“Dammit … It IS Menopause!” Excerpt: This Is the End of the World—Hair Trauma Edition

I have naturally curly, frizzy, wavy red hair. I was teased relentlessly as a child. When I was about 46, I discovered the flat iron, which enables me to make my hair smooth, shiny, and straight; something I have wished for my entire life. This was before chemical straightening, which I’ll tell you about in another journal entry. I realized that I had become extremely attached to my flat iron, but when do you know if you have a problem with flat iron dependence?

On the morning of my son’s end-of-preschool music pageant, I was alone in the house, air conditioning blasting, and mega-sized ice water within reach. I was in the hair-styling “zone,” on the home stretch of blow drying—the phase just prior to ironing. Suddenly, I blew the fuse for my dryer. Annoyed, I searched the house for another operative plug. The only one in the house that worked had no mirror near it. Throwing on a bathrobe, I went outside to the circuit breaker to see what I could do. I...

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