The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: I love the 80s

The Day a Stylist Broke My Achy Breaky Heart.

In 1982, I was twelve years old and in the 7th grade.

I wore leg-warmers almost daily with my painted-on Jordache jeans and prairie blouses. My friends and I spent hours listening to songs like Jack and Diane and Let it Whip while we practiced inhaling cigarettes stolen from our parents. And memorizing Jenny’s number (867-5309) was way more interesting than anything I was learning at school that year.

I was running with “the wrong crowd” at the time. That was the year I had my first kiss, my first hickie, my first drink, my first fist fight. I’m not sure how any of us lived through those years.

But the thing I remember more than anything about 7th grade was the day I got my first really bad hair cut.

One of my favorite TV shows that year was One Day at a Time. Remember that show? I don’t know what I liked so much about it. I thought the mom (played by Bonnie Franklin) was crazy not to get some of that Schneider action. He was gorgeous, like a modern day tool belt wearin’ Rhett Butler.

Mostly though, I just wanted to look like Valerie Bertinelli. She had the BEST hair.

So one day, I asked my mom for some money and I rode the bus into town to get my hair cut by my friend Susan’s mom at her salon.

Only one problem: I didn’t have a picture of Valerie Bertinelli with me. I didn’t think I’d need it…she was such a big star at the time. Surely I could just mention her name and get her famous feathered do.

But, what was her name again? You know, the sister from One Day at a Time?

Apparently, Susan’s mom thought I meant the other sister. The, uh, less attractive sister who would go on to become infamous in real life for addiction issues and surviving years of incest at the hands of her sicko father. Bless her heart.

Photo Credit: Photo Agency

Because lo and behold, when she finished snipping away and turned me around in that beauty parlor chair, I shrieked with horror. And then I burst into tears and cried like my dog had just died. And then so did Susan’s mom. She felt so bad. “Don’t you like it, Sweetie? But I did what you said! Layers around the face, but still long, right? Like that girl on the TV!”

Oh my God. My heart still breaks every time I see it. Try not to focus on the gray Member’s Only jacket. We’re talking about the hair here, not the official Air Supply sanctioned 1980s fashion staples. Oh, and speaking of staples, why yes, these pics are from my Mom’s scrapbook! She tried so hard to make me feel pretty by dolling me up and taking pictures even though I was clearly distraught by my failed Valerie Bertinelli hairdo attempt.

Here’s another angle for your viewing pleasure:

Yep. Business in the front, party in the back. I’m pretty sure Susan’s mom should get credit for inventing The Mullet. That was ten full years before Billy Ray Cyrus made it famous! Bitch must have taken my middle school yearbook with him to the Curl Up N’ Dye Hair Boutique.

I was absolutely devastated. Would Danny DeLuca still like me? Would Heather Franklin make fun of me?

My best friend Karina invited me over to try and help me figure out a way to style it differently. Maybe a curling iron would help it look less boy-mullety. But, no…nothing worked. I just needed for it to grow back. And of course, it did…eventually.

I learned some important life lessons that year:

1.) Always take a picture with you when you want a new hair style.

2.) Stylists are not mind readers.

3.) Bad hair cuts happen.

4.) Moms and best friends are critical allies during beauty crises.

5.) It’s just hair. It will grow back.

6.) Middle school boys don’t really care about the hair on your head.

7.) I know every word to every single one of these songs.

8.) A bad haircut and lots of black eyeliner are great diversions from having only one breast.

9.) Even if your mom doesn’t let you wear makeup, you can just put it in your purse and apply it when you get to school.

10.) It’s a good idea to remove your earrings and apply a thin film of Vaseline to your face before you engage in a school yard girl-on-girl fist fight.

I have an appointment for a haircut this coming Friday. You can bet your ass I’mma take a picture with me. But if it doesn’t work out, it’s just hair. It will grow back. I’ll probably bring some black eyeliner and a tube of Vaseline with me anyway, just in case.

How about you? Ever had a really devastating haircut? How did you cope?


PS – Y’all, I’m 15 “likes” away from breaking into the Top Ten at’s list of the Top 50 Mom Blogs! If you haven’t voted for The Bearded Iris yet, how ’bout helping a sister out?


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris. All words and fashion mistakes are my own.

Clothes Purging Tips via Org Junkie!

