Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Great Pages in the Annals of Topps #2: 1978 (#307-315)

Pride, as a vice, is an ugly thing. Early church father St. Augustine once said that it "changed angels into devils." Some folks would rather 'be right' and go to their grave unreconciled to a loved one than to humble themselves and admit that they are the one who might be wrong. Another thinker (I forget the name) once described pride as 'arrogant ignorance.' In other words, where wisdom is the ability to know and recognize truth, pride is the antithesis to wisdom: an inability to see things as they truly are. That same writer went on to describe pride as a distinctly human vice, where 'we (ironically) imagine ourselves more than human.'

I'm certainly not immune from embarrassing situations (read:pride), but one, in particular, sticks out in my mind. In my younger years (from about ages 16-22) I went through the stage of wanting look like a rock god. I played guitar, was in a band, and wanted to emulate those heroes of mine. So one of the things I started to do was grow out my hair to where it was long enough to get a perm. Not the tight-spiral stuff that we will talk about shortly. No- this was the loose, wavy perm sported by many of the hair-metal kings. But that wasn't enough; I later decided to get highlights.

And so I talked my mom (who is a beautician) into giving me those golden locks. But instead of going down to her shop, she decided to do it at our house. Now, if you've never seen it done, there is a rubber cap that would be slipped over the head. The cap had all these holes throughout it, where a crochet hook-type thing would pull the hair through the holes so that the bleach or coloring could be applied.

More modern version-but you get the picture

Anyway, there I was at one of our tables, looking like Medusa, when I suddenly hear a knocking at the front door. We had these french doors- allowing us to see who was at the door- and as I looked up, I became mortified. It was a female friend, whom I had dated briefly in high school but had remained friends with(believe it or not). My rock-god persona quickly came down to earth.

Looking back, I can laugh at myself. I've found a self-deprecating sense of humor to be a wonderful remedy to this problem. But I wonder about others- how they deal with embarrassment.

Especially when it's captured on cardboard for all eternity- or at least for our earthly existence. Perhaps it's a Sutton-perm, or a caterpillar across one's forehead; an empty stare or being forced to wear a ridiculous pill-box cap and pinstripes (and who hasn't been forced by mom to wear something ridiculous?). And remember that time your school pictures turned out horrible, and you had that huge zit on your face and they didn't airbrush it out? Yeah, Greg Minton feels your pain.


  1. It's stories like that that make me happy that my baby-fine hair could never grow super long, be permed well, or ever needed a dye job. :-)

    1. Sadly, my hair has vanished quickly as I age. My daughter laughs every time she looks at a photo of me in our hallway, taken at my sister's wedding. It's only a matter of time until I start shaving the head.

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