In Which I Delve So Deeply Into Lady Crap That I Alienate My Sole Remaining Male Reader; Truly, It’s About to Get Girly in Here to the Point That Even Mentioning Futbol and Pork Won’t Salvage the Situation, So I’ll Merely Thank You, Dogged Male, for Hanging on This Long, Especially Through All Those Posts That Pissed on and on About Chocolate and Shoes

“In Which I Delve So Deeply Into Lady Crap That I Alienate My Sole Remaining Male Reader; Truly, It’s About to Get Girly in Here to the Point That Even Mentioning Futbol and Pork Won’t Salvage the Situation, So I’ll Merely Thank You, Dogged Male, for Hanging on This Long, Especially Through All Those Posts That Pissed on and on About Chocolate and Shoes”

A fleeting highlight of my early adolescence occurred when, one Halloween, a tipsy door-opener named Randy (a high schooler) squinted woozily at my Pippi Longstocking costume and slurred, “You’re so cute. So cute like that. Pippi. Cute with freckles. Yer hair braided over a hanger so it’ssss all sticky-outy. Pippi girl. Cute. hic  Hey, so, cute Pippi, lemme just give you a little kiss on the cheek here for being so freckle cute with that red hair, you Pippi girl.”

Stepping forward in a state of shock and with no small awe at the hugely glamorous thing my life had suddenly become, I allowed his request. And then then he did it: he lobbed a kiss with a hic in my general direction.

It was my first such experience but certainly not my last.

That moment stands out, however, as one of the few times in my young life that anyone resembling a peer complimented my hair.  Mostly, the orangey stuff topping my noggin served as a liability–as did my preciocious puberty, bifocals, and penchant for quoting The Good Earth in the midst of dodge ball tournaments.

So there I was, a big ole carrot-topped Montana clunker with boobies and cramps and an astigmatism and ponderous knowledge of Chinese courtyards–

not exactly anybody’s idea of kissable (unless it was a holiday, and he was drunk…which, not incidentally, is also how I received my second kiss, for Santa surely do like to tipple the leftover nog).

Absurdly, the feelings of ugly that take root in adolescence prove impossible to weed.  Even after I hit college and started to hear that my hair was pretty, even after some part of me genuinely started to believe my hair might be something like a gift, even after a big part of me went so far as to love my hair,

a knock-kneed Pippi still lingered inside, wishing she didn’t have to plan her parties all alone.

Well, guess who took Pippi to an Italian salon today and raked those dumbass ugly roots straight into the compost?

(If you can’t guess, then I believe our conversation here is over.  Might I recommend you pick up a copy of some Pearl S. Buck and amuse yourself with that instead of reading on?)

Yea, that’s right.  Jocelyn was feeling blah about the whole Jocelyn look, so Jocelyn both took to referring to herself in the third person AND took herself, quite spontaneously, into a salon located on a cobbled street in Florence…

…whereupon she reverted to using the first person when the three women in the place managed to convey with their limited English that my. hair. is. to. dye. for.

According to their chatter,

no Italian has my color

all Italians want my color

I have never dyed

they all dye

and still I get to have my color, but they don’t

and everything on my head is bella, bella, bella

and the truth is, all I ever wanted when I was growing up was dark hair and olive skin (okay, plus a date with Steve Perry or Daryl Hall)

and to be thin and sophisticated and know how to dress

and these women had all of these things,

but still I got to be the bella of their ball–

and at the end of an hour and a half, during which I’d urged them, “I just want something different, so do anything you like,” and they enthused, “Meravigliosa!” and “Grazie!” while shearing huge amounts of what they termed “copper blond” off my head (to make a wig, I have no doubt; it looked like a fluffy dog named Lucille Ball had died on the floor by the time they were finished)…

I felt the slightly-cowed Pippi inside me toss her shoulders back and decide it was time to hoist a horse over her head before cleaning the kitchen by skating across it with scrub brushes tied to her feet.

This thing had happened.  I would never have known at age 12 that it could.

But I went to a chic place full of women I envied,

and they wanted to be just like me

and it was healing.

as would have been a date with Steve Perry, I hasten to point out

The chatter of black-clad Italian signorine today assured that the next time a drunken Randy attempts a Halloween peck, I won’t step forward with acceptance into his lurch. Rather, my Pippi will choose to step away, turn her back on the desperation, and head to the next house. After all, they might be giving out mini-Snickers instead of sloppy snogs.

