Grandmas For The Summer

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This is my version of story found on an old hair story page.  Thanks to Chi4545 for writing some of my favorite stories.

 

Millie had only been at Lakeview High School for part of the school year, having moved into town when her mother remarried. Being very shy, the only friend she had made was a girl named Katie and they had become good friends during her time there. The two of them did almost everything together, but the end of the year was coming, and both girls were going off to college.  Katie was going across the state to college., but Millie’s mom and step father wouldn’t help with tuition, so she would be going to the local community college. Millie was a beautiful girl, standing nearly 6 feet tall, slender, with soft, thick brown hair that went past her shoulders.  It was the one part of Millie that Katie was jealous of. Katie was very beautiful too, with medium hair that had grown out from when Millie first met her. It was a surprise to Millie when she told her she had been growing it out for two years.  All she told Millie was she wanted to try short hair for a while, but now wanted it long again.  Neither one of them had a boyfriend, preferring to concentrate on their studies before graduation.

As the end of the school year quickly approached, the best friends were looking to spend as much time together as they could.  A few days before the end of the school year Katie told Millie she was going spend the summer at her Grandmother’s farm in Nebraska. Millie was upset that their time would end soon, but then Katie asked if she wanted to go with her and her 2 brothers to the farm.  She said it was hard work, but a great getaway and it would give them more time together, Millie loved the thought of staying with her friend, and one week later they were on the bus to Nebraska.  After a full day on the bus, it pulled into a tiny town called  Williamsfield.  They all got off the bus, and Millie was surprised that she could see both ends of town without even moving. Just seconds later Katie’s grandma Betty pulled up in her truck, greetings and hugs followed. Betty was in her 60’s, with a well worn complexion and a grown perm. Before they could get in the truck Katie’s grandma stopped the group.  “You boys know how hot it gets around here, but every time you show up you’ve got long hair.  You know where we’re going, so march.”   Millie saw a smile appear on Katie’s face as the walked down the street, and became a little nervous when the came to the town barber.  The two 16 year olds knew not to put up any type of fight, or their grandma would see to it that they were scalped all summer long.

The barber looked up from his newspaper as they walked in “Hi Betty, looks like you brought the whole crew this time.  I guess I’m going to be busy all morning.”  Millie sat silently as she watched the barber take both boys down to the skin.  The whole time watching Katie biting her lip as she ran the end of her hair thru her fingers.  In Millie’s mind she was sure there was no way either one of them would be next in the barbers chair.  The second of the boys was finished and both Millie and Katie looked towards the old lady.  Millie heart was racing as she sat waiting, but thankfully, Betty stood up and asked the barber how much she owed him.   Both of the girls started to smile as the headed towards the truck.

They had been in the truck nearly a hour, exchanging small talk.  Millie was amazed at the distances between farms with some of them being as big as the city she was from.  She could tell Katie was getting excited about getting to the farm, telling Millie it was her favorite get away place.  Once the got to the farm Betty fixed them all a big homestyle dinner.  When Millie saw it she wondered why there was much more food than her family would even have for a holiday meal, but Katie and her brothers just tore into it.  Once Millie tried the food she understood why her friend looked forward to being here, as everything tasted better than anything she had ever had before.

It was barely dark when Katie’s grandma told everyone it was time to head to bed.   She told all of us that she would be waking us a 5 o’clock so the girls could make breakfast while the boys started their chores, and after we ate the girls were going to visit Katie’s Aunt Edna.  Millie again noticed Katie biting her lip and playing with her hair again, but thought nothing of it.    While Millie was surprised at how early they were sent to bed, it was just 20 minutes later when she was falling fast asleep.

In the morning the two girls were handed aprons, then put to work making a breakfast that looked like it would feed about 20 people.  To Millie’s surprise, everyone started packing away the food as soon as it was on the table.  As they were finishing the breakfast Katie’s grandma announces to everyone “Okay girls, you can get changed to go over to Edna’s while I get the boys started on their chores.

Millie noticed right away that Katie was in no hurry to get ready to visit her aunt, changing outfits multiple times and brushing out her hair over and over.  Millie stood in the kitchen, waiting to go while Katie still hadn’t finished getting ready.  Her grandma had called upstairs 3 times already, and was beginning to get annoyed with her.

Millie sat in the back of the truck for the ride, again seeing Katie playing with her hair.  Millie was still amazed that a house ‘just a couple houses down’ took 15 minutes to get to.  As the truck turned into the long driveway Katie’s grandma looks at her “Edna has been waiting for 3 years for you to come back to her.  She can’t wait to see how much you have grown.”  A sign by the street catches Millie eyes “Edna’s Beauty Parlor”.  As the truck stops they start to get out, and again Katie seems to be in no hurry to get out.

