Hair Barrettes

You guys, I was totally going to write something last week and instead I got shots in my back and was an irritable sweaty rage monster and had to hide myself from the world. Like the Phantom of the Opera. Only without the kick ass face mask and broadway musical score.

Image result for phantom of the opera

But I am feeling better and awaiting my second round of shots so I’m ready to share a story of emotional heartbreak from my childhood.

When I was a kid my little sister, J, and I shared everything. A room, a bed, a pillow at times. But the one thing we hated sharing was our toys. Is there anything worse than sharing toys as a child?

Okay, yes.

But as a kid, that shit is the fucking worst. And my sister and I fought constantly over…well…basically everything.

There was one thing we seemed to fight over more than anything else though. Our hair clips.

These EXACT ones!!! I’m not going to lie, I moaned when I saw this picture.

Our collection of them was extensive and impressive. You guys know what I’m talking about. Little plastic hair barettes.

I don’t know what they look like now. But when we were kids we had everything. There were days of the week in multiple colors. Clips with puppies and kittens. Glittery gel clips. Clips with hearts and stars. The more traditional bow and ribbon style clips. And, best of all, rainbow clips!

It was a cornucopia of cheap plastic and tiny rows of gripping teeth.

We were obsessed with them. An outfit was not complete without matching hair clips. And god help you if we both wanted to wear the same ones on the same day.

These images are making my heart ache

We kept them stored first in a toy sized plastic garbage can and then eventually in a kaboodle. Do you guys remember kaboodles? They were like tackle boxes for little girls. I am not even joking when I say I would have one right now if I found one.

My father always has very long grey hair growing up. In fact, my father looked like Jerry Garcia. He looked so much like Jerry Garcia that my mother once bought a Grateful Dead bumper sticker and I thought it was of my father somehow.

This is basically a portrait of my father

My mother laughed at me for that for about three weeks. Like I would have known who the Grateful Dead were at that age. I was a 14 year old honor student, not a stoner college freshman.

Anyway, my father would get drunk and watch football on Sundays and my sister and I would sit behind the couch and try to put every clip in his hair that we could. He wound up looking like some sort of creepy old man Medusa.

It was fun.

I don’t remember the exact fight. But sometime around the age of 9 my sister and I got into a massive fight over a specific hair clip. I’m going to guess it was the rainbow one. I always had a thing for rainbows.

My father confiscated the barrettes.

In my house confiscation was like death. It was the equivalent of taking the aging family dog to a farm upstate.

I don’t know what happened to the things he confiscated. But we never saw those barrettes again.

I still have not emotionally recovered. Those barrettes man. They were plastic gold.

And, because I love all of you so much, here is a rare picture of me at that age. With a barrette in my hair. Also you need to know this outfit consisted of a pastel leopard print button up, an acid washed denim skirt, fucking SUSPENDERS, and sneakers with socks.


We Hit a Bird

In school all of my friends were a bit older than me. I was the youngest in my class due to my birthday being over summer break. That meant they were all getting their licenses and driving months before I would.


My friend, K was seeing this guy that I didn’t really like. But we all hung out pretty often, he was older and had a car. Anyway,  he told me a superstition I had never heard before. It is apparently extremely bad luck to hit a bird with your car.





Seriously great movie. Though I do adore Hitchcock in general.

I myself am not superstitious, but I do kind of collect superstitions. I am really fascinated with them. So if any of you guys know any, feel free to share them.

She should also have some spilled salt there.

But I wasn’t sure how it was possible to even hit a bird with your car. Don’t they fly? I had never even heard of someone hitting a bird with a car.


A few years later T and I were living together and I was carpooling to work with him. We also worked together. I know that it is a terrible idea to date co-workers. A lesson I wish I could say I have learned. But, I am an idiot and will apparently never learn that lesson.


I mention T  here. It was very early in the morning, still in the grey light before the sun comes up. We were driving through a rural area.


