Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Tonight my husband received the gift of a lantern for some sort of "pat on the back" at work.  He said that the only downside to it was that it was butane.
"Butane?  What's wrong with butane?" I asked.
"Propane is better," he said.
Then I had a flash-back from Jr. High.
"Hey, I used to have a butane curling iron!" I said, feeling pretty proud of myself.
"A what????"
"A butane curling iron."
(puzzled looks and crickets chirping in the background.)
Hello...is this thing on?
Then he unleashed with the questions.
"What in the world would you need a butane curling iron for?"
"Well, when your bangs are high maintenance and they're going flat, you can re-curl them wherever you are...no plug needed."
He couldn't believe it.
Here's what my curling iron looked like.
Then I had to go into a long dissertation about the "big hair era" in the early 90's and the sheer magnitude of time it took to have the perfect bangs.  The big wave bangs didn't show up over night.  They slowly evolved from the more feathered look.  You know, one curl down, one curl up and then tease with a brush.  The big wave bangs where an updated and hip version of the 80's feathered bangs.
Here's a black and white yearbook picture from 1993... my own personal peak for big wave bangs. I was a freshman and my hair had it goin' on! The picture quality is not that great, but what's important here is the perfect balance of lift and curl.  It's a delicate procedure that involved a curling iron, blow dryer, and Suave hairspray.
I believe the term my parents used for them was "bug antenna bangs".  Whatever.  What did they know about style anyway?

The problem with these bangs?  Conditions had to be P-E-R-F-E-C-T for them to look their best....and I do mean perfect.  If the humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed, or phase of the moon was not right, then they would start to sag.  Here's where the butane curling iron comes into play.

If there was a sudden gust of wind, moisture in the air, or I had to pass under the fly fan in the cafeteria door, then my bangs needed repairs.  My friends and I would whip out our curling irons at the end of lunch period, and use the hand dryers in the bathroom to increase the volume of our bangs.  It was a brilliant invention!

That is...it was brilliant until I ran out of babysitting money for the expensive butane refill cartridges.  Those things were pricey! And I only made $2.00 an hour babysitting.

Below is a picture of me and one of my best buddies in high school.  We were Juniors back then.  Our biggest concern was having enough money to buy more Rockies and Ropers.  The two of us had every color of Rockies that the company made.  We were so stylin'.  But I'll save that for another post.

What's important to know here is that this was the last year that I had bangs.  I totally decided to grow them out right after this picture was taken.

Any gal who has ever had bangs knows that it takes the patience of Job to grow them out.  It's annoying, and they go through so many bad phases.
Once I said good bye to them, I never looked back.  They've been gone since 1995.  So long bangs.  May you rest in peace.
Just yesterday my 7 year old daughter asked me if I thought she should have some bangs.
"Are you kidding me?  Not unless you want to be a slave to the curling iron" I told her. "They will control your life, kid."
She just looked at me weird and walked off.
She'll never know the dedication it takes to have good bangs....until she's old enough to take care of them herself. 

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