It has been 25 years since that fateful summer when Christine and Melissa had received their first head shaves. During that summer they had led their swimming and soccer teams to a level of excellence that was unheard of in their small community. By the time of Steffie's wedding, Christine, Janet and Gail had all qualified for the most important swim meet - Nationals. Inspired by the swimmers, Vicki had gotten her head shaved and was determined to qualify for the National Gymnastics Competition, a result that would mean that her Mother Joyce would get her head shaved in fulfillment of her vow. Her younger sister Arlene had gotten her head shaved also and was determined to join the Amigas on the soccer team.
Of the adults Steffie had been the first to choose being bald and had quickly determined that she wanted to be permanently bald. Jill had gotten her head shaved after seeing Christine and Melissa and that inspired April, her Mother, to have her beautiful silvery white hair clipper shaved. . Paula, Iris Abby and Hallie had then had their heads shaved following the swimming team's performance at the Forest High School team tryouts. Just prior to Steffie's wedding Heather had gotten her head shaved and Georgia showed up at the wedding with her head shaved.
As the the 25th anniversary of the first meeting of the Bald Girls Mothers' Club approached, Helen and her Daughter Deedee, along with Carly (who is naturally bald), Sandy, Ginny and a few others determined to hold a special meeting of the Club to celebrate "The Miraculous Summer" and to recognize the remarkable accomplishments of the girls who shaved their heads that summer.
June Week 2 (Twenty Five Years Later)
"Mama, why can't I have my hair done all gone like all the other kids. Cousin Emily has hers done and she's not as old as I am. And none of my friends have any hair. Please let me get it done"! Pauline implored Christine.
"I know that some of them still have hair and they're even older than you Pauline. I think you're a little young to do it. You might change your mind when you get older. I know that some of the other girls got their hair removed when they were younger than you, but I'm not sure that's a good idea. I think you should wait a few more years," Christine told her.
"Oh, Mama, please. I don't want to go to the big club meeting if I still have hair on my head. I would look really bad," Pauline made one more plea.
"Well, I can understand that. Maybe you should get it shaved for the occasion. Let's talk to you Father about it tonight. He should be here around six O'clock. OK?" Christine asked.
"OK, Mama. But I really, really want to get it done and I won't ever change my mind.
It was Wednesday afternoon and Christine had given the swimming team a little break by having a short practice session. In her time as assistant coach at State University following her third Olympics, she had quickly made a name for herself as an outstanding coach, even though she took a leave of absence to participate in her fourth Olympics.
When she returned to State she took up where she had left off and in two years her swimmers were putting State on the map. Her career path had clearly been set. She had a Master's degree in sports medicine and was recognized as an up and coming young swimming coach. Tommy was now a Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at State after quickly advancing from Associate Professor to Full Professor.
Five years earlier State University had opened a new campus at Brambleton just on the periphery of the now large town where the Crown Point Community remained one of the most stable middle class communities, Three years later it was decided to begin a swimming program there also, even though it was only some seventy five miles from State University's main campus. Christine was the leading candidate to assume the position of swimming head coach. Her women swimmers had all been outstanding. The head coach had recognized her potential and had encouraged her to accept the position. At that point Pauline was only three months old, and Christine's swimmers were participating in the Nationals and had a good chance of making the Olympics. She was reluctant to disrupt the program and perhaps not be able to work with her swimmers until they were named to the Olympic team.
An unexpected event had tipped the balance. Paula and Howard (who had married two years after they first met) had lived in Paula's house for the past fifteen years. Now they concluded that the upkeep of the large house and yard was more than they wanted to continue doing and decided to sell it and move to a nearby retirement community where they could purchase a smaller house with a modest yard. Christine and Tommy had immediately shown an interest. Tommy had said that it was just right for them. Its three bedrooms suited their needs and the kitchen could easily be brought up to modern standards.
So Christine was persuaded to accept the new position. Tommy accepted an offer to chair the Department of Philosophy and Ethics and they purchased the home that Christine new so well. Christine went to the nationals while Tommy stayed home to care for Pauline with considerable assistance from Paula. Not surprising, several of Christine's swimmers immediately transferred to the new campus. One of her swimmers, after an outstanding performance at Nationals, was invited to the Olympic try outs and was named to the Olympics team and won silver and bronze medals.
So they had purchased the house, and renovated it substantially a few years later. They had quickly become very comfortable living in the same community in which they had grown up. The friendships that had developed twenty five years earlier as other girls and women had adopted baldness had endured and grown. At the same time Crown Point became known as the place from which a movement had spread like a slow moving epidemic, leaving behind many bald women and girls until now they were taken for granted throughout the country.
