But I guess I did it anyhow.  In the pic you see five-year-old moi, seated next to my cousin Laurie who was just a few months younger but no daredevil.  Not like me.  I wish I could remember the sweet woman sitting next to Laurie.  An aunt?  A friend of the family or someone from Laurie’s father’s congregation (he was a pastor).  I don’t remember.

If I asked you to caption the photo, you’d probably think of something along the lines of ‘sweet little girls, dressed for some holiday’.  Yeah, sort of.  I was going for an especially angelic look.  Can you tell?  Knees together, hands folded, smiling benignly for the camera.  The picture of a ‘good girl’?  Why?

That morning I gave Laurie a haircut. Tired of coloring books and playing games, she wanted to give all of her dolls a buzz cut. Just her dolls, at first. To bored little Vicki, that sounded like great fun, so I stealthily fetched the sharpest shears I could find from the kitchen.

Laurie’s dolls had matted, crinkly hair and she misguidedly thought a haircut might prompt new growth?  I knew better but didn’t tell her the truth…um….they’re DOLLS and once the flammable hair’s clipped off, it’s gone-zo…for-EV-er.  I thought I was a gullible girl but Laurie always won the award for most likely to be terrorized by her slightly-older cousin.  Me. 

When I returned with scissors, Laurie hesitated but I prodded her, showing how easy it would be to give her Barbies and other assorted dolls a ‘fresh look’.  Laurie became giggly with anticipation – knowing we were engaged in no-no business as we took turns holding the dolls while the other hacked away. 

I thought the dolls looked awful – they all morphed into ugly versions of “Ken”, but Laurie was thrilled.  And then…she asked. Honestly – she ASKED – I did NOT offer – about cutting her hair.  Laurie had waist-length glossy blonde locks, which she hated (for the same reasons her dolls were getting new coifs – brushing is a nuisance).  Laurie’s hair was the epitome of 70’s beauty.  Silky straight blonde strands parted down middle, and I thought she was a whiner for complaining.  Laurie’s hair looked good all the time.

Me?  I had a famous bedhead most days and endured a regular head whomping from my mom as she tried to tame my hair with a stiff brush every morning.  No one had bangs then, it was a cooler to look like the older girls with their hippy-looking, easy breezy tresses.

When Laurie pleaded with me to ‘do her hair’ I knew I was headed toward quicksand, but I did it anyhow.  First, I lopped off a few inches in a zigzag hack that looked like I’d used enormous pinking shears.  Laurie giggled as globs of her hair melted into the mess of doll hair on the floor and chanted ‘more, more’.  I stood back, appraising my work and decided to pull some hair forward and chop in some bangs.  If you look at the pic, I didn’t do a bad job.  My aunt and mom neatened things up and trimmed Laurie’s lopsided length and new fringe – after both Laurie and I were resoundingly reprimanded (spanking was the way in those days). 

There was a lot of shouting about evil little Vicki, terrorizing her younger cousin, and Laurie folded immediately, claiming it was all MY idea – starting with the dolls and then progressing to her horrible haircut.  I tried to defend myself, but you know how it is.  My reputation preceded me, and I decided to shut up and take the licks, until I saw my mom approach with the shears.  “Your turn”, she said, and she plopped me into a chair, chopping in a fresh set of bangs for wicked me.  In the pic, they don’t look too bad but just an hour before I was red-faced and devastated.  Mom made sure my bangs were the shortest of short…as punishment for “ruining” Laurie’s beautiful hair.

“The day Vicki ruined Laurie’s hair” was a family story told and retold for years afterward. Years later, I agreed to be her maid of honor in her wedding. I never brought up the ‘hair incident’ to her then, seeing how nervous she was as a new bride, but I chuckled to myself during all of the wedding prep, wondering if Laurie might ask me to do her hair on her big day. 😉

See what happens when an errant family photo falls out of drawer? Thanks for reading and letting me share.

Vicki 😘

41 thoughts on “I Didn’t Mean to Start a Hair War

  1. Hilarious! It couldn’t have been too traumatizing if she asked you to be maid of honor! It’s really amazing how much you can learn from a single afternoon of playing with friends. 🙂

    Love the story! Thanks for a great post! ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  2. That’s too funny!! My family also has a funny story about a haircut. My little sister loved watching The Wind in the Willows. At some point, Badger trims Mole’s whiskers (or perhaps vice versa), Little Sis wanted in on the fun! So, she found our pet cat and her left-handed scissors and inconspicuously trimmed kitty’s whiskers and left them in a little pile on the gold velour sitting chair. Hair grows back, so no harm, no foul, right? 🤣🤣🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “There was a lot of shouting about evil little Vicki.” Oh yes, so evil! Didn’t I see your wanted poster in the Post Office! I’m sorry, I’m not believing it. You cut her hair. I’ve heard worse. I’m with Wynne, it couldn’t have been too traumatizing if she asked you to be her maid of honor.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great story! Not one either you or your cousin is likely to forget. The problem with a reputation is that it seems to follow us everywhere, even when behaving ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing the truth in your comment, Pete! 😉 Once a reputation’s tainted, there’s no going back. That whole ‘bad haircut’ business, among a few other transgressions, followed me endlessly! 🤣😊🤣

