This was called Hair Attention if you were going to something special.
When we were young girls, a special occasion came up attention was given to your hair. Usually Saturdays were bath and hair washing day, and when you lived with no hot water, it was a challenge to my Mom to get us “cleaned up and presentable” as she would say. She would boil the kettle on the old coal stove and then wash our hair in the kitchen sink, yes the water was cooled. I can tell you complaining was not permitted.
Now hair brushing was done every evening before bed, one hundred strokes and for goodness sake, do not forget where you were at or you started over at one again. There were times when I did wonder if I had any hair left on my head. My Mom had two other sayings and there was no sense complaining as they when they were repeated time to time, you just knew to keep your mouth buttoned up. Her two favourite sayings were, “You Know Cleanliness is next to Godliness” the other one was, “You can’t make a Silk Purse out of a Sow’s Ear.” In other words, just grin and bear it, and accept the Words of Wisdom.
If it was a particular, special occasion, she would decide to put ringlets in your hair, oh dear I did not like ringlets, I was no prissy, princess, and that was for sure. This was a chore, she would patiently divide your hair, it had to be even, the right amounts of ringlets. I do think there were times in order to save time the ringlets would be larger, you know you would get fewer ringlets but they would be fatter. In some ways that was better as it took less time and suffering, it was a chore.Do not think that is the end of the hair treatment, Oh No, there was another step to this mission. First of all my Mom would have cut some strips of material maybe a House Dress that was worn thin in spots, and into lengths it would be cut. We would then wrap some hair around her finger and make a ringlet, a bobby pin was inserted to hold. Then we would wrap the ringlet with the strip of material. This would happen with every ringlet.
Now for a young child the whole deal was an evening job, and if both Grace and I had to be done, by the end of the second child the nerves could be frayed, the feet tired and the finger was exhausted of being in that ringlet position. Oh I hope I am first tonight, as it pulls a bit if Mom was tired. For some reason after each ringlet was made, it was patted and pressed up against your head. You know there you go, ringlets made, rags in and patted it up against the head. Your head was exhausted, and then another statement would come out “PRIDE PINCHES’‘. You have to know it was not my pride it was my mother’s pride, and she waited for the compliments on how the daughter’s hairs, looked, just look at the shine. If you only knew what it took, the curls, the brushing. Personally speaking, I did not care. Have you ever tried to rest your head on the pillow with a bunch of lumpy rags attached? UNCOMFORTABLE! Just to let you know with the rags in your hair, it was lumpy sleeping and a good night’s rest you did not get.
Lines From the of NoreenAugust 14/2021