I See Spots

March 11, 2009
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Have you ever had the pleasure of waking up every morning on a Saturday and just sitting there with your head in your heads crying? No, of course not, because you're not the one who spends every Saturday at a knitting club for community service that you don't deserve.
See it started with those amazing barrettes. The kind that looks great on little kids, fashionable on teenage girls, and professional on women. You just can't go wrong with a colorful bow clasped tightly to your hair, unless you happen to be me. No one and I mean no one has ever had an afro like mine. My hair is this hideous reddish-blonde puke color that can never make up its mind. It probably wakes up in the morning with a devilish grin on its face right before racing into the wretched wiry car springs that it is. The trouble doesn't stop there, no my hair also comes with magnificent lighting bolt frizz, knots that I swear are made by sailors while I sleep, and split ends more obvious than your grandma's painted on eyebrows. Oh- batteries not included.
So as you can see, despite years of trying on every barrette in the entire Christiana Mall I have never found a single one that looks good, and holds fast for more than 5 minutes.
Until that Saturday; I remember so clearly. It was 5 o'clock on a sticky afternoon, and despite the sun slowly fading west-ward, the temperature and humidity alone was enough to melt your pants off. There were barely 80 people in the mall that evening, and when I stepped foot into Hot Topic the mixture of punk, neon colors, and air conditioning consumed me. Nirvana was rushing through hidden speakers, and a tall man with holes in his earlobes big enough to stick a golf ball through immediately welcomed me. He said something about a new line called 'Skelanimals' but all I could do was picture myself playing basketball with those funny ears of his for hoops. After 30 short seconds of well contained laughter I wandered over to the jewelry section, unable to take it anymore.

Wristbands with dinosaurs, necklaces made of fake bullets, earrings dangling roses, purple plastic bracelets, a cheetah spotted barrette, some green- whoa whoa whoa. Cheetah spotted barrette? It was like having a life-changing epiphany, or finding Jesus! They were whispering my name, I was sure of it. My greedy fingers ripped a pair off the wall and ran to the mirror in the back of the store.
Thanks to the heat my afro was an extra large shot of ball-o-frizz, hold the caffeine. I sighed at the Frankenstein staring back at me but hesitated only shortly to pry a barrette from its flimsy paper packaging. The barrette was small, the bow was small, the cheetah spots were even tinier, but before I could second guess myself I snapped open the clip and yanked down a fist-full of barbed wire. The metal slid smoothly over brittle curls and snapped satisfyingly into place. Immediately I came to the conclusion that cheetah spots + frizz = Uh-Mazing! Now for the other one: again, the perfect match. I turned away from the mirror and proceeded browsing, all I had to do now was wait 5 minutes and pray that they didn't burst. 5 minutes passed quickly, soon 7, and when I glanced up from a Cd I had been examining'a full half hour had passed. I dropped the Cd into the vast sea of artists and ran back to the mirror- still that perfect fusion of spots and spirals. I whipped the packaging and my wallet out of my pocket simultaneously, glancing down at the price. '24. 46' I unbuckled the clasp, but stopped dead in my tracks as soon as the price sank in. '24.46?' I rechecked the numbers, swearing that it was probably '2.46' and I was hallucinating. Nope, staring back at me in a thick swirling black was two four point four six. Two four point four six! That's insane I know, but I had to have them, so I ripped open my wallet to expose'emptiness? What happened to the 2 twenties I had in there? Who on earth would bother stealing my money? Then it came to me that I had spent it on a black knit. Ugh, those stupid boutiques that smell like soap and flowers are always over priced, I should have known better, too late now. With a heavy sigh I tucked my naked wallet back into my purse and commenced attempting to revive the abused cardboard tab. It was all going fine, and I may very well have been able to return with $30 the next day if she hadn't walked in the door.
She has no name, as everything I can think of is simply not something acceptable to put down on paper. It doesn't matter though because when she walks into a room no one talks they just drool uncontrollably (I have seen it done) or make every attempt not to bite her and rip her hair from her head. Three guesses which one I was doing. Okay, so not the friendliest thing, but if you had to spend every day with a girl who pees glitter and can never seem to find a dress more than 14' above her knee and 6' below her neck you would turn into a blood-lusting vampire too. Well anyway, in comes pop culture Barbie and the first thing she does is flip 10 miles of liquid onyx hair over her shoulder to reveal a Pink barrette sharply similar to a certain cheetah spotted bow. Naturally, air headed me does the worst thing possible: I made contact, 'Excuse me, where did you get your hair clip, it looks, uh, really cute on, um, you.'
Biggest mistake of my life, because as soon as her highness registered my lowly presence those plastic eyes went from angelic to demonic, 'Oh right over here let me show you. First though, do you see that hat over there? You have to try it one for me. Right now.' Off I go to try on the ugliest hat of my life, and Barbie walks over holding a clip identical to the one on her rather perfect head, 'Here, you can have mine, they came in a set.' I couldn't believe my luck!
'Wow thanks much Jennifer,' and off I went. Through the isles, past the other barrettes, and right out to the front door, completely oblivious of a certain set of hair clips missing the second one sitting directly on the rack. Immediately the burglar alarm screeched into business. However, me being so completely consumed by nostalgia simply could not make the connection that the void that is me walking away was wearing a clip illegally. Of course, all this I figured out when a security guard the size of Texas came barreling up to me like it was the Super Bowl.
'Your welcome!' Barbie floated past a cuffed and confused me with the biggest smile I've ever seen those botox lips form.
Seventeen hours in the emergency room, three hours in court, and ten days later here I am with a black cast (I hate it when people try and write all over your broken arm like it's a good thing you've been temporarily crippled), a juvenile record for shoplifting, a malevolent grudge, and a sentence to 400 hours of community service via. The old folks knitting club.

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