Last Sunday at church I was talking to a young mom and mentioned the fact that when I was in junior high we didn’t have hairdryers or blow dryers as some people call them. Her mouth dropped wide open in disbelief.
I know I’m dating myself when I say that in the 70’s I was in junior high. My first job with a paycheck other than babysitting was a newspaper route. I was excited to have some money of my own to spend on some discretionary items.
In 1973 I went to get my haircut and the stylist used a handheld hair dryer. I was impressed with its convenience. The thought of not racing out the door in the morning to school with wet hair was enticing. I was never much for taking a bath the night before school. I always took a shower in the morning but never quite early enough for my hair to be completely dry.
I asked the stylist where I could find one of those hair dryers and she told me which store I could find one. It was within walking distance so I took some money out of my savings account and went to the store and purchased one. I was so excited to use it that I went home, took a shower and tried out my new dryer.
In our home we only had one bathroom with a tub/shower for a family of eight. In the morning we were like a well-oiled machine. We each had our appointed time in the shower and then we would head to our rooms to finish getting ready. I left my hair dryer in the bathroom the night before after my shower.
The next morning when I went to use my hairdryer it was gone. My sister had it in her room. I retrieved it. I put it back in the bathroom after using it and the following morning the dryer was gone from the bathroom once again. This time I found it in my brother’s room. It seems that he found it useful as well.
Over the following weeks each and every member of my family found use for my hairdryer. I was so surprised one morning when I came down from my attic bedroom to the sound of the hairdryer in the bathroom during my Dad’s shower time. Not Dad too….
In the movie “The Gods Must Be Crazy” an empty coke bottle is dropped from an airplane into an isolated tribe. The tribe members all found uses for the newfound item. Each member “needed” the coke bottle even though they had never seen or used one before.
Finally the tribe leader who was tired of all the fighting that the coke bottle caused within the tribe decides to walk and throw the Coke bottle off the end of the earth to bring peace back to the tribe.
After several weeks of chasing after my hair dryer to retrieve it so I could use it, I was ready to throw it out our window because I never got to use it when I wanted to dry my hair. I was still leaving for school with wet hair. So much for new technology, what good is it if you never get to use it?
January 24, 2011 at 8:14 pm
This story brought back memories, Jeanne…before our family got a blowdryer, we used to hold our head over the register so that the hot air from the furnace could dry our hair!
January 24, 2011 at 10:47 pm
It’s strange but I don’t remember much about hair drying before this except Mom had a bonnet type dryer that she could put over her hair rollers to dry. I just remember my hair wet.
January 24, 2011 at 9:14 pm
I remember being probably 4 years old and Mom drying my hair with a towel warmed by the large register on the floor.
January 24, 2011 at 11:02 pm
What a neat memory Todd. One of my husband’s favorite memories of his Dad is him helping to wash his hands before dinner when he was too little to do it himself. Your story reminds me of his story. The tender touch of a parent caring for their child.
January 24, 2011 at 11:05 pm
What a great post! And a wonderful movie! I know nothing about wet hair, though. My (short) hair always “air dried” in about 1.5 minutes…
January 24, 2011 at 11:16 pm
The Gods Must Be Crazy is one of my favorite movies. A friend brought it over to our home one evening and said we just had to watch it. We did and loved it.
There are days that I wish I had short hair. I always tell them not to spend much time on styling my hair when I get it cut. I like low maintenance hair. Wash and go. I haven’t grown up much in almost 40 years, I still leave the house with wet hair some mornings.
January 25, 2011 at 2:38 am
Great movie! I could so relate to Mr. Steyn!
January 25, 2011 at 7:51 am
Loved that movie. I might have to watch it this weekend…Where is that VCR? It’s been awhile.
January 25, 2011 at 3:27 am
What a great analogy for your well-borrowed hairdryer! I loved that movie – not least because it’s from my part of the world!
January 25, 2011 at 7:59 am
When we first started watching the movie that evening I thought this certainly is not like any movie I have seen before. What a refreshing change. I always love to watch movies set somewhere outside of the US for a glimpse into another world if only for a few hours.
January 25, 2011 at 10:26 am
That’s one of my favorite movies, and also, I love this post.
January 25, 2011 at 11:04 am
Thanks Jane! Time to take out the VCR to watch it again.
January 25, 2011 at 10:46 am
Love your “The Gods Must be Crazy” reference. What a hilarious movie.
I love your story. Where would we be without our newfangled inventions? Today, as I was washing a sweater by hand, my curious six year old asked what on earth I was doing. I told him that washers and dryers are a relatively new invention, and that people used to wash their clothes by hand all the time. He said, “You mean Native Americans used to wash their clothes this way?” “Yes,” I said. “But without the liquid blue soap, and in rivers and streams, I think.” I could see it on his face: mind officially blown.
January 25, 2011 at 11:07 am
I love the part about the liquid blue soap! I still remember helping my grandma with the wash and her old ringer washing machine.
Carol Ann Hoel
January 25, 2011 at 11:02 am
Very funny, Jeanne. I, too, remember the days before hair dryers and other conveniences. We are truly spoiled these days. The thought of being without so many time-saving inventions is distressing, not even daring to think about not having the Internet! Eek! Dark age suffering! Blessings to you…
January 25, 2011 at 11:09 am
We are definitely spoiled for sure. One day a couple of years ago my husband had to take a day off of work to play appliance repair guy. The refrigerator, washer and dryer all had issues. I am so blessed he can fix just about anything.
January 25, 2011 at 11:12 am
I had long-to-my-waist hair in HS. I got up about 10 minutes before the bus so it was ALWAYS wet on the way to school ~ except in cold weather when it FROZE.
This brought back some waiting-at-the-bus-stop memories. Thanks, Jeanne.
January 25, 2011 at 11:23 am
I remember frozen hair too. My hair was only ever shoulder length but it froze just the same.