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Number of posts: 2
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By Patti Ghezzi:
I’m thirteen and sprawled on the couch at my friend Mary Ellen’s house, watching TV. A black woman in a white uniform passes me a slice of cheesecake and a fork. I reach for the plate without looking at her. Maybe I say thank you, but I doubt it. Oh, man, it’s Jello no-bake cheesecake. The best kind. I wonder if I can help myself to seconds or if I have to summon the maid, whose hovering presence makes me uncomfortable. Growing up in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1970s, many of my friends had maids, even those who lacked other symbols of elevated social status such as membership to the River Hills Club and a mother in the Junior League. Some families had live-in maids who ran the house and helped raise the children. More common were maids who cleaned the house in the morning and took the bus home […]
Since seventh grade, I have indulged in the great Southern women’s ritual of forcing my hair to do things it doesn’t want to do. In Jackson, Mississippi, the trend was Farrah Fawcett, but a less care-free version of her feathered style. You hot-rolled the back and styled the front with a curling iron. Then, you got out your Aqua Net and sprayed, hoping the rumor wasn’t true that a woman once died when her lungs froze from inhaling hairspray. Sadly, my hair would not do the uptight Farrah Fawcett or the Jacklyn Smith or the Kate Jackson. Every morning, after an hour of trying to force the feathers, I pulled my worthless locks back with barrettes in disgust. The hair God gave me does not like to be bossed around. Over the years, styles changed, and I always held out hope that I could get my hair to work with […]