Feb 11, 2010

A Jersey Girl

Hey readers! Please welcome the next guest blogger in the series of wanting to hear more from you! Meet Jess, the hilarious woman from Dude and Sweetie. Jess lives pretty close to me "in real life," so amid taking care of her little ones during all this crazy snow she also managed to write a guest post for me as well! Take it away Jess!

Here I am finally finishing my guest post for Becky. Who I thank ever so much for allowing me to hijack her blog for a few minutes. I'm nothing if not prompt.

I am currently 36 weeks pregnant with my third child, but I'm not going to write about that. If you want to hear me complain about being pregnant, or my children, or my husband, then please head over to my site. There's all kinds of gripe fodder over there.

See, I'm a Jersey girl. Granted, I left Jersey when I was 16, to spend 12 delightful (SO NOT AT ALL delightful) years in The South. I met my husband, finished college, got married, had babies, and so many other things during those 12 years, so I don't begrudge the time. But I'm just not a Southern lady. I don't really think I'm any kind of lady.

At heart, and in mouth, I'm a Jersey girl.

And as such, for many years, I had Jersey Hair.

I'm Italian. Lots of Italian. My dad is dark and scary, and my mom gets screechy, and my sister and I have copious amounts of really big hair on both our heads and arms. We like being Italian. Any family gathering requires vast amounts of extremely fabulous food, several bottles of wine, pot after pot of coffee, and making fun of each other.

We're the don't-mess-with-my-family Italian. I can mess with my family all I want, but if you mess with them? Just run. Go far away and don't come back, because I will tear you up. We're loyal that way. I feel like that about my babies too. I can yell at them, discipline them, and be hard on them. But if anyone else hurts my babies?

It's not pretty.

Being very Italian, and from Jersey, I spent many years agonizing over the size of my hair and earrings. They have to proportionate to each other. The bigger the hair, the bigger the earrings. No one does big hair like a Jersey girl.

I'm 31. Which means that my formative years (the ones in which we all make desperate attempts to fit in and decide our personal style) were during the age of New Kids on the Block, Vanilla Ice, The Bengals, stretch pants with jean skirts and off-the-shoulder tops, neon anything, jelly bracelets, and very tall bangs.

We didn't use hair product. The only hair product available was hairspray, the brands of choice being Stiff Stuff or Aqua Net. We had crimping irons. And scrunchies. And bangs that stood three to four inches off our foreheads, curled and then teased, and sprayed beyond comprehension with hairspray.

Basically, we looked like roosters. Or a tsunami. Some people, those whose hair wasn't too thick, were able to to the side-spray too. Think 'The Wedding Singer'. That was me. And everyone I knew. I wore star or heart-shaped neon earrings that brushed my shoulders, two pairs of scrunch socks with high-top sneakers, and very large hair.

Now. I'm Italian. I have a lot of hair. I have a lot of very thick, very dark, VERY curly hair. My hair has a voluminous mind of its own in a natural state, never mind what happens to it when teased and sprayed. And, being that I lived at the beach (yes, I grew up on the Jersey Shore, and no, we didn't all act like those idiots on the show), I had a Jersey-surfer-girl thing going on.

I had short hair. Kind of. I had hair that looked like a mushroom. A head of broccoli. It was long on one side, short on the other, and because it was insanely large and curly, I used a lot of hairspray to keep it under control. It was absolutely hideous beyond comprehension, but I didn't realize it at the time. I was Jersey. I thought I looked awesome.

I had a fear of my hair becoming unruly during school, so I went through a bottle of hairspray a week keeping my hair in place. An entire bottle. In one week. I SO made my contribution to the hole in the ozone. On one particular day, when I was in 8th grade, we had PE testing. As in, see how fast you can run a mile, do sit ups, pull ups, blah blah blah.

It was a warm day. And I had a lot of hairspray in my hair. And I ran my mile in just over six minutes (I ROCKED), which means I was a tad on the glistening side, and my hairsprayed head was emanating it's own grape-y scent.

Which, apparently, was very attractive to the local colony of yellow jackets. They liked the smell of my grape-y, hairsprayed hair, and didn't hesitate to demonstrate that fact to me by buzzing around my head, following me around the track.