I was in the passenger seat when I saw a tiny bird fly directly into the windshield. It hit the glass with a crunch right before my eyes. I knew it was dead. It had to be dead. I had heard it’s tiny little skull crack.


I need a bird skull ring.


I freaked out. I turned to T. “Oh my god! Oh my god! You hit a bird!”


It was stuck on the windshield. It’s feathers fluttering in the wind. “Do something, quick! Get it off!”


T calmly turned on the windshield wipers. But the bird was somehow stuck beneath the wiper. He smeared it’s crushed body across the length of the windshield. Along with a long rainbow of blood.




I couldn’t find one with blood, sorry.

“What are you doing! It’s stuck! Oh god!” I was really grossed out by this point. I’m not great with handling things so early in the morning. I was barely awake, let alone prepared for the bird carnage at this time of day.


By this point T was kind of grossed out too. “We killed a bird. We killed a bird.” He kept saying it over and over. But, for the record, I was an innocent passenger. I didn’t kill that bird.


The more he ran the wipers, the more blood he smeared across the windshield.


Finally, he admitted defeat. He pulled over and got shovel out of the back. He pulled the dead bird off the windshield and flung it into the woods.

I wanted to give it a proper burial. But T was in a rush to get to work. It was one of the few fights we ever actually had. The rest of that relationship was silent seething and constant misery.

He looked shaken and grey when he was done. I barely ate for the rest of the day. I kept seeing that bird hit the windshield. I kept hearing the crunch of it’s skull.

I don’t know if it gave us bad luck. I already had my weird luck long before  he hit that bird. We eventually broke up and I don’t speak to him anymore. Though I’m not sure that us breaking up was bad luck either.

By Any Other Name

My name has always been a point of contention. It’s unspellable, unpronounceable, and pretty unique. I love it. My name is Gaelic. It means morning. Like, ‘good morning.’ I like to joke that my full name is the most Irish name that ever Irished. But there is a story behind my name.


I’m not even as Irish as my name.


Just over 30 years ago my mother found out she was pregnant with me. Luckily, she had a whole list of names picked out from when she had my older brother, T. It may have even been older than that, now that I think of it. I do have many older siblings. Back then, poor people didn’t do things like know the gender of their unborn child.


There were many name options available to me. Names like Garrick and Joslyn. My mother was also partial to Scarlett and Molly. Not that Molly was a real option due to it rhyming with my last name. But still.


However, I didn’t get named the awful Scarlett Elizabeth (no offense to anyone named that). Because when my mother was about 8 months pregnant with me, she went to an art show.


I’m glad I wasn’t named after this bitch, though.


This was the 80s and it was no surprise that there was a little girl running around with her name airbrushed on her shirt.  I heard tell that it had airbrushed rainbows and clouds and maybe even a unicorn. I always imagined it sort of like the side of a panel van.


Like this. Oh yeah.


My mother took a liking to the way the name looked (on a t-shirt) and stalked the little girl through the crowd and back to her parents. She asked permission to name the baby in her belly Maurna, if it was a girl. Which I was.


A few years later, my parents walked into a Pizza Hut and what should they see but a girl with a name on her name tag. It was Maurna. My namesake.



Do you guys remember Book It?! I still have one of these that I turned into a fridge magnet. Thanks for paying me to read in pizza, Pizza Hut.


Maurna even remembered my mother  and her stalking. They brought me back a few days later and we met. I was 4 and have no memory of this. But Maurna still does.


Another few years later and I wanted to get an email account. I figured nobody would have just my first name. I mean, there were like 3 people in the world with that name. But when I registered the email account, it was already taken.


I was pissed! Some bitch had MY email! But then I realized, there were good odds that this was the famous Maurna that I had gotten my name from. So I emailed her.


And it was. And she still had the shirt I had gotten my name from. She found it in her attic a few weeks later and emailed a picture of it to me. It was better than I had ever imagined.



This is the real deal, right here. The shirt that changed my name.

Now she and I are Facebook friends. We talk sometimes. And I wonder, would I have turned out differently with some other name? Would I still be me by any other name?