“That was a stupid thing to do son…”
In that fateful summer of 1999, my parents made plans to once again attend the annual ASLA conference. This summer, the conference was to be held in Naples, Florida. My mom stocked the kitchen shelves and refrigerator with all of our favorite 'fun' foods, then left my eighteen year old sister, Heidi, in charge of me and my little sister Daron. I was nine at the time, my little sister was six. We thought the four days with our beloved sister were going consist of the usual activities: couch cushion forts, popcorn and movies, board games and the like. We were wrong…well not really wrong, but we were certainly surprised.
It was true; we did have a lot of fun that week. Staying with my sister wasn’t nearly as bad as staying with my dad, because at least my sister knows how to cook. The first couple of days were made up mostly of hanging around the house, watching T.V., and swimming in the pool. One morning, not exactly bright but relatively early for a summer day, we hopped into “The Beast”, my sister’s Mercedes, and took off towards the nearest beach, which just so happened to be near Titusville. After spending a day at the beach and getting ourselves as sandy as possible, my older sister got a brilliant idea. Heidi was going to bleach my hair. At the tender age of nine, which I was at the time, none of this really registered very clearly in my head. I looked up to my sister, admired her, adored her and anything she said was cool and alright by me.
I started my life as a blond.
Our next stop, Wal-Mart: where you can get just about anything someone needs to do something dumb. It didn’t take long for my sister to find the color she wanted ~ something similar to the hue of yellow hi-lighters. Upon our arrival at home, I took a shower to thoroughly wash my hair of all the salt and grime it had accumulated at the beach. Coming downstairs I was met by Heidi, dye in hand, who, apparently, had done this before. It didn’t take long to get the chemical in my hair, and after it was in, there was no turning back. After a few more rinses in the shower, I was ready for my big debut. Again, my sister met me on the stairs, laughing hysterically. This normally meant one of two things: she was happy with her work or, she knew she was in trouble. In this case, it was both. My hair was indeed the color of a hi-lighter.
It was the fourth day, my parents were coming back and my hair was not the same color it had been when they left. This was to be a good day. I heard the car drive up, heard the tumblers in the lock turn, my parents were home. I tried to look cute. My dad wasn’t home five seconds before muttering, “That was a stupid thing to do son…”
So it wasn’t so bad after all, because at least one of my parents did like my hair. I didn’t get in trouble, and I was able to show up the first day of school, with white blond hair.
March 1, 2007