Which, of course, totally freaked me out. So I ran. And swatted. I'm running, and screeching, and swatting at the cloud of yellow jackets around my head. I looked like a complete ass.

And then. One of the bees penetrated the helmet of my hair. Somehow, it manged to find its way in between two rock-hard curls, and proved its manhood by stinging me in the head. Just above my ear.

I'm not allergic, so it wasn't a crisis. Or, it wouldn't have been a crisis had the bee then been able to fly out of my hair into the fresh air, buzzing off to find a nice place to die. But no. It couldn't get out of my hair. It did its pre-death manic buzzing inside my hair, just above my ear, until it gave up and keeled over.

I'm thirteen years old, a very easily upset, slightly emotional Italian thirteen-year old, with a dead bee in my hair.

Now is where you can see my priorities come through. Because when I went to the nurse, and she wanted to wash my hair so she could get the dead bee out, I refused. I absolutely, unequivocally refused, because if she washed me hair? I'd have to go through the rest of the school day with un-hairsprayed hair. Which, for this Jersey girl, was SO not going to happen.

I went home that day with a dead bee in my hair.

My parents grounded me from hairspray that day.

Apparently they thought I had my priorities screwed up. Welcome to Jersey.

Thanks so much for guest blogging, Jess! What about you dear readers? Anyone else ever have a similar experience? Anyone else use tons and tons of hairspray? Anyone else have a deep-seated love for Jersey? I have limited experience with Jersey from the few times I visited the mister while he was in school. (I swear, you can't make a left-hand turn in the whole state). Be sure to visit Jess over at Dude and Sweetie! Happy almost Friday, friends!


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

That is too funny. I can just picture it! Her blog post made me think of Jenna on 13 going on 30. I think she was also a Jersey girl!

I have never had big hair. I could stand to use a little volume. I don't even own hair spray right now! I just suck at doing my hair, but it's something i want to work on this year!

Lucy The Valiant said...

This is hilarious! I wonder if anyone had non-embarassing hair when they were 13... I know mine was horrifying!

Charbelle said...

LOL this was too entertaining! I was 14 and in math class when the guy sitting behind me was standing up laughed and dropped gum in my hair. I LOVED big hair and (being from the south) used foam rollers to get the big hair updo effect. When he dropped the gum he then tried to get it out without me knowing, didn't happen. Ice didn't work but peanut butter did, I had to go around the rest of the day with funny looking hair that smelled like peanut butter. Due to the magic of facebook he and I are still friends and to this day we still laugh over that.

Jess said...

I'm pretty sure the entire state is riddled with what we call jug-handles, Becky. Thanks so much for letting me write excessively. It was so nice to write for someone else's space!

Gracie said...

Love it!

Chicago Mom (Heather) said...

So funny Jess! I'm laughing and terrified at the same time. I had the horrendous 80's hair too. I'm so frightened of bees that I would've had a heart-attack or blacked out if that happened to me!

VanessasRunway said...

haha, that's so funny! Great story. :)

Scott said...

That is hilarious, indeed! I've always lived in the Deep South, and generally women don't use so much spray like that. Another difference is that there is no distinction among white ethnic groups--we're just white people. Also, Southerners are generally more mild-mannered: they don't speak their minds as quickly as Northerners tend to do. This is good, in that people here are more friendly and polite. But the downside is that one cannot tell, as easily, where he/she stands with others (i.e. the friendliness and politeness are expected, so they're often insincere). And finally, Southerners are more averse to arguments--they can't argue well without being too subjective (getting their feelings hurt more easily). And this is one area in which I've always been a misplaced Northerner--I love to speak my mind, to argue (constructively, of course), and am very expressive. Which is why I won't likely have a Valentine this year--Southern women do not like outspoken men, at all! They want every man to be the "strong, silent type", and I'm the strong, talkative type! Oh, and I prefer hashbrowns to grits!

Jess said...

I'm friendly and polite!

Kidding. You're right about the deep South though...I remember the first time I went to Bama with the hubs. It was serious cutlure shock.

But I adore my Deep South relatives, so it all works out anyway. :)

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