May 9, 2019

The weather’s been a bit bleak for May, not much sun, more clouds and rain, at least here in NE PA. So today I think I want to share a story which always puts a smile on my face. I hope it does on yours too.

Joey wasn’t a vain young man. In fact, he would go out of his way not to bring attention to himself. However, if I would have to pick something about Joey that he fussed over, it would be his hair.

I guess Joey was about fifteen. He was going through what I like to call his ” bleached blonde, Billy Idol ” hair phase. Yet it wasn’t too drastic, so John and I were ok with it. Our regular hairdresser still cut Joey’s hair, but Joey’s girlfriend Emma was bleaching his hair. She was around sixteen, and not going to school to become a hairdresser. Joey’s hair as a child was blonde, and in the summers it became almost white. As he got older, his hair turned more light to medium brown. But the bleached blonde hair did look good on him.

So at the time, I was working a 6 PM to 6 AM shift at my job, so I could be home during the day with our boys. Jeremy was only around ten at the time. So usually around 9 PM, I would call home from work to see how everyone was doing. So one evening I call home. Joey gets on the phone and informs me that he colored his hair green. Green was his favorite color. That’s really all I remember about that phone call anymore! Needless to say, I worried the rest of my shift.

When 6 AM finally arrived, I couldn’t wait to get in my car and drive home. I opened our front door, ran up the stairs and walked into Joey’s room. I’m sure he didn’t sleep much that night and was waiting for me to come home. He had the covers pulled over his head so I couldn’t see his hair. So as I pulled the covers down, the green hair appeared. The only way I found to explain the color was, imagine Ronald McDonald’s fluorescent red hair and replace it with bright green. Joey’s hair was fluorescent green!

So Joey went to school that day. None of us knew what to expect. However, I didn’t get any phone calls that day from Joey or the high school, so I assumed he didn’t get suspended or expelled. You have to understand, twenty four or so years ago, the rules for school were a lot stricter when it came to your appearance..

So when Joey came home that day, he told us how his day went. The principal did call him into the office. He knew Joey pretty well through little league and school, so he knew he was a good kid. He told Joey that he should send him home but he wouldn’t. However he also told him that next time he wanted to bring attention to himself, to do something else. Joey laughed when he told us. He said he didn’t want to bring attention to himself, he just liked the color green.

So from that point on, our hairdresser would be in charge of coloring Joey’s hair blonde. She said normally the results wouldn’t have been so drastic. However, since Emma was basically just bleaching the color out of Joey’s hair, it just soaked up the green color even more when she dyed it. Both Joey and Emma confided to us that they were shocked and never expected that result.

So it would take months for the green to grow out of Joey’s hair. In fact, that December or January, when Emma and Joey went to her winter dance, you could still see a tinge of green on the ends of Joey’s hair. That photo of Emma and Joey needless to say, will always be one of my favorites.

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