It helped that several very popular rock and pop stars had adopted the bald look and even a couple of well known actresses had become permanently bald about five years earlier. Others had followed in a cultural change that continued to baffle experts in cultural changes. The number of bald women and girls had become quite significant and continued to grow although it was still a small percentage of the total - less than ten percent. Among women and girls younger than twenty-five years old the percentage approached twenty percent. In parts of Europe it was even larger, particularly in Germany and Italy. Of course buzz cuts had been adopted by even more women and girls, so much so that girls with shoulder length hair had become the exception rather than the rule.
Now, eight years later, Christine had already coached two national championship women - in addition to the two who she had coached at State - who had won medals at the Olympics two years earlier. They were expected to do well at the upcoming Olympics as well. She also had two other accomplished young swimmers who she predicted would make the next Olympics team. But her prize was a fourteen year old girl who she knew was going to be an exceptional swimmer. She had the intensity of purpose and dedication that had characterized the original seven Crown Point swimmers. Even so, all of her swimmers worked so hard and intensely that she had to make them take a day off occasionally.
"Daddy! Daddy! I want to get my hair all gone like Mama and Emily and Grandma. Can I please get it done! Please!" Pauline greeted Tommy excitedly as he came into the Kitchen from the Garage.
"Whoa, Pauline. What's this all about?" he asked, picking her up and giving her a bear hug and kiss.
"Emily is not as old as I am and she doesn't have to have any hair because Aunt Melissa let her get it done. I want to do that too. All my friends don't have any hair. I don't want to have any either. Mama said I could ask you," Pauline tried to make all of her arguments at once.
"Well, what participated this Christine?" Tommy asked as he put one arm around her waist and held her smooth bald head with the other while they kissed warmly. Still holding her he fondled her head and ran his fingers down the back of her head to the nape and along her spine.
Christine gave a little shiver. "You! Every time you do that it sends shivers down my spine," she laughed. "To answer your question, it's the Club meeting that's coming up in less than two weeks. Pauline wants to have a nice smooth head when she goes. I've been trying to delay taking that step for another year or two although I know that a lot of girls her age have already had their heads done permanently. I thought it was a little early for Melissa to have Emily done last year, even though Emily had wanted it and seems very happy now that it's done."
"I really, really want it done Daddy!" Pauline interjected.
'Well, Pauline, I think your Mother has a point. It's not always a good idea to do something like that too soon. Christine didn't you mention a while back that Kate now has a semi-permanent treatment. Maybe that's the way to go," Tommy suggested.
"That's right!. I had completely forgotten about it. I'll call Kate this evening and get some more information. That's could be ideal solution. If everything is OK, I'll set up an appointment for you Pauline," Christine said
Pauline jumped up and down a couple of times before running over to give Christine a hug. "I love you Mama. I really want to have my head all smooth with no hair on it."
"OK dear, but let's wait to see what Kate has to say before we decide anything. Right now we had better set the table and find out if your Daddy likes the nice dinner we fixed." Christine said.
"OK, Mama," Pauline answered as she scurried to get knives, forks and spoons to put on the table.
Later that evening Christine called Kate.
"Hi, Kate. It's Christine. I hope I'm not disturbing you."
"Not at all Christine. Gabby and I were just watching a new show that's not all that good. The only interesting thing about it is that one of the women characters is bald. I think that some of the producers have finally figured out that being bald is pretty much mainstream now. Anyway what's up?" Kate asked.
"Well, It's Pauline. She's been pestering me about getting her hair removed. I've been reluctant to do it at her age, but she doesn't want to go to the Club meeting unless she's bald." Christine explained.
"Oh, Christine, it's not such a big deal any more. I do a lot of kids her age now, sometimes two or three every week. Although I know you think it could all change again overnight," Kate laughed.
"Actually, I've finally come to the conclusion that it's pretty much here to stay, but I still want to hold off making it permanent for Pauline until she's a little older. Tommy reminded me that you had mentioned something about a new process that is semi-permanent. I imagined it to be a little like how that shave reducing moisturizer worked.
Can you tell me more about it?" Christine asked.
"It's a lot like the permanent treatment except that it just makes the hair follicles go dormant for about three months. You have to do three or four treatments at six week intervals to get it completely smooth. That works out that you just have to get a treatment every six weeks as long as you want to stay almost smooth. A little hair always come back before the six weeks is up, but it is usually very sparse and almost unnoticeable. I can certainly do Pauline that way and she'll be perfectly smooth for the meeting and for five weeks. You'll definitely notice some hair growth then and five weeks after that treatment, but it'll be practically invisible from then on," Kate replied.
"That's it Kate! That will work perfectly. Pauline will be happy and I won't have to worry that she might change her mine when she's twelve or fifteen. I know you don't have your appointment book with you, but could you check it out tomorrow and let me know when I can bring her in to get it done. It'll have to be in the evening, although I might be able to come in next Wednesday after four," Christine responded.
"Can you come in tomorrow at six? I don't have an appointment until six thirty. I've been closing at four thirty for the past year, so I know I won't have a lot of customers at five, Kate told her.
