Fringe benefits?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a fringe. And it’s always been a pain. Every time I see a photo of myself, I grind my teeth thinking, ‘that fringe is too long/short/tufty/a total mess.’

I’ve tried different partings, made trickier by the fact that I have a double crown so that my hair sticks up in mad clumps at the back if not parted at the side. I’ve tried cunning sweeps across the forehead, which usually last seconds before being dislodged by gravity, or other people’s levity. I’ve even occasionally considered – intake of breath – Growing My Fringe Out.

Of course, when I produced beautiful daughters, I was adamant that they would not have fringes. Not for one second would they suffer Fringe Hell. I didn’t realise that Child One’s hair would fall naturally into a fringe, which we would then have to train out, by use of the ‘spout’ method. This is the syndrome which gives little girls strange little fountains of hair held up by elastic bands in the place where their fringes would be. It is rather reminiscent of those little Yorkie terrier dogs with one careful lady owner, whose topknot bows carefully match their little tartan doggie coats. Luckily for Child Two, she was a natural non-fringer.

Now the girls tell me they’d like to have fringes! When I shout, ‘no, never!’, they are understandably disconcerted. ‘But you have one, Mummy.’ The logic is irrefutable. But they won’t be getting fringes. Not on my watch.

A fringe is a curse, which requires more maintenance than the most demanding spouse and more trimming than the most manicured lawn. And it is very hard to escape from. Only this morning, I was thinking, yet again, of growing out my fringe. This afternoon, I found myself in the bathroom, cutting it very badly with blunt nail scissors. Oh well. Looks like it’s here to stay.

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