Thursday, December 10, 2009
Appearances are crucial for todays young teenagers I know, particularly hair styles, bespeak who you are. I speak only for boys as I was never blessed with a sister, so girls always had a mysterious and intimidating quality for me at that age. In our home, hair was a low priority for myself and my brothers. I was verging on voice change, and hair elsewhere than the head, but I was still a boy and unconscious of style. It was the era before Brylcreem. We all still smelled like boys. We had a large quart sealer that my mother made up, what we called "green stuff". It was some sort of gel that was pale green and she made it from a powder that one mixed with water. It probably was a wave set of some sort. In the morning before school we would put our hand in the wide mouth sealer and plaster our hair with "green stuff" and comb it. It set in about five minutes. Over time and many cursorily washed hands in the jar, the green stuff became a little more like "grey stuff". It still worked well and by the time we got to school our hair was hard as a rock. Particularly in the winter it caked like cement. In the normal rough and tumble at school, someone would inevitably pass a strong hand though my hair and it would stick up like thatch. There was something quite liberating in that period of life, before Narcissus entered in, when we didn't worry about that sort of thing. If I mention "green stuff" to my brothers they cackle with laughter!