Bangs Bangs, I Shot You Down

I generally don’t include physical descriptions of myself in blog posts.

This is because…

a) Writing should stand on its own. You can enjoy “For Whom the Bell Tolls” without knowing Hemingway had a beard, and “Mrs. Dalloway” without knowing Woolf wore her hair in a bun, and “The Great Gatsby” without knowing that Fitzgerald was a 10-foot merman with tuna breath. If that knowledge impacts your opinion the work, you’re doing something wrong. (It’s ok if it impacts your interpretation, though. I will admit that the Fitzgerald thing threw “Gatsby” into a whole new light for me.)

b) This is the internet. I can just upload a photo.

I bring it up now because before I begin, I need you to know something about me. I have bangs. These bangs:

I'm the one with bangs.

(I’m the one with bangs.)

Well. I had them, anyway.

I like having fringe for a couple different reasons, the first of which is that where most people have a forehead, I have a fivehead. That is to say, it’s taller than your average forehead and much, much taller than a threehead. Bangs help disguise this fact so I can fit in with the human masses.

I also like bangs because of my forehead vein. If eyes are the window to the soul, then my forehead vein is the crack in the window frame and my bangs are… this metaphor isn’t working. Bangs are hairy forehead curtains, is what I’m trying to say here. Besides unfortunate cardiovascular quirks, they’re also great for camouflaging zits. Bangs: When You Have Something to Hide.

Up until about a week ago, my fringe and I were as happy as any of the characters Zooey Deschanel and her bangs have ever played. But nothing gold can stay, and slowly, inexorably, things started to unravel.

One morning before work, I noticed my bangs weren’t cooperating when I tried to style them, no matter how much blow-drying and hair-spraying occurred. “Oh, bangs,” I said. “You rascals.” But the same thing happened the next morning, and the next.

Before long, I was pinning them back or brushing them to the side and getting more and more frustrated. There’s no point in having curtains if you never close them, and there’s no point in having bangs if you can’t use them to fool people into believing your head is totally normal.

On Sunday night, I finally cracked. I was watching a crime procedural that hinged on the murderer’s hair when I noticed that my hair kept trying to murder my eyeballs. I pushed it back repeatedly and when that didn’t work, I tried shaking my head hard enough for my vein to put in an appearance. It was no use. My bangs didn’t look like Zooey’s any more. They looked like a nasty, tangly eyeball death trap. Something had to be done.

I realize now that I was perhaps exaggerating the issue. That I had options.


a) I could have gone to bed and let the madness pass.

b) I could have made a hair appointment and then distracted myself with candy or the Princess Bride or seeing how many times I could poke Winston before he bit me.

Incidentally, it's zero times.

Incidentally, it’s zero times.

c) I could have embraced the eye-skimming look. It’s totally in right now! I was almost cool!

At the time, though, it felt like there was only one option. I needed to trim my bangs. Immediately. With that thought, I pulled out some scissors and Scotch tape, opened a YouTube video that promised to teach me how to do it and sat down to DIY my own head.

What the Video Said and What I Actually Did

a) “Pull your hair back and pin down any wisps.” I have hydra hair — as soon as I pin down a wisp, three more pop up. Knowing I would be fighting a losing battle, I ignored this.

b) “Get your hair damp. NOT. WET. Wet hair will shrink much shorter than you want it to. Once again, and I can’t emphasize this enough, DO NOT GET YOUR HAIR COMPLETELY WET.” I splashed some water on my hair, but it soaked it up in a couple seconds. I splashed some more on until it was approximately as damp as the middle of a swimming pool. Perfect, I thought. Spoiler: it was not.

c) “Lay a strip of tape along the bottom of your bangs so you trim in a straight line. Remember, faces aren’t symmetrical, so be sure to cut it so it complements yours.” The longer I stared at my face, the more asymmetrical it became. I couldn’t decide which half was more off-kilter, so eventually I just picked an eyebrow at random, angled the tape based on that, and laid it where I thought I wanted it. It did not look like it complemented my face. It looked like I was some kind of office supply war refugee.

d) “Heads are not two-dimensional, so don’t cut straight across your forehead.” Hmm, I thought, looking at my hairy tape disaster. My head probably is two-dimensional.

c) “Cut very slowly — if you rush, you’ll do a bad job.” #*@% it, I thought, and began snipping and cringing and snipping and crying.

