Radiation Level: 10 times worse than we thought
Listening To: Next Girl by Black Keys
Went to get my hair done today with 369Girl, who I’ve known since I was 14. Weird story.
I was going to Birmingham High School for 9th grade and really didn’t fit in. It was a mix of bused-in students with uber wealthy Encino kids. I was neither. I was friends with anyone who would be friends with me. This included one girl – maybe her name was Stephanie? – who I could tolerate because she seemed connected. Anyhow, Stephanie had a coveted “off campus lunch pass” that I did not have. She had it cause she was, well, connected. The cool thing to do was to go to Taco Bell for lunch a block away – but you had to have permission to leave campus. So we made a plan.
She would show her school ID that had the “off campus” pass to the faculty person at the check point, put it in her purse, pass it to me, and I would rely on the hope that they wouldn’t really look at it and I’d be off eating my Gordito with fire sauce in moments.
She and I looked nothing alike and I got caught. Suspended, actually. But, that day I was sent back onto campus for the remainder of the lunch period. It turned out to be the day some young, edgy hair stylists from a local hip salon in the Valley were recruiting students for a hair show. I was eating lunch alone when a young, new wave-ish woman walked up to me and asked if I’d like to be a model in the show. I said ‘Of course!”, she handed me a hair clip and told me to assemble in a specific room. Not only would this woman would turn out to be my hairstylist for the rest of my life, she would be a huge influence on me.
She cut my hair, dyed it, I was in a “hair show” at our school and I was hooked. Now, I certainly didn’t have the looks or height to be a model, but being a hair model was different. It was just about your hair and being young. I was she and her husband’s hair model for years, modeling for shows at Sebastian, at salon openings and in magazines.
She became a mentor of sorts to me, as she was one of the only sane voices I heard when I was young. Of course, I was helping her, but she was also helping me. I got to watch her go from being pregnant with a little girl to sending her daughter to college in the fall. And she’s watched me well, become me. I have so many fun photos from those years and it all happened so strangely. I would never have met her if I hadn’t gotten caught trying to cut school. Sometimes there really is a silver lining.