Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's All About Hair

So, apparently this is my 250th post. I wanted to do something really important for such an anniversary. So. . . here goes.

If you read my last post, you know a bit about my mother and her refusal to see the doctor about her most recent illness. Which is still going on by the way. But before we can grasp the whole situation at present, we must go back in time. Back to the dark ages. Before dinosaurs. Back to the land of the bouffant.

To most ladies in their 80s, hair is of the upmost importance. Every week one must go for two hours of torture at the hairdressers. One must be brutally washed, curled, baked and teased. This is the only place an old lady can go when she is not looking her best. And to preserve the stiff outcome of this torture, one must sleep each night on a kidney shaped satin pillow. I'm not sure if the same ritual is followed by ladies above the Mason-Dixon line, but south of it, well, its a requirement. Hairdresser ettiquete escapes me. But all I know is that weekly my mother is torutured by one of these rat-tail-comb wielding women. Who my mother is NOT happy with, but being southern, she forks over the money each week and sleeps on a funny pillow, refusing to change hairdressers. And when the hair goes slack, she does not leave the house. Except to revisit the hairdresser.

My mother had lovely hair in her youth. She had lovely hair at the age of 35 when I came along. She washed and styled it herself. One day, my father gets a raise, comes home and announces that my mother may now visit the hairdresser like her bouffanted friends, and off she runs. Never to be normal again.

Years pass, and she hangs with the other bouffanted ladies at the shallow end of the pool, weakly fending off water from splashing children. Somehow, the importance of hair has supplanted the importance of fun.

Fortysome years later, hair still rules her life.

My mother has an appointment with her doctor this coming Tuesday. A general appointment to check her medications, blood pressure and such. She has an army of other doctors she sees for her heart, kidneys, etc. This doctor is the same one that almost let her die about 15 years ago. Looks like he's making another attempt at it now by doing nothing to help her during this recent illness. Like her hairdresser, my mother refuses to change her doctor. I tell her to give him a talking to when she visits on Tuesday. She says she might not feel well enough to keep her appointment. So, I've been spending a lot of time on the phone with her lately telling her that is ridiculous. My sister has been doing the same. She has to go and get some medication for her nausea that has kept her from eating for the past 10 days. She has to find some help in keeping all of her medications down. Those same medications that have kept her alive for the past 30 years.

But no. It is obvious that a choice has been made. My mother chooses hair. If she cannot get to the hairdresser, then how could she possibly see the doctor.

Anybody wanna give an old lady a persuasive phone call?


Dolores said...

This could be laughable if it weren't so real. My own mom is 90, diesn't really take much interest in her hair and suffers from a mild form of dementia. One thing that has not left her is her downright stubbornness. Drives my up the wall - and the personal support workers who work at the nursing home where she resides. I couldn't persuade her to do anything because she is always right.
I do hope somehow, you or someone gets through to your mom. Common sense must prevail...

ArtPropelled said...

You write an amusing post but it is a sad story. We probably all have little quirks that keep us imprisoned in some way. We know its irrational but its a comfort zone of sorts.

lori vliegen said...

i love the way you tell a story, kim! i just wish i could help....if your mom isn't listening to you, i doubt she would listen to me, either! maybe her hairdresser can get through to her? i know that my grandmother would have dyed her bouffant hair purple if the hairdresser had said so.... :)

i hope things get better for all of you soon....xoxo

Yo Sista said...

Hair was done, Dr's appointment will be kept. Even Dad said her hair was a little bit of a mess!