Wigging Out: Dorothy Gone Wild

Wigging Out: Dorothy Gone Wild

Wigging Out: Dorothy Gone Wild

My mother loved – still loves- my dad, even though they divorced when I was fifteen months old, even though he left her for a woman ten years her junior leaving her to start her life over, even though he passed away almost fifteen years ago. She even has a photo of them from their early days on the dresser in her bedroom.

However, there was a period of time when Mom dated when I was in sixth grade. As I look back on that time from the vantage point of a woman who has also gone through a divorce, who also had my husband leave me for a woman ten years my junior (and both women were named Jennifer…how much weird Karma is that?), I am sure that her boyfriend, Woody, short for Woodrow Wilson (no lie) helped her to feel beautiful again.

Woody was a truck driver, and the grandparent of one of my best neighborhood friends. I remember that he would come over on Friday evenings with an Icee and a Hershey’s chocolate bar from Seven Eleven for me, and a six pack of Falstaff Beer for he and Mom. Mom never drinks (raised as a staunch Southern Baptist), but for this brief period in her life with Woody, she enjoyed a few brewskis (as an aside, she still feels guilty about this).

Their favorite date was dinner and dancing, while I stayed home with my babysitter, Teresa Kraxberger, a teenager who lived across the street. Mom would get all dolled up, and even though she has always had beautiful hair, it was in vogue to wear wigs, and Dorothy has always been a fashion diva, so she wore a silver wig. I remember that I didn’t like the wig, and told Mom that she didn’t look like my Mom. That, sadly, did not stop her.

On one particular evening, Mom and Woody went dancing. They were on a small, crowded dance floor, dancing away, when Woody spun her around and the wig went flying onto the dance floor. Mom’s hair was tightly bobby pinned to her head, and she was mortified to be exposed to the crowd of dancers. She began to chase the wig as it got kicked around the dance floor. She finally caught it, jammed the thing on her head and ran to the ladies room.

She told me she has always wondered what Teresa Kraxberger thought when they came home after their date, Mom’s ‘hair’ all askew. God, I would love to know that myself.


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