When AD and I moved to our current home eight years ago, we visited many a church looking for a church home. By default, we became professional church visitors.
At one point we decided that we should start a business secret shopping churches. We would visit your church and then, for a small fee, we would send a follow-up report letting you know how we were greeted, were the restrooms clean, did anyone help us find our Sunday school class or invite us to lunch and if you are indeed as friendly as you think you are. Probably. Not.
Be that as it may, one of the churches we visited was very near to our home (points), had a modest but nice, paid-for facility (no building program, bonus points) and supported traditions and doctrine that jived with our own (triple bonus points). The down side was that no one in the congregation was under the age of 70.
In spite of being in the middle of a vibrant area known for its growing population of young families, this was a graying congregation. Now let me say here, there is nothing wrong with old people. In fact, probably by your standards, I am one myself. But I think in a church, it’s important to have a good mix of old and young and in between. It’s just better that way.
Stick with me. This really is about hair.
As I was sitting in one of the last pews of this church one Sunday morning, staring out over a sea of gray heads, I came to the startling realization that all the ladies had the exact same hairdo, the hairdo I think we all know as helmet hair – slightly blue, shaped just so, perfectly starched and sprayed into place. Like a helmet. Hence. It was sort of like the The Stepford Wives meets The Golden Girls. A curious phenomenon. How does helmet hair happen I wondered.
Well, I’ll tell you how it happens. At a certain point in your life, your hair will decide which hairdo you will be stuck with for the rest of your life and you will be powerless to stop it.
In the past ten years, I have had my hair cut in approximately ten different styles and yet my hair always looks exactly the same. I’ve had the Rachael, the Spice Girl (the skinny one who is mad all the time), the flippy (both the flippy under and the flippy out), the just-got-out-of-bed, the wispy, the spiky, short layers and verily I say to ye, even long layers. Yet the first time I shampoo and blow dry after my “new” haircut, I have a bob. It might be a short bob or a slightly longer bob, but it is a bob all the same.
One of these days some young gal will be sitting behind me in church looking at my bob among a sea of gray bobs wondering how in the heck that happened.
The bob. It’s the helmet hair of the new millennium.