Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Salon de la Moist Rub

I never had a Barbie Head when growing up. My sisters had a Barbie Head. They used to play with it. If you consider brushing its hair and putting make up on it “playing”, then they played with it. I didn’t consider that “playing”. It seemed more like work, which is why I never wanted one. Although, I did want a jackhammer, and some consider using one of those as work, which I guess it is if you’re using it to accomplish something. I wanted one so I could break stuff, like my sisters’ Barbie Head.

As it turns out, they weren’t really playing with the Barbie Head. They were in training. Training to be full fledged, self-grooming women. And, through this training, they became not only self-grooming. They are able to groom others, as well. I’ve further come to learn that most women have this amazing, community grooming ability. Ex-Mrs. Rub can do it, too. I, on the other hand, having spent my youth dreaming of jackhammer demolitions, do not have that ability. Or, I didn’t used to. That Barbie Head training would have come in handy nowadays, now that I’m a father of a daughter.

Recently, my daughter has adopted a rad new hairstyle called, “Knot-Ridden Get Dad In Trouble Mess”. She never used to have problems with knots. Or maybe she had, but I never paid attention. In the past, if she had a knot here and there, I would brush her hair in a way so that the outside strands covered the knots, and it looked smooth until she actually moved. Hence, the iron lung I bought and made her go to school in on the problem days. This strategy worked fine until, I guess, it got out of hand, as determined by ex-Mrs. Rub.


This is actually fun for them, until they expect a guy to do it.

Somehow, it became my fault that my daughter’s hair had become a knot farm. Although I swear she’s come to my house after a few days at ex-Mrs. Rub’s home with a rat’s nest on her head. After I took the rat’s nest off her head, I noticed thousands of knots in her hair. Not being able to prove it (and I didn’t even question why my daughter was wearing a rat’s nest), I chose not to even bring up the argument with ex-Mrs. Rub.

She had the gall to question my daughter-grooming ability. My retort was clear. I never had a Barbie Head, nor have I ever had long hair (relatively), nor have I ever, personally, had a knot in my hair. I did get gum stuck in my hair in seventh grade during a pep rally, once. I couldn’t get it out with my comb, so I chose to rip out the entire clump from my skull. The bleeding stopped by seventh period. I brought that up to confuse ex-Mrs. Rub, but it didn’t work. My diversionary tactics haven’t worked since the day after our honeymoon. Still, they make arguing more fun (for me, at least). My point was, how the hell would I know how to get a knot out of my hair, let alone, my daughter’s hair? She’s seen my daughter’s Barbie Head. It’s bald. It’s bald because one day my daughter was crying because she had trouble brushing the ratty fake hair on the Barbie Head, so I shaved it. That probably wasn’t the optimal solution to the problem, and it didn’t stop my daughter from crying, but it was a solution. That Barbie Head hasn’t had a knot since. It all worked out. She and I make fun of the bald Barbie Head sometimes, and it’s a wonderful father/daughter bonding experience.

My defense was stricken from the record and overruled by the emotional agony ex-Mrs. Rub endured while extricating the knots from my daughter’s head. She claimed that she was brought to tears with the sight of bales of my daughter’s hair being meshed in the comb, as if she was being plucked to death. I did some research on this. You can’t kill somebody by plucking them unless you do it all at once and pull at least 39.4 percent of the skin with it. Ex-Mrs. Rub did not use the global pluck technique, so I considered her testimony immaterial. That made no difference to ex-Mrs Rub.

I was losing the argument. It’s hard to beat an emotional opponent when all I have are bullets made out of logic and responsibility avoidance. I had one more bomb in my arsenal. I proposed that maybe, just maybe, our daughter was not mature enough to take care of such long hair by herself. Ex-Mrs. Rub agreed, and before she could get her “but” out there, I suggested we cut my daughter’s hair short until she learns to knot-proof it herself. Or, at least until the Barbie Head grows her fake hair back so my daughter can practice. Then, the “but” came out. Ex-Mrs. Rub said something about me being lazy and not willing to sacrifice some effort to keep my daughter’s hair the way she likes it. I’m not sure of her exact words. There was a game on. Then, I may have accused her of not being a good enough mom to teach our daughter how to self-groom. OK, I’m not an idiot, I didn’t actually say that, but the thought did cross my mind. Not the part of her being a bad mom - she’s a wonderful mom. It was just the part about her not having taught our daughter the self-grooming. It’s only fair since I have taught our son everything he has to know about being a guy, which is nothing since he’s a guy. I was going to say it, but I couldn’t think of a way to phrase it without getting a brush jammed in a part of my body that brushes usually don’t go.

Finally, I succumbed to the pressure and agreed to make more of an effort to the follicle fostering of our daughter. After giving my daughter a bath, (a bath that rendered her hair knotless, I’ll have you know) I asked her to get her pajamas on and report to me for some beauty parlor time. Somewhere between her bedroom and the family room and during the three minutes, twenty-six seconds it took her to don her pj’s, no less than forty-five hundred knots infiltrated her hair.

