Some people are interested in what walls would say if they could talk, but I think it would be much more revealing to interview my bobby pins.
I think Matt O’Brien may have captured my terrible habit best here, in “What it’s Like Living With A Girl”:
I would love to give a more moving account of my life and travels, but bobby pins are probably the only consistent artifact I’ve ever left in every state I’ve lived, and mine are scattered across Texas, Arizona, Tennessee and everywhere in between. Besides styling my lion’s mane in all sorts of styles from calm to crazy, I’m sure some are still littered in airports, sunk to the bottom of lakes and rivers and rusting on the side of old dirt roads.
Oh, the stories that these tiny brown hair sidekicks could tell.
There’s always going some at the bottom of every purse and suitcase I’ve ever carried that I’m sure could tell you tales about the varied and sometimes embarrassing cargo they’ve been stuffed alongside.
A portion are mixed onto other girls’ bathroom counters, from times where my hair accessories crossed theirs in a free-for-all at a sleepover makeover session. Several hundred were lost in the shuffle after being bought to get ready in a crammed bridal suite filled with girls in breezy pink dresses and one in white, coating them in hairspray and accidentally dropping one in a champagne glass right before we were to walk down an aisle. Some are under dirt by now in the Texas woods because I truly didn’t and still don’t understand how “camping” is supposed to be “low maintenance”. Too many ended up shoved to the side after a hairstyle that promised to be ‘easy’ on the internet did not fare so easy in my hands and on my head. A few may have ended up in cheap hotels, boat cupholders, guitar cases, and escaped being packed up again for my return trip from the homes of people I’ve loved in New York and Seattle and California, to Houston and beyond.
There’s still some probably along the baseboard in old musty apartments that I miss living in. A few are still lingering between couch cushions in residences that I haven’t been back to for good reason, or still clinging to carpet under the seats in the cars of ex-boyfriends, no matter how close the vacuum attachment at the carwash tries to get. There’s some bent ones in dressing rooms attached to productions and performances of my youth that I swore would eventually put my name in lights. One or two may have slipped out of the most-polished-hairstyle I could manage at a fancy office building while at a job interview that eventually disappointed me when they hired someone else. I irresponsibly left some especially terrible ones in my clothes pockets and tore up clothing during a high-energy spin cycle in many a washing machine.
At this point they very well may have poked someone’s foot, contributed to a moving-out cleaning fee I had to pay, held the hair back of both a close girlfriend or a stranger or even snapped in half, and I suppose we’ll never know.
But with a lot of hair comes a lot of responsibilities- and a lot of flyaways. So, consider this my formal apology for my carbon footprint of bobby pins, and my promise that if you ever invite me over, you might end up with a straggler.
But hey, if you can handle little brown hair pins, you’re going to be just fine with all the glitter I continue to spread everywhere I go.