Tuesday, August 24, 2010

When Taking Initiative is a Bad Thing

One of my earliest memories is of being at church in a nursery room while my parents were off elsewhere.  The teen girl who was keeping an eye on me was the only other person there and I played while she sat nearby at one of the kiddie tables.  I have very little recollection of what happened before or after this, but I do know that I somehow got ahold of a pair of scissors and cut off the huge majority of the girl's waist-length ponytail.  I was utterly shocked and horrified when the hair actually came off of her head.  On some level I knew I was cutting her hair, but didn't really understand that it couldn't be reattached until the deed was done.  Honestly, I'm not sure which of us was more stunned.  Ingrained in my memory are the the metallic taste that filled my mouth and the way my stomach dropped to my toes.

I remember seeing that dismembered ponytail in my hand and then opening my fingers, dropping the evidence as she realized what had happened and spun around.  Obviously, she was extremely upset, but she was benevolent enough not to kill me.  I curled into a ball under a different table and cried hard the remainder of the time.  My parents returned to find me that way.  Startled expressions hung on their faces as they looked wide-eyed from me to the shrieking teenager and back again.  That's all I remember...I probably repressed the rest of the memory ;)

Growing up, I'd sometimes run into that girl around town.  She was always incredibly nice and neither of us ever mentioned the day I gave my first haircut.  Even so, I always wanted the earth to open up and swallow me when our paths crossed.  I'm still completely mortified.  The world's youngest barber and I didn't even get a tip. ;)

No wonder my requests for younger siblings were always met with terrified refusals...

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