birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Hair Maintenance

That great American philosopher, Norah Ephron wrote in I Feel Bad about Neck, “The amount of maintenance involving hair is genuinely overwhelming. Sometimes I think that not having to worry about you hair anymore is the secret upside of death.” And she wasn’t even Southern.

Worrying about my hair has been a constant in my life. From my teenage years, when I learned to tame it with Dippity-Do and Adorn hairspray (so much so that I may have to take some personal responsibility for the hole in the ozone level) to the time I waste now every morning trying to make it look decent only to get a failed soufflé on my head, I have spent an overwhelming amount of time on hair maintenance.

I had a span of about 20 years when my hair was not the liability it is now. As long as I kept it very short, I could just wash and blow it dry every morning and that was all I did. The whole process was quick, and I was presentable. Then the menopause fairy came to visit. A good hair day now is a rare but cherished thing.

I think I spend way too much time worrying about my hair and its maintenance. If only I could meet Norah Ephron’s hairdresser—the one who gave her the best haircut she ever had

Consigned to Oblivion

Feet