Don't Get Mad--Get Pictures!

by Tina Blue

          My son Michael entered into his rebelling-against-the-world teenager stage when he was fourteen years old.  His method was to become a punk rocker.

          From the time he was fourteen until he was a few months past his seventeenth birthday, Michael wore a mohawk, one that soon reached the height of seven inches!  For the last two years of this period, it was actually a "trihawk," with two one-and-a-half-inch "mini-mohawks" on either side of the main one.

          That was a genuinely unattractive hairdo sitting up there on top of my handsome son's head.

          It drove his dad and his stepmother absolutely crazy.  So much so that Michael's father, a professor at Kansas University, refused to be seen with him in public.  In other words, the do did its job.
          But I'm someone who picks her battles carefully.  I am always astonished that parents of teenagers don't get it.  I mean, it's not like we don't know that at some point during their teenage years they are going to get contrary and that they will find a way of presenting themselves that will look ridiculous or even disgusting to us. 

          Don't today's parents remember beehive hairdos, blue eyeshadow, miniskirted muumuus, and white go-go boots?  I'm not sure Michael's mohawk was much sillier than some of the styles we sported when we were that age.

          I didn't like the way he looked, but since it didn't violate any principles that I take seriously, I figured it was not really worth getting exercised over.  (Amazing, isn't it, what we'll do to avoid any sort of exercise.)  In fact, I am the one who kept that dumb do in shape, trimming it when it got above seven inches (because past that point it was hard to get it to stand up straight) and shaving his head around and between the rows.

          A mohawk of that length--er, height--is not a low-maintenance hairdo.  My son kept his erect
(Oh, stop.  Next you'll be muttering Viagra jokes.) with a combination of hairspray and rubber cement.  No, really.  I kid you not.  Rubber cement!   That mohawk was one solid puppy.

          And Kansas is one windy state.

          Oh, it was delicious to watch my teenage-serious, too-cool son trying to walk down the street on a windy day.  He was over six feet tall, but thin as a rail.  If the wind caught his mohawk, he would be swept to one side and nearly knocked over.    He would have to walk at an angle, tacking into the wind, to maintain anything like a straight path toward his goal.

          He couldn't sit in most cars, because his hair was too tall.  He had to lean to one side--or walk to wherever he was going and hope the wind didn't kick up along the way.  Even sleeping  was sometimes an adventure.  If his hair bumped up against something as he tossed around in bed, there was no give, just a pronounced slam.

          And of course I took plenty of pictures, not only of the hairdo and the studded leather jackets and wallet chains, but also of the punker scowl that was a required accessory to the look.

          Some day my son will perhaps have a teenaged son of his own, or even a rambunctious teenaged daughter.  He will be a responsible father, and he will lay down reasonable restrictions, which they will almost certainly do their best to ignore.  When that happens, maybe he will send them to me for a good talking to.

          Heh heh heh.  I have pictures!

~For more about Michael and his mohawk, read "How to Rain on a Punk Rocker's Rebellion.

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