The Lunch Lady's Got It Goin' On!
Monday, March 2, 2009

It was the hair that did her in.  

Every morning, I call up the stairs, giving the O-Dawg a heads up on the ticking clock and every day she races out of here, with far too few minutes to make it to school before the ringing bell. It's not that she doesn't get up in time. She's up, hours before her sisters and I stumble out of our beds. I don't see her, until she's racing through the kitchen, making herself a lunch of Famous Amos cookies and packaged fruit snacks, not enough time to make a proper lunch. 

Now let me stop this right here. I will tell you she's an A plus kind of eater...usually. I've raised my girls in a rather Mediterranean sort of eating lifestyle. Not only is our dinner hour around the time of most Italians, 8:30ish, we also subscribe to a diet chock full of whole grains, lentils, fruits, veggies galore and all the delish things made from the earth instead of in a lab. 

She has championed this diet and for that I am grateful. Her favorite snack is a bed of greens or a pot of black beans. In fact, a few years ago, she swore off meat which I thought was pretty cool. 

And then I learned she made the exception of keeping bacon and salami in her diet.

Now, if that ain't all about making the right kind of statement, I don't know what is! I call her a processed meatatarian

So, in the morning, she doesn't have time to throw together a salad or make a processed meat sandwich. And I refuse to do it for her. It's a little thing called enabling and I've been doing the enabling for far too long. 

Step away from the lunchbox, Mother! 

I always yell in frustration, up the stairs, "What are you DOING up there!" I mean, its hours, lots and lots of hours. And she always comes down, no matter how late, her hair, the essence of beauty, sometimes spiral curls, sometimes poker straight, sometimes sweet, little braids, always lovingly and fanatically obsessed over until it is absolute, complete and stunning perfection.

I try really hard to remember. 

I know my teenaged days were spent trying to form perfect Farrah wings. Hard to do, when you have about 1/10th the hair of that damn Charlie's Angel. Seriously, I had a hairdresser one time tell me, I was the lucky winner of the thinnest-haired-customer he had and most of his customers were from the local assisted living facility.

And you thought I wore my hair this short, cause I was trying to look like that spawning devil diva, Rosemary of Rosemary's Baby! 

So, I understand the angst of hair. In fact, hair is a universal obsession. Two years ago, folks were more excited over the fact that Britney Spears had shaved her head than the announcement of our young, black Senator from Illinois, declaring himself a presidential candidate for the upcoming race. 

How times have changed. Britney has grown her hair out and has found her mind, again. 

Well, kind of. 

And the rest of us dump tons of money on haircuts, hair product, hair appliances, hair extensions, and unfortunately, hair plugs. 

Even boys have hair stories. Here's one of em-true story:

My hubby has this business partner. Although, there's so much more to the story than that. He's more like his Other Brother. 

Our first house was a little starter-upper that was one side of a duplex. The Partner/Other Brother bought the other side. Fast forward a few years down the road, his girl became his wife. We both had three kids all around the same time. The kids have known each other their whole lives. With each progressive move, we families have held hands so that our houses were never more than an arm's length away from each other and now we live on a big patch of land and if you look out the window, they're right next door.

The families who live together, stay together.

One afternoon in the duplex, the kids were bopping around in the front yard, in a little kiddie pool. We were out there supervising and whiling away the afternoon. It was the Hubby, myself and the wife of the Business Partner doing the whiling. The Other Brother/Business Partner came back from getting his haircut as we were whiling and got out of his car.

We all sat there, stunned into speechlessness. 

Now, let me say, from the pictures I've seen, this dude had one impressive Afro in his younger days. He has some major curls, but as long as I've known him, he keeps those curls quite under control.

But on this day, his hairdresser had gone brilliantly mad with the blow dryer.

He stepped out of his car with one, gorgeous, upswept, ball of poof on top of his head.

As we sat there, speechlessly taking in his Italian Stallion Do, My Hubby rose to the occasion. After a long lapse of our silent, "what-the-hell's", he said matter of factly, "So... you went with the bouffant look."

Oh, how we laughed and laughed on that day. Still do, when it comes to that tale.

It goes to show, even the men understand the trials of good hair. 

I tried to be sympathetic when O-Dawg came home from school, her lower lip a-tremble, informing me that she had been marked tardy three times. A three-time-tardy means one thing: lunch detail.
 
What a genius punishment her school doles out. 

It means students with infractions have to wheel the garbage can around the cafeteria in front of all their peers during lunchtime. It means our little princess, had to mutter, "You done with that?" as she cleared away the half-eaten foods of her fellow high-schoolers, pushing on with her squeaky-wheeled trash-can in her clacky high heels or more likely, my high heels.

Gross and humiliating enough for a kid to never mess up, again.

We tried to be sympathetic about it. We tried to be understanding. But, we are, after all...us.
I'm not sure which one of us was the first to hail her with, "Hey, the lunchroom lady's home!" 

She didn't want to talk about it. It was one of the most traumatic moments of her life. 

Her lunch room lady punishment has been served and is now a thankful part of her past. She tells me she's been so early to school, she beats the janitors there...and the lunchroom ladies. 

By the Way, you DID NOT hear this story from me. She hates when I talk about her but unfortunately, it's the price she has to pay when I need good material. I tell her to look on the bright side of things, at least it's not the newspaper column I used to write where everyone and their lunch lady read about her tales. And at least, I'm not Joan Crawford, beating her with wire hangers. I'm pretty flexible about their closets. She really should be grateful. 

An additional post script: Yes, other daughter who complains, who loves the limelight. Your time is coming, My Darling. It's just with your sister...it's so easy. 

Today's Insistent Download: Sia's "Breathe Me." The O-Dawg loves this song. I love this song. And it is, oh so appropriate. "Help, I have done it again. I have been here many times before. Hurt myself again today. And the worst part of it is there's no-one else to blame." If you play the record backwards it says, "Lunch Room Ladies Are Doin' It For Themselves." 

I'm serious as Cafeteria Goulash Surprise and that's pretty nasty-serious. 









1 comment:

Jane said...

Joann,

That picture is beautiful! Thanks for meeting us at Disney yesterday! Bill's doing great with the new camera, maybe he can be the school photographer next year.............

Jane

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