I was cleaning out my closet the other day when I happened to stumble across a shoe box in the very back that had managed to escape my previous two closet clean-outs.
I opened the box and immediately screamed, ahhhhh a blonde rat!!!
What was a blonde rat doing in a shoe box in my closet? Was someone trying to send me a message? How had this gotten here? But after some further investigation, I realized it wasn’t a rat after all! It was my blonde Jessica Simpson hair extensions from college, rolled up into a frizzy little rat ball.
I pulled them out and ran my fingers against their waxy ends, recalling all of the fun we had had together.
There was Spring Break 2007 in Acapulco. Every single frat party in Lincoln. Nebraska football tailgates…. Like the time I showed up to my parent’s tailgate wearing them under a hat and everyone in my family laughed at me thinking it was some sort of joke.
“Is that like one of those funny Joe Dirt hats?” My brother asked, certain it was a hat with the hair attached, as sold at places like Spencer Gifts or Wacky Weasel.
“NO!” I snapped back, “these are my Jessica Simpson hair extensions. They’re very expensive!” I said as I pet my fake hair, “I had to buy them at a salon!” I made sure to add. A SALON!
“No, that’s definitely a Joe Dirt hat,” my sister said.
“Everyone come look at Taylor’s Joe Dirt hat!” my dad shouted.
“Joe! Dirt! Joe Dirt!” my mom chanted.
No one understood me and my hair extensions, no one but me and Jessica Simpson.
My J Sims got me through some hard times. Like the terrible San Diego shag haircut of 2007. That was a disaster which left me feeling sad and empty on the inside. All I needed was a friend to make me feel better, as well as to make me feel the joy of long hair down my back once again.
I must have eyed the extensions at the Beauty Supply Store on O street in Lincoln 100 times before finally pulling the trigger. I’d go in there and just stare at the selection. Which color should I get? Honey blonde? Frost blonde? Blonde blonde? Blonder blonde? The choices were endless!
I imagined all the places I’d go with my extensions clipped in! Spring break. And. Well that was pretty much it. But I imagined it.
Oh the places we’ll go… I whispered to the Jessica Simpsons in the salon that day, as I held the box in my hand, talking to it dreamily.
After being told I actually had to make a purchase or leave the building, I decided it was finally the day. Today was the day I was bringing my baby home.
And so I handed over the $130 I had taken out of my student loan money and was on my way.
On my way to a new life.
A life with long blonde synthetic hair that would open the doors to … I had no idea… A boyfriend perhaps? A new job? A day when someone would confuse me as Jessica Simpson? I imagined myself walking into parties and strangers would come up to me and say, “I don’t know who you are, but I just have to tell you that your hair is beautiful.”
I’d smile coyly and walk away, whispering to my fake hair, we did it again!
So how did it all pan out, I’m sure you’re wondering by now. I’ll let the photos from the past speak for themselves.
*Naturally, all pics are with other people because keep in mind this was the pre-selfie era. It was absolutely taboo to take a photo of only yourself. Like hello, self-obsessed much?? Thank God we’ve all just accepted self obsession.
Now back to my blog about myself.
Here we are on the way to Acapulco. First Spring Break!!! Extensions are in because I wanted to start the trip on the right foot, duh!
Looking good, girlfriend. I sure can’t tell. Also, airport outfit is on point!
Extensions? What? Where? All I see is Jessica Simpson!
Best for last, guys. Does the curtain dress match the lacy knee high carpet leggings? You bet it does.
What a time to be alive. Me and my extensions felt unstoppable!
Sure, they fell out a lot in public. Sometimes hanging half-on / half-off draped across my shoulders. And yes, occasionally I couldn’t get them out at all and had to sleep in them which hurt my head pretty bad. And don’t even get me started on windy days. But every relationship has its ups and downs. It’s can’t be perfect 100% of the time.
What I do know is that they were always there for me. Day and night. But mostly, night.
However, sometimes when you love something you have to let them go. You have to let them find their next adventure. Their next spring break.
And so with a heavy heart I tucked my Jessica Simpsons back into their shoe box, and put them in our alley next to the other discarded items left behind for someone new to find (a broken mirror, a fake house plant, one boot) and walked away without looking back.
Good bye, old friend. Good bye.
A few hours later Harlow and I went outside for our afternoon walk.
Don’t look, don’t look, I told myself when we passed the alley.
Of course I had to look. And sure enough, the shoe box was gone. A slow smile spread across my face and an invisible tear fell from my eye.
All these years I thought that I had found the honey blonde Jessica Simpson hair extensions when I needed them most, but in reality, they had found me. And now they had found someone else who needed their help.
*That was the most expensive college shirt I owned. I bought it on sale at von maur and cherished the hell out of it.*