Mrs. Frankenstein at Your Service

19 Nov

I never wanted to be the bride of Frankenstein. But apparently the hair gods decreed that I should be.


I am going gray at both of my temples and if I just put a little effort into it, together with my curly locks, I could easily be Mrs. Frankenstein on Halloween…if I wanted to be. Which I don’t.

I tried having my hair dyed. I got it done professionally by a great guy who is really good at what he does. I was satisfied. I went back six weeks later to get it touched up. I honestly could not complain about the results.

But my daughter did. She thought I looked weird. “It isn’t you, Mom.”

My husband could not be forced to take a side – he claims he didn’t even notice when it grew out and returned to the natural grayness I’d tried to hide.

Hiding the gray just isn't cutting it.  Nor is hiding behind a cupboard door.

Hiding the gray just isn’t cutting it. Nor is hiding behind a cupboard door.

The thing is – I liked it fine when it was colored. But I’m not sure I liked it enough to keep on doing it.

Hair – what a bother. I don’t mean to be glib, but I have always thought that if I ever have to lose my hair in some terrible manner – like through illness – I’d be okay with that. Yes, yes, I know that the reality of the moment might make me feel differently – and like I say, I don’t mean to be thoughtless of those who have lost their hair in some terrible way – but I just get so sick and tired of this hair thing sometimes and today is one of those times.

I have other hair issues too. You see, my youngest daughter, Boo, has been blessed – at least for now, who knows how long it will last? – with curly hair. As a result, since the day she was born – okay, well, a few months later when her hair starting growing in – people have stopped her in the grocery store, at the park, in the hallway at school, and said, “What beautiful curly hair you have.”

She smiles and says thank you.

And her older sister – who lights up the room with her smile – is left feeling like regular, straightish hair is less than wonderful. Less than ideal. Less than beautiful.

But she has hope for the future, for she, like I at her age, is getting curlier by the month. So now she thinks she’s pretty.

But she’s always been gorgeous.

It’s really rather frustrating.

I guess basically I have one request: please, please, please, don’t be the person in the aisle of the grocery store who compliments the curly-headed girls and ignores the sisters. It’s not fair and it’s damaging.

And also, please, please, please, don’t ever call me Mrs. Frankenstein.

Unless it’s Halloween and I’m dressed like her. ‘Cause then I’m asking for it.

But I’m never going to do that. I prefer The Sailboat King to Frankenstein. He talks a lot more fluently and his face isn’t green.


28 Responses to “Mrs. Frankenstein at Your Service”

  1. Minnesota Prairie Roots November 19, 2013 at 8:09 am #

    Oh, the grey hair. I continue to dye mine and probably will for awhile as it’s not overwhelmingly grey. I have to laugh at The Sailboat King refusing to offer an opinion. He is a wise husband.

    As for Boo’s curly hair, my Miranda has a head of curls, too, and has always been complimented for her hair. As far as I know, her older sister never felt slighted. I bet I even said something to Boo about her hair. I know I have to other kids. My opinion has always been if a child has a lovely physical gift like curly hair or red hair or beautiful eyelashes, why not compliment them? Just don’t carry on and on about it.

  2. Beth Ann November 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    Oh the gray that we all share. I started highlighting my hair years ago to hide those pesky hairs and now my temples are really gray —–I keep coloring and coloring. Funny thing—I just wrote a post about hair which will post in a week or so. 🙂 Our hair is always a defining feature and yes—when one child is complimented and the others ignored it is a problem. I try to find something good in each!!!! Great post, Gretchen!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell November 19, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

      Thanks, Beth Ann! I’ll definitely have to read your hair post as well! I tried to get on to your page yesterday but wasn’t able to…so I’ll now try again!

      • Beth Ann November 19, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

        Grrr—I hate when that happens. Sometimes WordPress gets flaky. 🙂

        • Gretchen O'Donnell November 20, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

          Well, we’ve been having internet issues here at home, so it could have been my fault. And now I realize that I opened your page and still haven’t looked at it. Good grief.