When I put the scissors down and pulled the tape off of my head, I instantly knew that I my new look resembled that of a very famous bangs-wearer. Only it wasn’t Zooey.

It was this guy:


I spent most of the rest of the night freaking out and mentally willing my hair to grow faster, but by the morning, I had calmed down. If my new bangs make me look like Mr. Spock, that’s ok. I like Spock. We even have similar personalities. Looking like him must mean I look like a cooly logical, highly efficient, surprisingly badass space traveler.

So until my hair grows out again, I’m going to be ok. The internet has a million pictures of Leonard Nimoy I can use for styling tips.

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You’ve Got a Friend in Me

In the last month, I have received five Facebook friend requests from boys I knew in high school. “Knew” is a strong word in this case, because they have all been people that I knew of – we didn’t hang out in the same groups, we didn’t speak more than once or twice a semester and I can’t say I’ve given any of them much thought since graduating six years ago.

Maybe it’s been long enough that those facts have faded beneath an overwhelming sense of nostalgia for these guys. Maybe those four interactions we had stuck with them all this time and they felt like I would be a worthy addition to their Facebook feed. Maybe my shirts have been too low-cut in my profile pictures. Whatever the reason, they’re hitting the “send request” button and leaving me to stare at my computer screen in confusion.

I don’t know what to do because I can’t really justify not adding them, but I also know that if I’d wanted their virtual friendship, I would have sought it in 2008. I turned to the social media coordinator at my local university for help.

Yes, she seems like a woman I can trust.

Yes, she seems like a woman I can trust.

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Rose Tint My World

My kitchen isn’t bad, as far as kitchens go. Sure, the oven is older than me. Yes, the portable dishwasher sometimes rolls around on its own. I can look past that. Antiques are interesting! Locating the dishwasher is an adventure!

I can’t cook, so my standards are pretty low. Honestly, there’s only one thing that I look for in a kitchen: that it not be pink. I’m even flexible on that, as long as it does not also have lace curtains. For some reason, pink kitchens with lace curtains leave me with the impression that someone’s dead grandmother is haunting the room.

On those two fronts, my kitchen is not doing so hot.

It's even pinker and lacier in real life.

It’s even pinker and lacier in real life.

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Every Day I Write the Book

When I was 14, I was crazy about my boyfriend, Josh. (Josh, incidentally, carved my name into his forearm with a compass point, so it’s safe to say that if he wasn’t crazy about me, he was at least crazy.) I was also pretty sure I hated him.

Romeo Juliet
14-year-olds: notoriously even-keeled when it comes to romance.

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Love Hurts

I see this one guy around town all the time. We don’t run in the same circles, but we must run in the same Venn diagrams or something because I see him everywhere — on my way to work some mornings, inside a Village Inn at 4am, in the same dive bar on more than a few occasions. (I feel like that Village Inn/dive bar thing made me sound like the kind of person who probably has tetanus. I do not have tetanus, I just like crepes. And dive bars.) I don’t know his name and I’ve only spoken to him once, very briefly and about nothing, but every time we make eye contact he smiles and nods in a friendly way. He’s probably a really nice guy.

I hate his stupid guts.

Ten Things I Hate About You

1. I hate how his awful mustache makes him look like a baseball player from the late 19th century. He’s not a baseball player from the late 19th century. His upper lip is a liar and a fraud.

He is indistinguishable from every member of this team.

He is indistinguishable from every member of this team.

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