The photo gallery:


‘Scuse my case of The Shinies. We’d been out in the rain for nine hours by the time these pix were taken…Normally, Pippi would have insisted on a quick buff of powder, but she was too busy scratching Mr. Nilsson’s tummy to care.


The 97-pound stylist today told me she was going to cut my hair “in the Italian style,” and I do rather think–to my delight–that my head came out looking like a gnocchi with a few oddball patches of bucatini dripping asymmetrically down my cheeks. What a meal I’d have been for A Deserving Randy. Alas, it is only one special Groomeo who gets to appreciate the crazy bowl of pasta that tops my skull (and the wine-soaked meatballs inside of it).  I’ll be sure to hand him a napkin after every tipsy kiss.






27 responses to “In Which I Delve So Deeply Into Lady Crap That I Alienate My Sole Remaining Male Reader; Truly, It’s About to Get Girly in Here to the Point That Even Mentioning Futbol and Pork Won’t Salvage the Situation, So I’ll Merely Thank You, Dogged Male, for Hanging on This Long, Especially Through All Those Posts That Pissed on and on About Chocolate and Shoes”

  1. Jenn @ Juggling Life Avatar
    Jenn @ Juggling Life

    It's gorgeous! You're gorgeous!

    And even though I was already in love with you before, I am even more in love with now that I know I was not the only 12-year old whose very favorite book was The Good Earth.

  2. alwaysinthebackrow Avatar

    How chic! I don't know the Italian word for chic, so I will stick with what I know.
    It should not have taken small, olive-skinned Italian girls to make you feel gorgeous. You ARE!!! (and it appears that you are happy, too-a big bonus!)

  3. jess Avatar

    So pretty! I like the new haircut. And you DO have beautiful hair. I mea, RAndy might have been slightly tipsy, but he was on the ball when it came to appreciating a lovely Pippi impersonator.

    Aaand now you've got the song running through my head. Curse you, Pippi.

    Oh and speaking of Astrid Lindgren, have you read Ronia the Robber's Daughter? You must get it for girl if she hasn't read it. It was one of my favorites.

  4. kmkat Avatar

    If you are gonna have a make-over, do it in a salon in Florence, Italy, surrounded by chic and gorgeous Italians. That's what I always say. What a great, great look!

  5. Jeni Avatar

    How true it is that those feelings that hit us in adolescence pertaining particularly to our looks but also extending to cover clumsiness and artful conversation among a few other stupid things, do tend to latch on and follow us forever! (Just the same way fat cells once acquired invite their family, friends and even some enemies to come camp out in this body forever and ever. I envy anyone right now who can get a haircut. One of these days though, I will have enough of that substance growing atop my head that I too can go get it cut and will forget all about the days of baldness and a few other things. (I do have a tiny soft covering forming on my head these days that is growing as fast as it can to provide warmth again but of course, just like everything else in my life, it's not growing fast enough to suit me.)

  6. monica Avatar

    well helloooo !! ( like my 18 year old says all the time these days..) Bella Pippi with a twist!
    Love your smile! Your hair too! Allthough I adored the curls you used to have…

  7. secret agent woman Avatar
    secret agent woman

    You have great hair, although it looks more gold than red to me. But I htink most of want what we don't have and most of us have an adolescent view of our bodies. I had the opposite growth pattern, so now as I'm approaching 50 and I still am surprised that men will insist that I don't have small breasts.

  8. haphazardlife Avatar

    Damn you're HAWT! I love it!!! It's beautiful.

    And I really love that last phrase: and the wine-soaked meatballs inside of it

    Come to Montreal and we'll soak our meatballs some more.

    – Jazz

  9. Pearl Avatar

    Smooth and delicious. You look like dessert. 🙂 Happy dessert.


  10. unmitigated me Avatar
    unmitigated me

    I LOVE it! And the asymmetry is just one of the wonderful parts. Menopausal me currently has enough testosterone to qualify as a semi-male reader, and I'm still here.

  11. Green Girl in Wisconsin Avatar
    Green Girl in Wisconsin

    Lovely hair! Shiny, smooth and beautiful color! Way to take advantage of Euro-styling.

