I wish there were a word like fashionista to describe a woman fixated with her hair. I have been afflicted with this unnamed obsession since I was 12 years old and first attempted to style my stick-straight, baby-fine hair into thick wavy tresses.
In the scores of years since then, I have struggled daily to make my hair match the current look â€" usually to no avail as heat, humidity and even gentle breezes undid my relentless efforts the minute I stepped outside.
But on a recent trip, I had an epiphany.
Walking into the hotel dining room for the breakfast buffet, I noticed a couple sitting in the corner. I think they were Muslim, because the young mother seated at the table wore a scarf on her head. Covering every strand of her hair. In that split second, the obvious was revealed to me.
I was so excited I could hardly wait until we were seated to tell Bob. With hushed voice, I leaned across the table and said, â€œBob, all my life, Iâ€™ve been missing the boat.â€