Hi and welcome to another edition of Just the Tip Tuesday!

As you may know, for the past 30+ weeks I’ve been diligently working little by little toward getting more organized.

It’s been an uphill battle rife with roadblocks and setbacks. But I’m thrilled to tell you that all those little accomplishments week by week are starting to add up to big results!

Being a bit of a pack rat, a recovering craftaholic, and an oftentimes emotionally unstable woman with impulse control issues and poor decision making skills, parting with old clothes is especially difficult for me. Perhaps you remember my 20 year old cow jeans that were particularly unflattering?


Sorry about that.

Well, I never did finish cleaning out my closet. I just got overwhelmed and moved on to another project. (I did get rid of those cow jeans though!)

But a couple of weeks ago, I came across an incredible post chock full of specific directives on parting with clothes. It was so empowering that I just had to share!

The following is verbatim from my beloved organizing guru Laura the Org Junkie in her brilliant and entertaining post titled: 11 Excellent Reasons to Get Rid of Your Clothes.

Org Junkie’s Tips to Help You Part with Your Clothes

1. If you haven’t worn something in a year then out it goes regardless of condition, price or size. Why a year? Because you cover every season in that period of time. If you haven’t worn it during the year, you probably never will.

2. If you have a piece of clothing that you wear but are annoyed with it every time you do, seriously stop it.

3. If it’s waiting to be mended and it’s been waiting for a long time then enough is enough already.

4. If you hate to iron and your ironing pile sits there totally neglected while you wear all your favorite clothing over and over again, why do you still have an ironing pile?

5. I’m not opposed to keeping your “skinny” clothes (and I know we all do it) but for goodness sakes you don’t need to keep all of it. Styles change, your tastes change, your body shape changes so chances are good that when you get back to that size you’re going to want new stuff anyway.

6. If you absolutely love a shirt but never wear it because you have nothing to wear it with, well guess what, a mate isn’t going to magically appear in the night. Follow the one year rule.

7. Sentimental clothes that you aren’t wearing shouldn’t reside in your closet. Either take a picture of it and preserve the memory or limit yourself to one tote of “clothes to show my kids so they can laugh their heads off at me someday”.

8. Don’t hang onto something that is “just alright” because you don’t have something better yet to replace it. Let it go now unless it means you go naked, that wouldn’t be right.

9. You don’t have to do it all at once. Like I did try it in stages and be motivated by your success. One day you could do shirts, the next day shorts, etc..

10. Try everything on. This one I can’t stress enough. Do not hold something up and say oh this is so beautiful I’m going to keep it. That’s too easy and what you might not remember is that, although it’s beautiful, the buttons gape at the front showing off your woman parts. Nope we don’t want that now do we. Get rid of it.

11. You only have the space that you do. Jamming your clothes into the closet and fighting with them every single day to find what you need won’t make your closet grow in the night. It will only make you grumpy…every single day. It’s not worth it.


Hi, it’s me again, Iris. Wasn’t that great?! I just love her! Seriously, if you haven’t slurped that lady’s Kool-Aid yet, you need to get on it!

I was so inspired by her clothes purging manifesto that I finally tackled the overflowing “Mend” bucket in my bedroom:

I just love how she said:

“If it’s waiting to be mended and it’s been waiting for a long time then enough is enough already.”

That spoke to my soul.

I spilled out the contents of that bucket and discovered a torn t-shirt and a pair of shorts that my daughter had already outgrown (they had been in the bucket THAT long). Those went right into the trash. How freeing! Next up, a very dated fire-engine red full length London Fog raincoat that I bought in 1989. It was really expensive and I thought I would update it by shortening it and changing the buttons. Shoulder pads might come back into style someday, right?

Maybe, but I’d rather have some more empty space in my room. That rain coat had been sitting in that bucket for well over a year. And upon closer inspection, it had some signs of wear and tear that made it not worth the time and effort if would take me to update it. Enough is enough already. Maybe it will make someone at the thrift shop very happy.

Now I only have a couple of things to mend instead of a huge bucket! Much more doable.

And speaking of those buckets…I have one more tip for you today. Those $5.00 buckets also make great impromptu Ninja Turtle costumes…

Whoo-hooo! Just add your own enthusiasm! The camouflage underwear hat is optional. (Gosh I hope those were clean.)

yours truly,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

© 2020 The Bearded Iris

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