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Aren’t you the smart one! That IS the question…perhaps because you’ve struggled or witnessed the “bangs or no bangs’ conundrum? After fighting them off for years, I decided I need my ‘fringe’. Laurie? Not so much. She always looked prettier without bangs, and she knew it! As for the dolls…. despite a little hair replacement ‘surgery’ with super glue (maybe a story for another day) their shorn locks were a total loss. (But trying to do the repair work was another fun adventure!) Thanks for the giggles, Jane! 😉😘😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I never thought to cut my own hair – or anybody else’s – but this is EXACTLY the consequence that would have happened in MY household, as well… 😕💕 I did catch my OWN daughter one day, in the process of carefully snipping great big chunks of her OWN hair, individually wrapping each chunk in a separate Kleenex which she was carefully folding and putting in a sweet little box ((by the time I caught her, the box was nearly full). It was WAY too late to stop her; the damage was done. I later took her to the hairdresser to fix the damage but there was no point in being upset (and she was rather proud of herself). It was actually kind of sweet. I still have that box with all those chopped locks of hair. I know, weird… 💕 It just touches my heart, somehow…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I love all of that, Patti! I would’ve kept ‘the evidence’ LOL, too! Tucked away somewhere is the little blonde ponytail from our daughter’s first haircut. She was a bald baby for so long…and then we did the “Pebbles Flintstone” ponytail 😉 on the top of her head until more hair started to grow in. When it did, we lopped off the ponytail, but I didn’t have the heart to discard it. So…I totally “get” that you kept your sweet daughter’s handiwork. I would’ve too! Thanks so much for the smile this morning. 🥰

          Liked by 1 person

  5. While good for some giggles in the retelling Vicki, I feel sad for you both actually. It was just hair. My oldest granddaughter just did a trim job on her own hair- horrific is a good word, but I was so thankful her parents (while not pleased) did not treat her actions or her reasons why as a world crisis and she’s a 10 yo! You were half that age. I’m glad you can laugh now, but honestly I’m also sorry this has followed you into adulthood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe the whole hair-trimming thing — on dolls, ourselves, our cousins is a weird rite of passage? Thanks so much, Deb – and you’re absolutely right. What we did was unfortunate but the response we received…I received…was extreme, but it was actually one of the lesser sad episodes in my childhood. I’ve made peace with most of it and goodness, writing about a lot of it has helped. Thanks for seeing past the giggles. You’re amazing! 😘

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh Vicki, I think- knowing only a bit about your childhood, and seeing many similarities to my own, I see and feel moments in your posts (and other folks as well) that yes- trigger- memories of my own. The “extreme responses” are the key usually, or much like Wynne’s bedtime post yesterday ( a perfectly innocent and wonder post) my brain drags up my own much different bedtime scenario. You know all this of course, and while I am well on my way in figuring all those years out and moving past I am still shocked when those moments come while reading someone else’s words. For a long time I never truly understood what that word “trigger” meant in a visceral sense. Not anymore. I get it, but thankfully not often. Keep writing and chuckling- I am doing the same, mostly on my private blog for my kids who both want and need to understand their own history and past as well.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Another lovely, connecting thread between us, Deb. I also think writing about family stories is a gift, of sorts, to our children. Our daughter, now that she’s grown, has asked for the details, the background info about so many episodes. You’re absolutely right – it helps the next generation understand family history…and their own. xo! ❤

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah….we share crazy hi-jinks stories with cousins, eh? Brenda…I can’t imagine you getting into trouble…you’ll need to share sometime! And yes, yes, despite the madness in some memories, I enjoy the giggles most of all. If I look, almost always, I can find it. xo! ❤ 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My sister took scissors to my blond curly locks and lopped a ginormous chuck out of the back of my hair. Maybe she was jealous of my overwhelming cuteness—the dimpled, chubby cheeked good natured little cherub that I was. I remember my mother holding my dismembered curls in her hand, sitting on the stairs and sobbing. Was my sister punished? Don’t think so. She wasn’t wicked—at least not so’s ya’ notice out loud! Great story Vicki. Thanks for the memories!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Julia! “Dismembered curls”??? I love that! Thank you for joining me in the memory lane moments about shorn locks. You must’ve been the cutest cherub…EVER. I bet you…and your curls…were treasures to your mother. xo! 💕

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