Monday, January 4, 2010

Hair stuff and Grandma Viviani

Do you know what these are? The ad in the Carol Wright magazine calls them hair spools, we always called them spoolies in the late 50's, early 60's. They were pink then.

So listen, my SGrandma usually had long grey hair that she would braid and then wind into a bun on the back of her head in the morning, and at night she would unroll it. But one time, my SMom took her for a HAIRCUT! Bad daughter, it may have been for my SSister#1's wedding in 1961.

After that traumatic haircut, SGM would sometimes try to put these spoolies in. They don't look too technical, but the way I remember it from watching others, you need to put just the right amount of wet hair in and roll and then flip the top over so it was a pyramid shape instead of the hourglass or spool shape you began with. When done properly, you ended up with curls when the hair was dry, when done just a little wrong, the spoolies would POP, and sometimes become unguided missiles. A kid could get in trouble if they laughed at their SGM when that happened, she had a wicked "evil eye" (I must confess that I have inherited all the same magma in my own "evil eye" We call it the malocchia-translated=bad eye.

I don't remember another haircut for her, but I do remember going to Neisners, the local "5 and dime" store (where yes, you could buy items for 5 and 10 cents), and I would buy her one package of grey hairnets: $10 cents. I was honored to go get them for her, she would take the coin out of her cloth handkerchief (which she wrapped tightly around the coins and hid in her clothing) and sometimes I would get a few coins for myself. I do remember one time they only had WHITE, oh what was I going to do, go home empty handed, buy the wrong color, what kind of choices are these? I so wanted to please others to show I was a good girl, and could be trusted, but this was a very big deal. Remember, this was before the days of cell phones where I could call and have her make the choice. I bought the white ones and offered many apologies-as if I made the corporate decision to not stock enough grey hairnets.

You can see her grey hairnet here-she was sitting in my SAunt's kitchen, and she really was not as stern as she looked-but like most of the women in my family-she hated to have her picture taken. This picture sits on a table near my computer workspace. I do not know of any picture that shows her smiling from her heart, but I do know that she gave much love from her heart-especially to a granddaughter who loved her deeply, misses her daily, and is so grateful for the times she cared enough in the midst of all she was doing to take care of the five of us kids to let me know I was worthy of love.

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