Immediately, I wondered how my daughter would look with a Dorothy Hamill haircut.
No, not too good. Not even back in the seventies. So I armed myself with a brush, a fine-toothed comb and a fifty-five gallon drum of that Knot-Be-Gone fluid, which should be called, Knot-Be-Wet-But-Still-In-Your-Daughter’s-Hair. The stuff doesn’t work. I attacked the knots with the brush. The brush was able to smooth out the top layer of her hair, which almost tricked me, but I was now too wise in the ways of tuft teasing. I looked underneath the calm sea of hair to find the looming tumbleweed graveyard. So, I pumped some more knot-buster sauce and went after it with the comb. After I traumatized my daughter with whiplash from the massive comb stroke being thwarted by the knots, I considered that maybe going after all of the knots at once was not the best approach.

I began carefully taking each knot at a time. Some of them consisted of only two or three strands of hair. Before I knew it, I was half finished. Thinking that was better than I usually did, I almost sent her to bed to let her mother figure out the rest in a couple of days. But, I carried on, and finished the job. Sure, I ripped a few strands out of my daughter’s head, eliciting shrieks of pain. But, I didn’t let that bother me. I don’t know what ex-Mrs. Rub’s issue was with seeing the amputated hair in the comb. Those are tokens of learning. Me learning how to de-knot, and my daughter learning that she needs to figure this task out herself so that I don’t resort back to my clump yanking gum extracting technique of my youth on her.

I now consider myself pretty good at grooming my daughter’s hair. Pretty good in relation to other non-gay fathers, that is. I have long ago conquered the ponytail, braid, bun and beehive. I still can’t compete with the Barbie Head trained women of the world. That doesn’t bother me, since I have other mountains to eventually climb being the father of a daughter. Mountains such as puberty and the “monthly visitor” I can see coming over the horizon toward our house. I wonder if Mattel has a Barbie part to help me out with that.

19 comments:

keysunset said...

Moist, I am so impressed with your determination to be a good dad, that I will resist the temptation to tease you on this one.

Good luck with your other "mountains" - we're in the foothills ourselves ...

L A Ray said...

Dude? And I use the term loosely. What gives? Are you the same guy I was drinking with at The Powerhouse?

keysunset said...

hey now, L A Ray, give him a break!

Moist, not to promote any particular product, but my long-haired child wraps her hair up in a "Turbie Wrap" after washing. It's a variation on the making a towel turban idea, but smaller, more head shaped, and there's a loop on the back to tuck the end into so it doesn't come apart as easily. Then while she's getting into pj's her hair doesn't tangle up again.

LOVE the pics! Even for my household brushing out hair is like going where "angels fear to tread."

keysunset said...

oops, sorry, it's called "Turbie Twist"

Moist Rub said...

Dude. There is nothing more manly than a dude stooping to bend a child.

Don't you forget that.

HR said...

I'll promote a couple of products. First, one of those two-in-one kids shampoo and conditioners. Any one will do. Then follow that with a child's conditioner. Really. Yes, you're kind of conditioning twice, but I promise her hair won't look like the Fonz's. And the tangles will fall out much more easily. Then, if you braid it before she goes to sleep (the only thing I ever learned from Little House on the Prairie...) it won't get all tangly. You know how to braid? Get a new Barbie if you don't. Brush and braid while you distract her by reading her favorite story or letting her watch whatever show she likes, and you're golden. Thanks for not doing the Dorothy Hamil to the child. I'm still trying to recover from that trauma...

Moist Rub said...

HR, thanks for the advice, and I'm sure all that will work, but there is no way in hell I can do all of that. I'm a guy, no matter what LA Ray dreams about. I'll stick to the knot-snipering and the occassional amputated hair.

Moist

HR said...

oh, I missed it, you CAN braid. Well, then, you've got it made. As a woman, I wasn't supposed to let you in on those secrets, you know. You're just supposed to struggle while the women complain...

LA, you don't go messin' with father/daughter stuff like that!

keysunset said...

HR, Moist's a smart man, I'll bet he'll take some of your sage advice, but just not let LA Ray or ex-Mrs Rub know he has that knowledge.

heh heh

Darth Lisp said...

MR - I'm forwarding some real estate information for West Hollywood to you so you can complete your move to the Pink Side. Just give in to the interior designer in you and your journey will be complete.

Sid F'er said...

There was some chick comic that talked about the Barbie head she had as a kid and how it inspired her to be a hairdresser, but the only way she could style hair is if she wrapped her legs around her clients neck.

keysunset said...

At one of the Lollapaloozas L7 was doing haircuts. Maybe while Stiv00 is doing holy cards, Moist can do hair at the upcoming Dirge-a-palooza/Leprosy Reunion tour ...

just a thought.

Fabiansparkle said...

Admit it, you used to practice making out with that Barbie head, didn't you?

Moist Rub said...

I made out with it, but it wasn't practice. It was my whole sex life.

Fabiansparkle said...

I guess Barbie does give good head eh?

scott hamilton said...

So does GI Joe.

Fabiansparkle said...

I had a girlfriend who was so poor growing up, she had to learn to "self groom" using a Mr. Potato Head doll...ba-da-bump..

keysunset said...

"she lived in Mojave in a Winnebago/his name was Bobby, he looked like a potato ..." Frank Zappa

tommy lee said...

if you are receiving fellatio from a Barbie your hose must be petite