Once upon a time, I was a poor high school student. I didn’t have a lot of money, and what money I did have went towards important things like movie tickets and CDs (in those days, we still bought CDs). I didn’t have money for hair upkeep. So I took matters into my own hands and would trim my own bangs.
I learned the hard way to never do this.
I suppose you could say that it was a disaster waiting to happen. I didn’t have the proper tools. I used cuticle scissors, which are curved and not at all conducive to cutting hair. But they were what I had, so they were what I used. Going out and buying the proper type of scissors took money away from buying shitty jewelry from Hot Topic. I made do.
In my junior year, I was in the bathroom, trimming my bangs as usual, when all of a sudden, I sneezed. Violently, and without warning. I came back to myself, and quickly noticed that I was holding a rather large chunk of hair in one hand, and a closed pair of scissors in the other. Scissors that once were open.
Panic set in because there was no way to fix this. I had semi-even bangs from my right ear to my nose, a giant chunk missing, and then long bangs the rest of the way. Everything was ruined. I’ve never really felt I had a lot to go on in the looks department, but my hair was the one thing I was always complimented on (which is probably one of the reasons I connected with Jo from Little Women, but that’s neither here nor there). But it was a bit more than that. I clung to my bangs because I could hide behind them. I could peer out from behind my hair and be that little bit more disconnected from the world. They were my security blanket. I needed them. And I had ruined them.
So I did what any self-respecting sixteen-year-old would do: I called for my mom.
She didn’t have any answers either, but she did have a lot of questions, most of them beginning with the word “why?!” But she got my some headbands, and I spent about eight weeks with my hair pushed back. No one really questioned it, and when they did, I told them the truth: I was growing out my bangs. They didn’t need to know it was just the one section of them.
My friend Cait christened them “sneezebangs,” because that is what they were. To this day, I am teased mercilessly about them. And they have made me very particular about the way my bangs are. I get them trimmed by a professional now, but that doesn’t always mean they turn out the way I want. If they’re off so much as a hair (this is not a joke, I mean this quite seriously), I obsess over them until they’ve grown into something workable. I’m pretty sure everyone wants to shave my head after about minute fourteen of this. I can’t help it. It is now ingrained in my psyche.
That, and finishing the statement “let’s get down to business” with “TO DEFEAT THE HUNS.”