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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Good and Bad (05/07/09)

TITLE: Blonding
By Dolores Stohler
05/08/09


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I had the great misfortune to be born blonde and to stay that way for the rest of my life. My hair was always fine as silk. When I grew up and began to commute to a job in Chicago, I had to wear a hat or I’d arrive at work looking like Phyllis Diller caught in a hurricane. (This was in the days before hair spray.)

My skin, too, was a problem. At the age of 12 I began to break out in acne and went through high school bearing the shame of my over-active hormones. I never had a date because, in addition to the acne problem, I was classified as a nerd because I went around with my head in a book to hide the skin break-outs. And even though I slathered my skin with tanning lotion, it never turned the golden tan that was all the rage in those days, and still is. No way! It only turned red and broke out in tiny little pimples wherever the sun chanced to beam on it. At the age of 18, I fell asleep on a beach and acquired a sunburn that put me in bed for a week.

To add insult to injury, along came Marilyn Monroe followed by all those mean and ugly “blonde jokes”. Go on, laugh! I’ll bet when you read the title to this piece, you thought it was going to be funny. How wrong you were! It’s the tale of a life filled with tragedy. And all because I was born blonde.

When I ended my miserable high school days, I got a job as a bookkeeper at New York Life and -- wouldn’t you know it -- the young woman I sat next to at work was an outspoken Greek beauty with shining black hair and a teasing manner. She looked down upon me as her mental inferior (because I was blonde?) and took great delight in pointing out my mathematical mistakes.

After two years of her put-downs, I quit and took a job in a one-woman office where I had some authority over a group of middle-aged salesmen. This was great at first but, as the acne subsided, I became the target of a lot of unwanted attention. One by one, these married men began to flirt with me. It was worse with the office supply guy. When he came in to sell his wares and my boss was gone, he actually chased me around the desk and kept trying to put his hands on me. I had to fight him off with my shorthand notebook!

When I married finally, I chose not the boring, fair-skinned fellow my folks picked out for me but the dashing Hispanic guy with the charismatic personality and a great sense of humor. Now I felt the backlash of marrying outside my race. They just didn’t do it in those days. (This was 1957). One of my friends even had the insolence to say, “How come you married someone like that!” Ah, but he was charming. and he called me his “little princess”. Other women found him charming as well. The problems in our marriage didn’t stem from any cultural differences but the fact that he was prone to tomcat around -- and, of course, they were all blonde.

O.K., so there’s got to be something good to be said about being blonde, doesn’t there? Well, it’s not what you think. The good news is that, in the midst of the many problems I faced in the course of my life as a blonde, I found the very best friend anyone could have. I learned to trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. You see, I might never have reached this point had I been a gorgeous brunette -- popular, fascinating, smart and successful in every way. So I’m happy to be born blonde and kept humble by the world I live in. Incidentally, my hair is now a lovely shade of white -- just like Jesus. No more dumb blonde for me.

“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galatians 5:25-26 NIV)


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Member Comments
Member Date
Ruth Ann Moore05/14/09
Very smart writing! :)
Seema Bagai 05/15/09
I liked the MC's voice in this piece. Just the right amount of humor. Good work.
Lollie Hofer 05/15/09
I remember that "tan in a can" stuff...it turned me orange instead of brown. Thanks for sharing about being blonde from an angle I never considered...always envied the blondes myself. Loved the encouragement at the end of the story.
Gregory Kane05/17/09
I was so tempted to cut and paste a blondes joke in the comments box. But then I decided that my life might not be worth living afterwards!
I thank God for the diversity within his creation. Among my four sons I have two blondies, one dark-haired and one red-haird. Aren't genes a wonderful thing!
Marilyn Schnepp 05/19/09
I find the honesty in this piece SO appealing! The truth is that most females wish they were blonde - and you are telling them all that it isn't all what it's cracked up to be! This fascinating insight into the life of a blonde was honest and forthright - and I loved the easy, down-to-earth way it was written. An enjoyable read, and I, once a brunette and now gray like you...am no longer jeolous of blonds. Thanks for such delightful entertainment. Well Done!