Charlie Brown, Frieda & Me
Posted May 30, 2010on:
When my hair started to grow back in again after chemotherapy, it was so soft and down like that I couldn’t keep my hands off of it. Other people couldn’t either, a reason I charged a quarter for the privilege of touching it.
I had to figure out a way to pay for all that medical care.
Alas, because of all the scofflaws out there who touched my head without paying, I did not reach my goal of tens of thousands of dollars to pay for that medical care. I didn’t even raise tens of thousands of pennies.
It was more like $2.75, give or take a quarter.
And now that my hair is really growing in, the value of my concession would have completely bottomed out if I were not like that little girl in Peanuts with the naturally curly hair. People always want to know if I had that natural curl in my hair before chemo. I had a bit of a wave, but no pin curls like I have now.
It also came in white, mixed with gray and a small area in back that is dark something or other.
Frieda lasted only until the mid 1970s after being introduced in 1961 (I’m hoping that is not an ominous sign for me).
Frieda had great words of wisdom, including, this from a December 11, 1963, strip: “People always expect more of you when you have naturally curly hair!” Frieda liked to insert her naturally curly hair into every conversation.
Like Frieda (whose name I never knew until I did some research for this post) I am proud of my “naturally curly hair,” although mine is not red.
At this point, I’m so used to comments about my gray ringlets that I assume people are about to discuss it. Not so. Other conversation topics have wormed their way into my conversations. Shocking.
Frieda often wore dresses, I learned, that usually were purple. Hummm, what’s that expression? “When I grow old, I shall wear purple.” When she was introduced in March 1961, she was 9. I was 9 in October 1961. But, you won’t catch me often in a dress, purple or otherwise.
I also learned Frieda always wore tennis shoes and has an upturned nose. I have on tennis shoes as I write this because I’m about to go for a walk. My nose? Not so upturned.
Frieda talks too much that in class, sitting behind Linus who can’t hear a single word from his teacher because she is jabbering so much.
I write too much in this blog. Anybody listening?
The real Frieda, an artist that Schultz met at the Art Instruction School in Minneapolis, once described herself as a “conversationalist” after discussing Universalists and Congregationalist with Charles Schultz.
Frieda had a cat named Faron that she got to take Snoopy down a notch or two. Linus called Faron, “the first boneless cat” because of the way he hung over her.
I have two orange and white cats with bones, Orangina and Herbie.
So am I Frieda all grown up (perhaps over grown?)
Let’s consider some of her most important quotes:
“People hate cats. People hate people who own cats. And people especially hate people with naturally curly hair who own cats!”
I’m hoping that’s not true.
And then there’s “What’s the good of having naturally curly hair if nobody’s jealous?!”