Blogs > Laura Kessel's blog

Laura Kessel is managing editor of The News-Herald in Willoughby. She writes a weekly column and shares her thoughts here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sick of being seen at "That Girl"

I’ve never had what you’d call long hair.

Sure, I complain when I get close to needing a haircut that my hair is “so long,” but I’ve always had what magazines and beauty experts would describe as short hair.

I just don’t know what to do with long hair. I don’t know how to style it, or have the patience to figure out how to draw it back into a neat ponytail or barrette-based system.

So, when I decided to grow my hair before my wedding a few years ago, it was quite a process.

The outcome was clear — long hair and I do not mix.

I was “That Girl.” You remember the 1970s show starring Marlo Thomas as a young, hip New Yorker.

Her hairstyle was her signature, with its flip on the bottom. Despite having poker-straight hair everywhere else on my head, the bottom part of my grown-out hair had this odd, complete flip at the bottom.

Deciding I was “That Girl,” I opted to hack it off and go back to short-haired girl.

Well, the past few weeks, I’ve felt very much like “That Girl,” but for reasons far removed from my hair.

No, this time it’s because of the perception that I’m “That Girl Who Is Going To Make Me Sick.”

I’ve been sneezing, coughing and gasping for breath for weeks.

It started as just a few sniffles around New Year’s. A few days after the new year, it was a cold, with lots of nose-blowing. It eased slightly before my trip to South Carolina, but during a classroom session my honking from the back row brought looks of concern from a few of the teachers along on the trip.

“Are you OK?”

“Yeah, it’s just the end of a cold.”

“Just wanted to make sure.”

If only it had really been the end. I’m not sure if it was standing outside in temperatures in the teens or the pressurized cabin on the four airplanes in which I traveled, but the morning after my return from Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island also marked the return of my cold.

With a vengeance.

This time it brought a sore throat and some mild coughing.

Because I was due to get on another airplane at the end of the week, I figured I’d better see the doctor. A free load of antibiotics later (thank you, Giant Eagle), and I was on a plane into LaGuardia.

That’s when my “That Girl” transformation became complete. Before takeoff, I coughed a few times in the waiting area at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. After landing, while sitting on the shuttle as we prepared to head to the hotel, I doubled-over, gasping for air as I coughed.

I haven’t stopped gasping since then.

At my meeting in New York, we started off by introducing ourselves to the group. I apologized to those assembled for my hacking, nose-blowing and gasping, assuring them I was heavily medicated and likely not passing on germs.

But I’m not sure what happened on that plane. I only know my health was the victim.

I’m actually beginning to think I’m allergic to air travel.

Looking back, I’ve often turned up sick after flying. Once, after returning from Washington, D.C., I was in bed for 36 hours. I got dizzy each time I tried to rise above a horizontal position.

But this time, I’m not achy or feverish. No, this one is centered in my throat and nose.

So, if I seem a bit under the weather when you see me in the next few days, you’ll know why.

My transformation to “That Girl” is complete.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home