1950 Memories of Suburban Adventures

Home » 4 - Innocent Villain (1958-1959) » 1950 hairstyles » Don’t Play With Judy

Don’t Play With Judy

My creativity did not stop with Deedee’s unappreciated tattoos. I was more of a Renaissance creativitor (new word).

“I’m not putting one in the back again,” said Mom. “I let you have three all week. Enough is enough.”

“You’re just jealous because your hair isn’t long enough to copy me,” I accused.


“C’mon, Mom, let me look pretty.”

“I can only imagine what the neighbors must think,” she said, as she gave in and parted my hair into thirds.

“Make them high,” I instructed. “I want them to swing when I walk.”

My motto? If two pigtails are good, then three or more are better.

The previous day, I fashionably sported three high braids. Today, I switched back to three bushy pigtails. In contrast to my quest of trying to bulk up my skinny frame during the next thirty years, I lamented the fact that my wild hair never laid flat and straight unless first undergoing extreme hair-torture.

Kathy knocked on the back door to see if I could play. I stepped out onto our back porch, swinging my multiple hair appendages.

“I wish my mother would let me wear three pigtails,” she said.

“I wanted more, but Mom put her foot down at three.”

Kathy and I decided to become hairdressers. We opened an outdoor salon in my backyard and generously offered free haircuts. No one volunteered for our free offer. We settled for styling fancy hairdos with water, bobby pins, hairspray, rubber bands, and an unlimited number of pigtails. With our beautification project completed, we closed shop and went to play in Kathy’s backyard.

One of Kathy’s many younger sisters, Judy, came outside. Her thick dark hair fell halfway down her back, and was all one length. She stubbornly refused my offer to cut it shorter. I ordered Judy to slowly turn around while I analyzed her hair with critical eyes.

Dad was blindfolded while he cut my bangs.

Dad was blindfolded while he cut my bangs.

“You need bangs. Like mine,” I said.

She looked at my fashionable bangs (cut way too short and not too straight by my hairstylist … Dad), and agreed anyway.

I sent her inside to get scissors. “Don’t tell your Mom, we’ll surprise her.”
Mrs. Kill and I crossed paths more than a few times, and I knew she didn’t have full confidence in my skills. Once I finished with Judy, and let my work speak for itself, Mrs. Kill might get in line for a makeover. I loved Mrs. Kill’s super long braid, wound around her head. I wouldn’t cut it, but I’d comb it out and make ten ponytails.

4th grade. Dad did not improve with practice.

4th grade. Dad did not improve with practice. Mom’s pincurl styling.

Judy returned with a small round-tipped pair of scissors. I finger-combed the front half of her hair forward and cut from ear to ear. I know she moved, because her new bangs were uneven. After several more trimmings they were almost straight. Judy’s bangs didn’t look exactly like mine, they were shorter.

She ran inside to show off her new hairdo. Mrs. Kill’s reaction made it clear I wouldn’t ever get my hands on her fabulous braid. I was sent home, and Mom received another phone call.

Trouble-maker Judy caused an earlier phone call from Mrs. Kill. I’d dug a deep hole in the black dirt near the base of their chimney, whose metal door I always opened to check for the occasional live, but usually dead, bird. Mrs. Kill told me to fill in my hole before I left. When I was ready to go home I did exactly what she told me, but added my own special flair.

I had Judy stand in the hole, filled it past her knees, and packed the dirt down tightly by jumping on it. I failed to notice Judy’s good church shoes and new white socks. I also left her stuck in the dirt. But I did fill in the hole.

Mrs. Kill’s lesson to be learned: She had nine children and later adopted a tenth. I hope she learned to be more specific when she wanted something done.

My lesson learned: Don’t let novices cut your hair. Actually, I kept forgetting that lesson and suffered many haircuts much worse than too-short bangs, some self-inflicted.

Related posts: Pandemonium Trail/Body Art; Innocent Villian/Special Delivery

Now it’s your turn: What was your worse haircut?


© Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures, 2012 forward. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


  1. Val Mills says:

    Oh dear …….

  2. Darcy says:

    haha, I’m sure you remember my mom cutting my bangs wonderfully crooked.

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      Nothing can compare with the mayhem created by a Dad cutting his daughter’s hair. Unless he’s Vidal Sassoon, he doesn’t have a clue. At least a Mom knows the look she’s trying to achieve.

  3. Elle Knowles says:

    This made me laugh! Don’t remember bad haircuts but I do remember those pigtails. It was my signature look – but only two. Guess my imagination wasn’t up to par! hahaha

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      Maybe you were one of the lucky few who went to a real hairdresser, or perhaps you had a talented parental haircutter. Elle, I’m sue your imagination was fine, you simply had good taste.

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