Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Belong Where You Are

Ciao, everybody! I’m thrilled to be guest blogging for the very talented New Girl, fab photographer and object of my logistical-oriented jealousy. In other words, I’m pesto-green with envy that she is living la vida loca (okay, fine – that’s Spanish) in my ancestral homeland of Italy. Fortunately, I can experience the Old Country vicariously through her blog adventures.

My name is Sarah and I live over at Mowenackie where I am staying insane through reintegration, pets and other craziness. That used to read “deployment” in place of “reintegration” but my husband, T, recently returned home from his year-long tour in Afghanistan, so we’re now navigating the choppy waters of Living Together Again.

T is Army National Guard. This was his second deployment – the first was to Iraq – and while I’m very proud of him, I certainly wouldn’t complain if he never had to be in a war zone again.

I’m just funny that way.

I’m also a tree-hugger, an animal lover, a food enthusiast and a fourth generation Italian living in…


Maine can be an interesting place to grow up for a person who calls red marinara sauce “gravy”; who thinks nothing of having ravioli as a Thanksgiving Day appetizer; and whose family hugs and kisses whoever walks in the door, rather than shaking their hand. Though I certainly never felt the culture shock that New Girl did when she first arrived in Italy, it wasn’t easy to feel bella where blonde was the standard of beauty and hairy arms were, well, not.

This was particularly true for me as a Gen X-er. Growing up in the 80’s, I wanted more than anything to have feathered bangs. Does anyone remember feather bangs? Does anyone remember the 80’s? If not, never fear – they are back and badder than ever, as is evidenced by the trashcan lid-sized sunglasses and hot pink leg warmers that are currently flying off shelves everywhere.

And for that I am very sorry.

If you don’t remember feathered bangs, check out Lacey’s hair in Kyle and Lacey’s DWTS Season 11 foxtrot. This ‘do must be distinctly understood, otherwise nothing wonderful can come of this story that I am about to relate. You must also understand that I have curly hair. Not Taylor Swift curly – I’m talking Little Orphan Annie meets bicycle-pump-on-steroids curly.


It’s 1985. I’m ten years old. All the neighborhood kids have hair that is whisper-light, fanning back from their faces with the simple flick of a comb. I beg my mother to cut me feathered bangs. She refuses, explaining that this particular fashion will not work on my type of hair. It just won’t stay in place.

I don’t care. I beg harder. Eventually, I win.

I’m Italian. I learned how to argue early.

My mother gives in and cuts my hair in innumerable layers. She blows it dry. It looks…it looks like the other kids’ hair! I was right! My mom was wrong! This is SO radical.

I run outside to show my friends.

My bangs lift in the breeze. The humidity of August rushes in, eager to restore my head to its natural chaos. My hair explodes off of my head, screaming, “I’m free! I’m free!”

I wound up with a short puff of hair billowing over my forehead like a cloud – a cloud that would follow me for the next five or six or seven (or ten) years as I wended my way through adolescence, raining on my occasional parade, but more or less just being a nuisance.

Eventually – once I learned to accept and even be proud of my heritage in all of its swarthy glory – the sun did come out. I discovered that, much like me, my hair does better when you don’t try to make it into something it’s not. If you let it just do its thing…it actually comes out kind of cool.


But cool.


Jessica Lynn said...

Ahahaha you had me cracking up at "pesto-green with envy." I love a good play on words :)

Nicky said...

Love the feathered bangs image! I think the whole Starsky & Hutch thing is being relived!

Caitlin said...

Awesome post :) And I live in Maine too! We're in Western Maine, in the foothills of the Appalachians...we love it!

Michelle A'etonu said...

i found your blog on Jess' blog, Learning As We Go. I'm excited to read more, as my husband and I are also stationed in Europe! I hope you don't mind that I've become a follower!

AngieDMac said...

This post was hilarious! and I totally pictured myself walking out in the humidity and my hair exploding. Curly hair+humidity=total chaos.

Mrs. Gu said...

I'm so with you! I moved to the States in 2004 and well, I'm not exactly blonde and arm-hair free, either. This post is so funny, love it!

Anonymous said...

LOL! I can just imagine hair screaming, "I'm free! I'm free!"

Do you still have ravioli for Thanksgiving? If so, I'm stopping by next year after I visit The Annoyed Army Wife's house for salmon. I'm all about nontraditional holiday food! =)

annoyed army wife said...

Oh my gosh, this is hilarious! I think I'm finally coming into my own with my hair after 30 years. And it's straight - I'm just a slow learner.

Multi-Colored Sprinkles said...

I love love love this post! Made me smile!

Maranda said...

LOL! Embrace your curls girl! And T was totally wrong when he said "what's the point." When a girl talks about hair....that IS the point!

~The Buzuleciu's~ said...

Haha, I always tried to feather my hair too! My hair is curly and thick and it always ended up turning into an afro looking thing. I miss the 80's lol