Below is a snippet of my hope-to-be-published memoir, Autohairography. If you know of a publisher that’s nice and likes quirky girls, please email me!
[image credit: decidedly average]
For some, 1998 was the year of the Tiger. For me, 1998 was the year of Sun-In. I picked up a part time job as a lifeguard that summer, and I was footloose and fancy-free with a big crush on Wayne Lickford, the buff bathhouse attendant. His girlfriend was much blonder than I (but also had bigger hips, so we were even). Rather than watch the two canoodle all summer, I was forced to take action.
I discovered Sun-In in the CVS clearance bin, which should have been my first clue that this hair care method was not a force to be reckoned with. Yet, always the curious one, I purchased my first bottle for just $1.79 and some tax.
I ran home to take my first hit off the high that Sun-In gave me. I thought it fantastic that after a quick shower and blow dry I was instantly in the same category as the transfer student from California. There was just something about that orangey-blonde, weird-smelling product that made me feel so… exotic. Yes, indeed, Sun-In was the American Dream, and I was livin’ it, baby.
Naturally, I began to abuse my relationship with Sun-In. I took more showers that year than the Amazon rainforest, and after each one, Sun-In and I would embrace and dance a beautiful, beautiful dance of blonde and orange streaks.
Like all successful addicts, I didn’t notice the symptoms. Brittle hair, unnaturally dark roots, blotchy split ends. It wasn’t until my older sister’s wedding when I received my first comment.
“Spendin’ some time in the tropics, huh, Erin?” my uncle bellowed.
I quickly muttered something about how the pool water had turned my hair that yellow, unnatural color, but it seemed the secret was out.
The thing about Sun-In, much like eyebrow wax, housekeepers and, if you’re a boy, directions, is that you use them, but only in total secret. Once the cat’s out of the bag, you’re forced to vehemently deny that the affair exists and find an alternative route.
My alternative route was once again, stripping the hair, and vowing never to invest in anything the CVS clearance bin presented again.