15 June 2007

The power forward in a poly-blend power suit

Everything about this one was bad.

Bad dark beige poly-blend skirt suit.

Bad light beige butterfly-collar button-up.

Bad shiny white hose.

Bad thick, short-heeled, square-toed beige Naturalizer pumps.

Bad posture. Bad upper-lip shag. Bad chipped French manicure.

But worst of all, worse than the nail-picking interspersed with nail-biting, worse than her volume-10 cell phone voice in the salad line at Cosi, and even worse than the fact that all this badness belonged to a woman with a really cute figure in her mid-to-late 20s, was the hair -- a virgin-tight, scrunchied-at-the-bottom, inside-out French braid.

Standing only inches from her bumper-crop of strawberry blonde flyaways, I stared and stared hard, racking the corners of my brain to try and remember the last time I had seen that hairstyle at eye-level.

Then, just as I was reciprocating the wry smile a more-salt-than-pepper gentleman in a bespoke-quality three-piece shot my way by the bowl of bread samples, Bell Biv Devoe's "Do Me" came through my SonyStyle wraparounds and a-ha, it hit me! I remembered!

It was Fall of 1993. Clyde Drexler's double-deuces on both sides of my maroon-and-powder-blue-piped white mesh tank. An away game against the Orioles under "the dome" in Charlotte, Michigan. I traded one of my signature back massages for one of my friend Kim's signature double inside-out French braids. We all did. We all had them.

And it was cool. Kinda like pigtails and plastic beach shoes were cool when we were in pre-school and varsity jackets were cool when, no wait, those were never cool.

As with the triple-threat position, there's an appropriate place, time and outfit for basketball hair; downtown DC in your late 20s in a skirt suit, however, does not qualify. So next time you have the urge to get your braid on during the work-week, do yourself a favor and just tie your tresses up-and-back with a slim black Goody.

And another tip, when you get a really promising smile from a guy who fits your type to a "T," stop thinking about how good a blog post the woman in front of you is going to make and introduce yourself.

As Will Ferrell said in Blades of Glory, "That is how babies are made."


Brunch Bird said...

Yes, but what's our position on braids on the weekend? I'm growing tired of the topknot and the low funbuns.
Also, I know you just referenced it for proximity's sake, but please tell me you don't actually eat samples from the germ bowl.

etcetera said...

i do a casual, low, impromptu braid at work sometimes. not the virginal superdooper french braid, just grab my hair at my neck, do a few over-under-overs and tie it up. also a useful hairstyle for the field when crazy little kids are trying to yank my freakish yellow hair.

Johanna said...

Brunch Bird-

My stance on weekend *anything* is that if it fits and flatters, you like it, I'm for it. After work is your time to express your inner Sienna. While I wouldn't indulge in the tight-back French braid past middle school, there are plenty of other less juvenile looking braid styles from which to choose. I don't really know what they are or what they're called, but I know I've seen them. It also depends on your outfit. A half-up, half-down, side-braid with one of those maxi dresses might be a nice complement, for example. Braids are not my strong point, and frankly, I don't even have a good reason for my dislike/disapproval of them. I just know that when I see a woman in professional wear trying to do basketball up-top and power suit down below, it doesn't work. At all.

And no, I never take samples from the germ bowl, but not because it's unsanitary. Each one of those little bites adds 10 minutes onto my workout.

Lady Tiara said...

the french braid is not only a bit childish, it's a huge pain to do. unless she's some sort of braiding whizz, she's probably spending a lot of time on that hair. (i have curly hair and could never effectively french braid my own hair. it only worked if someone else did it. in order to keep the curls under control, it had to be a really tight braid, which was very incomfortable, so i quickly gave up on the style.)

Brunch Bird said...

You know I actually went to Cosi today and got salad for lunch, then looked up the details on the bread. Holy sodium Batman!
The basketball reference takes me back to my high school volleyball days. Oh the intricate braids we had!

Kiki said...

i wear french braids all the time, but they're more sienna miller then anne of green gables. i love french braids because my hair is uber layered and they help tie all the flyaways in. i refuse to wear my hair in a plain ponytail, so i always braid the bangs back. once you get the hang of it, its the easiest thing to do to your hair.

apart from the french braid on this woman, can we address the scrunchie that you mentioned she used to tie it all together? ew.

by the way, i'm a new reader and i LOVE your blog. it's exactly what dc needs.

L2 said...

I wore french braids when I played basketball too!!! Must have been a Michigan fashion statement, at least :)