The beauty parlor was attached to the side of the house and as they walked in they were greeted by Edna, who was about 45 years old, weighed about 250 lbs, with really short permed hair. Edna said to Katie’s Grandma, “Boy you’ve waited to long to come and see me.” Katie’s Grandma said, “I know, I need a good grooming, but I thought I would wait until the girls could come with me”  They both went in the back to wash her hair, and Millie noticed Katie was starting to look even more nervous than before, barely able to sit still as she twirled her hair more and more.  Millie was now getting a little worried,  about what was going on, it seemed Katie was hiding something from her.

Soon Edna and Katie’s Grandma were back. Her Grandma sat in the chair and Katie and Millie sat quietly as Edna clipper cut the sides of her Grandma’s hair very short. Millie noticed that Katie was playing with her hair a lot more as she was watching, and seemed to get really quite and nervous. Edna then told Katie’s Grandma that having to sit to get a perm every 4 months is now over. She said she just got her first batch of new long lasting perm solution that will last up to a year, and it would keep the perm as tight in 10 months as it would on the first day of the perm. Carrie’s Grandma said, “You mean to tell me I only have to get a perm once a year, and the curls will last that long?”

Guaranteed,” said Edna, “and it is very deep rooted, so for a few months it will continue to grow in curly.” Katie’s Grandma then said “I definitely want that one.”.  Edna pulled over her cart of rods “The company recommends I use the tiny rods for best results”.  She works quickly and the rows of tiny rods start to appear.   After a while all the rods were in and the new solution was put in. Edna walked Katie’s Grandma back to a chair on the side, when Millie heard something she was hoping wouldn’t happen, her Grandma saying, “Why don’t you do Millie next.”

Millie’s heart started pounding, she said, “Thanks, but no thanks, I like my hair how it is.” Edna went over and took her by the elbow and said, “Come on, it won’t be that bad.” She took her over to get her hair washed and soon they were at the station. Millie thought, ‘OK maybe a few inches off, chin length bob, it will not be too bad.’ As the cape was being put on she started to say to Edna, “Well maybe a little over the shoulder,” but Edna was not listening. Millie looked over at Katie, who just shrugged her shoulders. Edna looked at Katie’s Grandma and said, “Ditto?” “Yes ditto,” said Katie’s Grandma. Edna just combed all of Millie’s jet brown hair down, her side part now was just one length over her face. Edna snipped her bangs short, above her eyebrows, Millie looked up, but was in such shock she could not say a word. Edna then quickly snipped her hair right below her earlobes, and continued around to the other side. Millie again looked in the mirror, at that time she saw herself in a very short bob, the cut looked good, as she has had her hair like that before, some people really felt that was her best look. But before she could admire it any longer, Edna turned her chair to the side, tilted Millie’s head and began to snip her hair clean around her right ear, and then her left. Millie was in such a state of shock she could not gasp for air.  Soon the chair was turned again, she was facing away from the mirror. She looked up only to see Katie’s Grandma’s face – she gave an expression of approval. Millie was now crying, she was being transformed into something she did not want, it had became a nightmare to her. She soon heard a click, her head came straight up, and she screamed, “Nooo waaaay!”

Edna said, “Just put your head down.” But she moved her head in different directions to avoid the clippers, finally Katie’s Grandma came over and put both of her hands on the back of Millie’s head, her hands were strong, I mean real strong. She told Millie, to deal with it, it is part of working on my farm. Millie pulled harder and then said, “No way bitch.” That was it, Edna took the clippers and up she went at the nape, clippering away the hair to the top of Millie’s ears. Millie thought it would never stop, as Edna went over and over her ears, clumps falling down, over her shoulders, Millie felt a burning sensation on her neck, Edna clippered it very close at the base, then tapered it close.  After the back was done, Millie settled down a little.  It was going to be cut, so let it be she thought. Edna then finished the sides, nice and clean over the ears. Edna then turned the chair so Millie was facing the mirror. She looked at herself. It looked like a cap cut, her dark hair with length on top, with the sides and back clipper cut. There was a time when she was thinking of having her hair cut short, and now she had it.  Unknown to Millie, it was soon to change again. Edna pulled over a cart full of rods, pulling out a tray of the smallest ones she had.  Turning to Katie’s Grandma, she said, “I assume you want a small tight curly look?” Katie’s Grandma said, “Of course.”

