Screenshot from Poetry Foundation. I always knew this poem because my mom would recite it to me, but I never knew it was Longfellow.

At most points in my life, one of the first things you’d notice about me would have been my hair. It’s excessively curly. The diameter of the curls, when left to their own devices, is about that of a standard #2 pencil. Stray hairs regularly curl up in almost perfect circles on the bathroom counter. I purposely have to weigh it down, leaving conditioner in, to have it do more than tie itself into knots (literally).

I come by this hair honestly, from both sides of my family. And it was the bane of my existence as a kid, as it was the easiest target for my bullies when they would torment me. Which was almost daily.

Both my parents have/had curly hair. On my dad’s side, it came from him, his dad, and his dad’s mom. I’m not sure past that. On my mom’s side, it comes from my mom’s mom, but I’m not sure past that.

Here are a couple of photos of my maternal grandmother as a child, lest there was any doubt that she and I were related.

With hair as curly as mine, it’s impossible for it to look passable without getting it wet. You can’t brush it unless it’s wet. Then you need to let it dry without really touching it much, or else it’s a mess again. It’s so high maintenance, and I will never get to experience the freedom of someone with straight hair. At least it’s gotten more manageable since my hair thinned a bit due to perimenopause! #SilverLinings

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