, fads and life around us. We become the brands of popular culture which, like it or not, define us.

As a consequence, those choices do reveal something of who we might have been in that photo and the life we hoped to live. There's the promise of a fresh start with every snip.

It really isn't about the hair is it? It is who we were and the memories when we muse, "What was I thinking?'

As Samson and Delilah knew, it's all about the hair.

Sally Eberhardt, once retired, is now teaching at Seton in Moline


Local events heading

  Today is Monday, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2014. There are 100 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The board of education has granted Thursday as a holiday for the children, with the expectation that parents who desire to have their children attend the Scott County Fair will do so on that day and save irregularity the rest of the week.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The guard fence around the new cement walk at the Harper House has been removed. The blocks are diamond shape, alternating in black and white.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Rev. R.B. Williams, former pastor of the First Methodist Church, Rock Island, was named superintendent of the Rock Island District.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Abnormally high temperatures and lack of rainfall in Illinois during the past week have speeded maturing of corn and soybean crops.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Installation of a new television system in St. Anthony's Hospital, which includes a closed circuit channel as well as the three regular Quad-Cities channels, has been completed and now is in operation.
1989 -- 25 years ago: When the new Moline High School was built in 1958, along with it were plans to construct a football field in the bowl near 34th Street on the campus. Wednesday afternoon, more than 30 years later, the Moline Board of Education Athletic Board sent the ball rolling toward the possible construction of that field by asking superintendent Richard Hennigan to take to the board of education a proposal to hire a consultant.

(More History)