When I was in middle school, I gladly dispensed of those HORRENDOUS sponge rollers that Mom rolled my hair in every Saturday night and the night before any special event. I gaggingly joined the throngs of girls who got their hair fried to a sizzle (come on, surely you remember the perms of the '80s?). Every time we came back from Aunt Linda's, Kay's Beauty shop, (and we can't forget Mom doing it at home and Dad and Andy griping about the smell the next two weeks), my dear little brother and Dad would make some wisecrack about people sticking their fingers in light sockets.
Until my junior year of high school. For some reason my hair burned exceptionally bad that visit, and even though Kay cut and conditioned as much as she could, it was still quite frizzy when I left the salon. And on Kay's behalf, she used the light perm for easily damaged hair and cut the time in half! It was the constant dilemma - too much time and my hair burned, one minute less and it would only half-way take, if at all. Needless to say, I was upset on my way home, and when I walked in the kitchen door, Andy looked up, stared at me for a minute, then went right back to studying. He never said a word. No electric current jokes, no forgot to use a dryer sheet joke - nothing. I knew then it was really bad. Even Dad said nothing when I got home. I simply had the worst perm of my life.
At least that's what I thought until Sunday night. Our Pastor mentioned in his sermon that he had always teased his daughters about their hair, but was learning that they could no longer do that. Maybe Mom simply had heard enough and put a stop to Dad and Andy. Then again, if BOTH Dad and Andy are in on something, I'm not even sure Mom could stop them.
Regardless, after my sophomore year of college, I refused perms. For the next seven years I was straight and happy. The year Bobby and I were engaged I got a perm so he could see what I looked like curly. He hated the smell anytime we got close, and I hated the little burned stubbles my fingers would find every time I washed my hair. It's been eleven years, and I've not had a perm since. And unless I go through some identity crisis, it's very likely to stay that way.