  12. Erin Avatar

    Oh so cute!

  13. Deborah Avatar

    So for the last three days I've been trying not to think about you, shoring up my disappointment about our not-meant-to-be Florentine rendezvous by convincing myself that I might not have really wanted to climb all those steps to the Duomo.

    But this? I don't think you have the first idea how much I would have loved to be there. You have GUTS, girl, to put yourself in the hands of a unrecommended Italian hairdresser AND to tell her to do whatever she likes. Fair takes my breath away. On the other hand, it takes 4 years to learn to be a haridresser in Italy, so they know what they're doing.

    It's funny what Italy does to people – well, women, anyway. I had my first ever manicure in Rome, 'cause it just seemed like it was the perfect place to make yourself pretty. On the same trip, my statuesque daughter discovered that her curves were appreciated there and felt, for once, like she fitted right in.

    Fabulous 'do, mia bella .

  14. tattytiara Avatar

    I don't think your head looks like any kind of food, pasta or otherwise! I really like the shape from the side, and you look great.

  15. Amy Jo Avatar
    Amy Jo

    Great post–and great new hair! Juniper and I just started reading Pippi L–weird timing. It's not like people quote Swedish children's literature often… I have a great friend (strawberry blonde as can be) who always got a little miffed when people dyed their hair red. If you didn't suffer through childhood as a redhead, she said proudly, you don't deserve the red hair now. You certaintly deserve it!

  16. alwaysinthebackrow Avatar

    Wait-this is to Amy Jo above—-you have a child in your life named Juniper??? My son and daughter-in-law are naming their soon-to-be-born daughter Juniper Rae. No one had ever heard of a child named Juniper. Now I can prove that it is a beautiful name for a child. Thank You!!!
    Oh, sorry, Jocelyn, I just had to say that. Hope it didn't mess up your blog too much.

  17. geewits Avatar

    What a wonderful Valentine's Day gift! For you and for Groomeo.

  18. C-leen Avatar

    Che bella!

  19. Mother Theresa Avatar
    Mother Theresa

    Bellissima! That looks like one happy Jocelyn. And here you were all disappointed about "having" to go to Italy instead of Egypt. I bet you wouldn't have gotten such a fabulous haircut there. Oh, and I promise not to bop you on the head with the toilet paper, if and when we should ever meet, because that would mess up the hair. 😉

  20. Anonymous Avatar

    It boggles my mind that people get picked on for having red hair. I had the opposite problem – people were always too appreciative and interested in my hair. "Where'd you get that red hair from?" was almost always the first question people asked me, and as a painfully shy kid I just wanted everyone to leave me alone. And most of my classmates didn't really know me that well, so when we were forced to compliment each other for projects the most frequent comment would be, "She has nice red hair."

    Anyway, the haircut is lovely, as are you.

    – Audrey (formerly yinyang)

  21. heartinsanfrancisco Avatar

    You look fabulous, Dahling, FABulous. That is exactly the haircut I've been trying to get for about three years, but apparently it's beyond the reach of stylists in this city so far from Italy. I am going to mail myself to you posthaste 🙂 so you can take me to your sophisticated stylish ladies who cut some mean hairs. I LOVE it!!!

  22. Mother Theresa Avatar
    Mother Theresa

    You're stylish, so tag, you're it!

  23. lime Avatar

    so you're saying perhaps the more swarthy types would feel appreciated in sweden? 😉

    ah, i am glad you had a bit of salon provided healing. you deserve it. you look mahvelous!

  24. Patois Avatar

    Oh the adventures you're having! Down to getting your hair done up in Italy!

    You look gorgeous.

  25. Michelle Wells Grant Avatar
    Michelle Wells Grant

    What an exciting post for me to return to after a looooong absence. Bella indeed! A makeover that you really didn't need but nonetheless, it IS exciting! I bet it's somewhat liberating!

  26. actonbell Avatar

    Great pictures, I love that color! It looks great on you, and the hairstyle, too. And such an experience, too:)

  27. Star Avatar

    What a moment that must have been. Being the bella of the ball(a). Having been to Florence I know what you mean. All the women have such a sense of style.From your photos, I must say you should blend right in, except of course, for your hair color.

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