Edna started at the bangs, rolling the tiny rods tight to Millie’s head.  With every rod Millie would wince in pain as the rod was brought tight against her scalp.   It seemed like hours of torture before all the rods were in, Millie just could not believe that was her she was looking at – she looked 40-50 years old. Edna then reached for the standard, hard to curl  solution she always used on younger girls, but Katie’s Grandma said, “Hold on. I want you to use the new stuff.” Edna said, “You realize this young lady will have small tight curls and will have to keep this style for a year most likely?” Katie’s Grandma said, “I don’t care, she called me a bitch, so just do it.”

Millie was crying, how would she go to college for two years looking like someones Grandma. By the time Millie took a deep breath it was too late, the solution was in. Edna finished, and escorted her to a chair on the side. While all of this had been going on Katie had run away, no way was she going to be permed like her friend. Both Edna and Katie’s Grandma went looking for her forgetting about Millie still in the shop.  When they finally came back they saw Millie still sitting there  with the rods and solution in. Edna rushed over to her, apologizing for leaving for so long.  The solution had been in for almost an hour and a half. She quickly rinsed and neutralized her hair, then took out the rods. Millie’s hair on top fell into tiny little uniformed curls, Edna did not think her hair was damaged. It didn’t look horrible to Millie sort of, mainly because Edna left some length on top which gave her some volume, but boy was it short and curly. Edna told her it made her look much older. Millie agreed, and asked Edna how the length of keeping the solution in for such a long time would affect her. Eda did not know, but called the manufacturer to find out. When Edna came back, she almost made Millie faint, when she told her that the manufacturer said she will have a year or more with tight curly locks, but that she could expect a lot of breakage in a week or so.

Millie rode back to the farm with Katie’s grandmother.  She sat, unsure of what she was going to do now that Katie had disappeared, but as they got back Katie’s grandma just treated her as if she was supposed to be there.  She was given a whole list of chores she was told she had to finish before it was time for her to cook dinner.  She had no time the rest of the day to think about her hair as she struggled to finish the list she was given.

That evening, even though she was physically worn out, she was trying to figure out how she was going to get home.  Her cell phone didn’t get any coverage on the farm, plus she had let Katie hold the little bit of cash and atm card she had with her.  She even began to wonder if she could even find her way back to the town which she figured was probably 30-40 miles away.

The next morning they were all called to wake up just as the clock hit 5 am.  As Millie waited to get in the bathroom she looked at herself in the mirror over her dresser.  Still upset by what had been done to her, she tried to comb it into some type of style, but the curls wouldn’t budge.  She felt her eyes start to well up, but told herself to push thru it.

Going downstairs she was greeted as if nothing happened the day before.  Katie’s Grandma told her to get breakfast started while she and the boys began their chores.  Millie knew that without Katie around she was going to have to work twice as hard, but an hour later she was serving platters of eggs, potatoes and bacon to the hungry boys.

Over the next few weeks Millie got used to her daily routine.  The only thing that had upset her was, as predicted, her hair was showing signs of severe breakage.   She would see evidence of this as her pillow would have strands of hair on it every day and seeing lots of hair left in the pick that Edna had given her to use.  She never had too much time to dwell on it as her list of chores, as always, kept her busy.

It had been about 6 weeks since Millie had her hair done.  While her hair was just as curly as the day it was permed, the breakage had taken its toll.  Her once shiny, thick mane now looked thin and dull, similar to that of a senior citizen, not a girl of 18.  While her Pantene looks once meant the world to her, on the farm there too much to do, and no one to impress.

Katie had also gotten accustom to being on the farm, with Katie’s Grandma treating her like family, Millie had started to just call her Grandma.  That morning, once breakfast was done, grandma told the kids to get dressed to go into town.  Grandma gave Millie a dress to wear “I have a whole bunch of dresses that Katie used to wear, but they’re all yours now.

A few month’s before Millie would have been horrified to be seen looking like she did, but now she wanted to make grandma happy.  After the hour long drive into town the boys were dropped off at the barbershop to be re-skinned while Millie and Grandma went shopping.  As they went from store to store Grandma introduced ‘Mildred’ as she had started to call her as her granddaughter..

As summer came to a close, Mildred didn’t think anything of it when her and grandma were standing on the sidewalk, waving goodbye to the boys as the bus pulled away.  While just a few months ago she was looking for any chance to get back to her old life, Millie didn’t exist anymore, and Mildred felt this was right where she wanted to be.  On the ride back to the farm, grandma told her they should stop by aunt Edna’s and have her neckline shaved higher to help keep her cooler.  Mildred, of course, couldn’t wait to get there.

 

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