Lona Ann jerked awake and reflexively slammed her hand on the screaming alarm clock. Starring at the ceiling for a few more minutes, Lona Ann eventually rolled out of bed and headed to the bathroom. Letting out a small gasp as her foot hit the cold tile, Lona Ann closed her eyes and faced the mirror. Bracing herself he slowly opened one eye and then the other and sighed in relief… it was going to be a good hair day.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, all this build-up for a silly girls’ vanity? Not quite. You see, Lona Ann was not like any other girl; she was quite unique, actually.
When Lona Ann was still in her mother’s womb something happened that would change her life before it even began. Her mother, the town’s only hairdresser, came to work one morning with a nasty case of morning sickness. Munching on saltines, sucking on peppermints, sipping ginger ale, nothing seemed to help. After suffering through her first few appointments, she decided she better go home and just as she was closing up, a strange-looking woman with long, raven-black hair entered the salon. Apologetically, Lona Ann’s mother explained that she was closed but the woman would not be swayed. Finally, Lona Ann’s mother agreed to see her. Struggling through the newest onslaught of nausea, Lona Ann’s mother began to trim the split ends off of the woman’s hair. As she worked her way to the front of the woman’s head the need to vomit would not be denied and bending over she, well… you know (bleeeeck!!!). Unfortunately, in her distress, she forgot the shears she still had in the woman’s hair and when she looked up she couldn’t help but gasp in horror at the large section of hair missing from the woman’s head. The woman calmly starred at her butchered hair and then, turning slowly towards Lona Ann’s mother she uttered something indistinguishable. Pointing a crooked finger at her mother’s midsection, the woman cursed Lona Ann, promising that the child would suffer from enduring heartache and a life of constant transformation.
Each day of Lona Ann’s life started with a surprise. Thanks to the curse, Lona Ann woke up every morning with a completely different head of hair. Sometimes it was curly, sometimes it was straight as a board. One day it would be fire-engine red, the next it would be jet-black or blonde or even cotton candy pink. Many times her mane of hair was completely unmanageable, no amount of product, straightening or coaxing could tame it. On these days, Lona Ann would simply walk to her closet and pick from one of the dozens of scarfs, hats or turbans she had accumulated over the years and cram it on her head. For years, Lona Ann had yelled and cried and screamed a few curses of her own over her unfair fate. As a teenager she had even started shaving her head every morning rather than face whatever monstrosity sprouted out of her head that day. Eventually though, Lona Ann began to come to terms with her curse… most days, anyway.
Today, Lona Ann smiled at her strawberry-blonde coif and brushed her fringed bangs out of her eyes. “Not too bad,” she said into the mirror as she ran her fingers through her new shoulder-length hair. “Wish I could keep this one for more than a day,” she sighed. Continuing her morning routine, Lona Ann glanced once more into the mirror before hitting the light switch and walked to the kitchen, grabbed a banana and left for work.
Growing up with her own ‘hair issues’, Lona Ann had decided early in her life that she wanted to devote her life to helping others who suffered from hair-related problems- namely cancer patients who had lost their hair during treatment. Founding the “Center for Stress-less Tresses”, a place that men and woman suffering from all sorts of maladies could come to find their perfect head of hair, and along with it… their self-esteem. Lona Ann served as sort of a hair-advisor, helping customers select the perfect wig, picking out products and accessories they could use to style it, even providing a quick haircut if need be. All of the wigs were real human hair, and about 98% of them were donated by the founder, Lona Ann. Each night as she closed up shop, Lona Ann would shave or cut off all of that days’ hair and label it to be fashioned into a new wig or worked into a wig already in the works.
Walking into the center, shew as pleased to see that the first of their customers was already being helped by one of her employees. After a few minutes checking email, sorting through the mail and a few other administrative tasks, Lona Ann joined her employee, Joyce, and the customer to say hello and see if there was anything she could help with. “Good Morning, ma’am, I’m Lona Ann. I just wanted to introduce myself and see if there was any questions you might have,” Lona Ann smiled despite the strange sensation that she somehow knew the domineering woman in the black turban starring back at her. “Forgive me, have we met before?” Lona Ann couldn’t help but ask. “No, I don’t believe so. I’m sure I would remember you if we had, such lovely features, and your hair! It’s stunning,” the woman replied as Joyce and Lona Ann exchanged an awkward glance. “My mistake. Well, you are in good hands with Joyce, I am confident that by the time you leave us today, you will feel like your old self- or better!” Lona Ann looked the woman up and down once again before shrugging and going back to her office.
A few hours later, a light tap at her door caused Lona Ann to look up from the design she was working on to see the woman standing in her doorway. The woman had replaced her black turban with one of the most striking wigs Lona Ann had ever fashioned- long black waves of hair accented by blunt bangs in the front and a bright blue streak going down the left side of her face. It was stunning on the woman, almost as if it were made just for her. Quickly entering the office, the woman closed the door behind her and walked up to Lona Ann. “I know you,” the woman said, piercing Lona Ann with her slate-gray eyes. “When you were still in your mother’s womb, I believed that she had wronged me and I reacted shamefully. I placed a curse on her unborn daughter… you, Lona Ann. After seeing all the good you do here, and all the people you help, including myself, I would like to thank you… I would like to remove your curse,” the woman clasped her hands in front of her and waited for Lona Ann’s response.
Flooded with emotion, Lona Ann stood silent as she processed all the information she has just been given. She thought about all the days she had screamed and cried into the mirror, wishing only to be like a normal girl with normal hair. She thought of all the times she had pleaded for the curse to be removed. subconsciously, Lona Ann touched her hair and said, “You don’t know how long I have been waiting for this day. How long I’ve been waiting for someone to remove this curse and give me a normal head of hair. But I’m afraid I must decline your kind offer. I used to think that I was cursed, but since opening the center, I started to realize, I’m actually blessed. I help people. I can provide an unending amount of hair for wigs and hairpieces that change people’s lives. It sounds silly, but if I allow you to reverse the curse, all that will end. So thank you, but I like my hair… all of it,” Lona Ann smiled.
The Not So Fantastical Reality:
Sorry for the delay, everyone. I’ve comandeered my boyfriend’s MacBook (damn Mac people) to get this up. My laptop is, well… I’d rather not talk about it, I still get a bit emotional. I am hoping the lack of a laptop will not prevent me from keeping to my deadline, but you never know with technology. So hang in there everyone, I’ll do my darndest to keep the stories rolling out on time…
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: Today I woke up late, as per usual, and didn’t have time to blow-dry my hair. So as a result of utilizing the poor-man’s hairdryer (read: head out car window, al a Ace Ventura style) let’s just say I was NOT having a good hair day. I tried braiding it, putting it in a bun, keeping it down, twisting it with a bobbypin… everything I tried only succeeding in looking worse than the last. In defeat, I decided it was time for a haircut. So I called up the Aveda Institute (yeah, I’m on a budget… don’t judge me) and booked an appointment for 6pm. Battling with my hair all day and sporting about 5 different hairstyles in one day made me feel pretty insane and of course, my brain sort of took it from there. Both my heroine and yours truly ended up victorious, I’m happy to report. I love my new haircut and Lona Ann came to terms with her curse, win win.
TWO: Lona Ann was my stylist today, so I thought I’d give her a shout out. She did an amazing job, especially for a student, and I hope I will see her on my next visit.
Love & Squirrels.