Grandma in Rollers

woman helping mother put hair in rollers

Aunt Pattie puts Grandma's hair in rollers so Grandma will wake up tomorrow with a church-ready do.

elderly woman with hair in rollers

Grandma, with her hair done.

April 19, 2014

Grandma used to do this herself, every Saturday, for long as I can remember, but needs help these days.

I haven't witnessed this ceremony in years. When I used to stay at my grandparent's place on Saturday nights, this was part of the ritual of preparation for Sunday morning's 8 am mass, along with Grandma passing out cones of White House (cherry vanilla) ice cream and Pap watching Lawrence Welk and maybe Austin City Limits if he could stay awake.

The sight of Grandma in rollers conjured up some memories, but not to the extent the scent did. A flash of my childhood came rushing back with a whiff – traces of her shampoo, product, and that aged plastic. Better writers could explain this feeling. They'd elaborated of the details in words. I saw my memories in a simultaneously rolling series of vingettes, like a symphony playing, as video footage harmonized, of years of individual Saturday nights, compressed to the length of the duration of blackness when I blinked my eyes.

I can't figure out how to convey any of that here. If I could, that would be my supporting argument for why I think this is my favorite photo of all the ones I've taken of my grandma.

I told Grandma that I remembered her putting her hair up and how I haven't seen her in rollers in years. "That's because you don't come over anymore," she said. Good point. 

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