  3. cravesadventure November 19, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    Well I can tell you I went gray at 21 and went there with the coloring. I have stopped coloring my hair now for a few years and just ROCK what I have! I have a cute cut that blends the gray and even acts as a highlight in certain months.

    I am cautious now about complimenting children due to a bad run-in with a mom a few years back. Basically she told me I was just adding to giving the child a complex because just about everyone compliments on her beauty. Lesson learned!

    Happy Tuesday:)

    • Gretchen O'Donnell November 19, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

      Oh, goodness! Sounds like if the child had issues, they might have come FROM the mom, doesn’t it?! I mostly just smile at kids – and leave it at that!

  4. Jackie November 19, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    I have never dyed my whole head, So far I have been fortunate to only have hightlights (2 times a year), which is more to give my hair body be cause it is the flattest head of hair you will ever see! That being said I am starting to get some grays on the temples which I touch up about once a month with “Clairol touchup”…that does the trick for now. Sorry for your bad hair day….tomorrow will be better 🙂

    • Gretchen O'Donnell November 19, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

      🙂 I just mostly figure that it is what it is…and that’s going to be ok! I almost wish it would just hurry up and get all white or something drastic – then I’d be all stunning and memorable…

  5. Hotly Spiced November 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    A few years ago my hair started falling out and I lost 50% of it in a very short space of time. I was freaking out. It turned out that it was caused by hypo-thryoidism a condition I had developed for no good reason. I went on medication but it was six months before my hair grew back and I still don’t think it’s as good as it was. It’s socially acceptable for men to go bald but not women! I’m more fortunate with going grey in that I’m blonde and so it’s not so blatantly obvious. But I get my hair dyed as I don’t want my little guy thinking his mother is old! And yes, it’s very annoying when one of your children gets noticed and complimented while the other one stands there being ignored. It’s a shame people aren’t more sensitive when dishing out compliments xx

    • Gretchen O'Donnell November 19, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

      Hey, Charlie – I hope that your site is working now, I’ll go and check! The whole hair thing is the bane of women’s lives, isn’t it? I’m glad that they were able to figure out why your hair was falling out! That must have been awful. I have decided not to compliment kids – I either ignore them or just smile and quickly look away so as not to seem weird. 🙂

  6. Tami Scott November 19, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    Many smiles from that post! You crack me up.

  7. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen November 19, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    My friend’s youngest girl gets so many compliments and her older sister stands quietly by. She’s so lovely and more mature (quite a bit older) so that helps, but I always make a point of fussing over her too. About the hair, I have so many friends who were totally brunette who have died their hair progressively blonder and blonder so that when the gray (and white, shhh) comes in at the roots it’s less visible.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell November 20, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

      Yeah, I am so torn I don’t know what I’ll end up doing. Chop it all off, maybe. 🙂

  8. em November 20, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    I hope Katie is complimented just as often for her beautiful smile! You have the same lovely locks as your little one — grey or colored. Go with what you makes you feel best!

  9. Gwen Stephens November 21, 2013 at 5:26 am #

    Hair is a real bother, you’re right. For years now, I’ve had my hair colored. I pay big bucks to make it look “natural,” and the latest style is something called an Hombre. But now that I’m working part-time instead of full-time, I feel guilty about this vain extravagance, so I’m cutting back. Instead of every 2 months, I’m coloring every 4 months. I guess I’ll find out how much gray I’ve been hiding.

    I can relate to the curly-headed daughter. My Fiona has long blonde spiral curls. She’s listened to it all her life, too.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell November 21, 2013 at 7:30 am #

      I wonder what it is about humans that makes them love those spiral curls? What is it in us that makes us all do that? Someone needs to do a study.

  10. Gede Prama November 22, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    Thank you for writing which is quite good and best wishes always, and greetings

  11. November 26, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    I’ve got friends who let their hair go all gray, and it looks sooooo cool. I’m not that brave!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell November 27, 2013 at 10:52 am #

      I know, there are people who look gorgeous with that kind of steel-gray hair – I love that. Sadly, mine isn’t there yet…not sure it ever will be. I wish I would just skip to that and enough with the half and half…

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