The Big Bang Theory, Bus Stop Mommies Style

“Hey Ruth, your hair looks so cute!”   Fiddling with her headband, Ruth’s weak, “Thanks.” sounded more like an apology.  “I’m letting my bangs grow out so now this is about the only way I can wear it.” Five genuinely empathetic female heads turned towards Ruth to offer a combination of condolences, encouragement and hair taming tips.

The same five friends were slipping bets under the table on how long it’d take Ruth to give up the good fight, lock herself in the bathroom with her kid’s school scissors and hack her hair back to the land of the living bangs.

Scientific studies conducted by the world-renowned Bus Stop Mommies TM Institute 2002, have shown by the time the average woman reaches the age of 40, shes’s cut off and grown out her bangs at least 8.4 times.  When you consider the rate at which hair grows, taking into account the change in growth patterns during pregnancy, number of children, frequency of in-law visits , and the latest increase in price on a bottle of Chardonnay, that means it takes an average of, well, I don’t know how long it takes to grow out your bangs but it’s never, ever fast enough.

The world supply of cute hair clips, head bands and duct tape is not adequate to keep our too-long formerly-known-as-bangs out of our faces during the, “I’m growing them out,” phase.   Even mature, well-educated, high society women have been known to rip the last barrette out of their bangs, rip open the kitchen drawer to exchange it for the corkscrew, then crawl into their closet and announce, “I’m not coming out until I can tuck them behind my ears!”

Then, without fail, as soon they’re grown out and tucked carefree behind said ears, that first deep wrinkle or perimenopausal zit will appear on our blatantly exposed forehead.  One magazine tells us bangs make us look younger. Another says the oils in the bangs help moisturize our face and thereby diminish fine lines (which you won’t see if you have bangs in the first place). Hollywood taunts, “After 40 it’s Bangs or Botox.” Who’s a girl to trust?

Well that’s the simple part. Your girlfriends.  They’ll tell you the truth then hand you a glass of wine along with either a pair of scissors or a barrette.  And slip a few more bets under the table….

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Karen Rinehart's columns appear Sundays in the Independent Tribune. Her website is KarenJRinehart.com.