Fringe Benefits

15 Feb 2003

Year 7, 1990. I used to watch the popular chicks draped over the bubblers at recess and wonder why the lads loved them so. Why had these girls nabbed the hottest (scrawny, arseless, crackly-voiced) boys in our grade? What did they have in common? After a lot of scribbling in notebooks and scientific analysis, I concluded that the successful chicks all seemed to have huge, gravity defying fringes. That's bangs to you Americans. These saucy babes had perfectly boring straight tresses in the back, but perched on their foreheads were magnificent works of art. The fringe stood noble, unmovable, a seperate entity. It was a careful construction, invariably bullied into place with half a can of hairspray. There were a few different species. Some shot straight up like a picket fence, others spiked violently to one side like a backslash. Then there was the mushroom, my personal favourite. It had a distinct core, then each bit of hair had to be individually pulled outward so it fanned from the centre like petals on a (very tacky) flower. I thought these chicks must have held the secret to man-snaring in their tidal waves of hair. Was there some mystical allure in their ponytails, scraped back so tight that their eyes narrowed like a cat? Was the scent of Taft SuperHold Laquer an aphrodesiac? By the end of Year 8, everyone had adopted the freaky fringe, even me. But I was still no more successful with the lads than the bookworm with the body odor or the skanks that trolled the canteen lines asking, "Have you got five cents?" Luckily I got older and realised that a particular hairstyle wasn't going to open the door to sweet sweet lovin'. There's no secret, no special formula to finding romance. Sometimes it just happens. Sometimes even while you're having a really bad hair day. There's a few people moaning about being alone on evil Valentine's Day today. Chin up, I say. There's friends and music and vibrators and chocolate and puppies to make you smile. And it could be worse, you could have a really stupid fringe.