"Are you sure? I can certainly make it. Tommy will be home early tomorrow and can pick up Pauline from school so she can have some dinner and be ready to go," Christine said.
"I look forward to taking care of her head for her. You know how much I love bald cherubs Christine. She's a real sweetie and the smartest eight year old I've ever met," Kate replied.
"She was a real surprise to both Tommy and me. I really couldn't believe it when she started to read her books at three. At first I thought she had just memorized them, but when she read a new children's book to me before I had read it, I had to believe. She just said, 'I can read it myself' and she did. She knew all but two or three words. It's been quite amazing. She still acts like a little girl most of the time, but sometimes she seems startlingly mature. I'm sure glad we have that special school for gifted kids near here. They're already introduced her to pre-algebra and she loves biology. It's quite remarkable. Anyway, I'll have her there a little before six," Christine said.
"That perfect. The whole process only takes about an hour. I'll explain it in detail when you're here," responded.
"That's OK. We'll see you there," Christine said.
"OK. Bye," Kate responded.
"Tommy, Kate explained it and it's the perfect solution. She will have to go in about every six weeks, but that less frequently than she goes in for a trim," Christine told him.
"I'm glad it worked out. I think she'll be very cute with a bald head. After all she takes after her Mom and she's awesome with a smooth bald head. You've met Phil Grainger haven't you? Professor of urban studies. He said that once a movement like this reaches a critical point it's unstoppable and will last for generations. He claims that it crossed the threshold five years ago. And it's all your fault too," Tommy said with a laugh.
"Well, I doubt awesome is quite the right description of me, but I don't really mind if Melissa and I share the blame for the movement. If that's the case then I suppose we can also share the credit for making a big contribution to society - a nice positive contribution if I do say so myself," Christine laughed.
"You have a lot to be proud of Christine. You did something pretty amazing and you inspired a lot of other people as well," Tommy told her.
"I didn't know exactly what I was doing, but I was really proud of what our swimming team was accomplishing. I still don't quite understand how it all came about, but I knew we had something special going when they all got their heads shaved and decided to keep them shaved. I guess they were all saying something to themselves and to each other. Sort of saying we're doing something that you may think is crazy, but we're going to prove that being different is just the badge that we have to tell you we intend to succeed," Christine replied.
"It's something like that. If you're a girl and you shaved your head back then it was something strange and radical. So you and the others had to prove yourself in order to change the public's perception - to make people see you as great swimmers who chose to be bald rather than rebellious teenagers trying to thumb your noses at society," Tommy explained.
"Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. We didn't think of it like that, but underneath that's what was happening. Gail even had to convince her own parents as well as everybody else. And of course she did. I'd better go tell Pauline we'll be going to Kate's tomorrow," Christine said changing subjects.
"She went to her room. She said she was going to go do her algebra exercises and then read some more in her biology book," Tommy told her.
"OK . I'll go talk to her." Christine replied.
"Hi, honey. It's all set. I'll take you over to Kate's shop tomorrow at six," Christine told her.
"That's great Mama. I really want to be just like you and Grandma and have a nice smooth head. Will Kate make it shiny like you do yours," Pauline asked.
"I'm sure she will if you ask her," Christine said. "Did you do all your algebra already?"
"It was easy Mama. I wish they would hurry up and get to the other stuff in the book. I can already do that now," Pauline told her with a little exasperation in her voice.
"What about the biology. That's a pretty big book you're reading!" Christine said.
"It's pretty easy too, but there' a lot of stuff you have to remember. I like learning how things work and what all the parts are for. My teacher says that I ask a lot of good questions," Pauline giggled.
"I could have told her that," Christine laughed. "Don't read too much longer. I'll be up at nine to tuck you in."
"OK Mama. I'll be ready," Pauline told her.
Christine went back down and found Tommy sitting in the swing on the back porch. He gestured for her to join him. Sitting down beside him she was cradled in the crook of his arm as her kissed her on the top of her head.
"We've been doing this for twenty five years and I never get tired of it," Christine said.
"We can continue doing it and a few other things for the next twenty five years as well and I'm certain we won't get tired of it. In fact maybe we can try doing some of those other things later tonight," Tommy said with a little grin.
"Other things? Well! What a nice idea. I"m always up to doing some 'other things.' Do you suppose we should make an early night of it?" Christine laughed.
"I wouldn't mind if we did. My lecture notes for tomorrow are all set, but I would like to enjoy this evening out here. It's a beautiful evening even if it is a little hot, and you're just as beautiful as you were when we had our first date. Actually maybe you've gotten a bit more sensational," Tommy said with a laugh as he pulled her to him and they kissed - making it last as long as possible.
"Professor Williams, just who have you been taking lessons from?" Christine asked him in mock seriousness.
"Well, if you must know, I've received excellent coaching along with a rigorous training and practice schedule from Coach Jenner. She is acknowledged as one of best in the country," Tommy explained earnestly.
They both laughed and exchanged another long kiss.
"Speaking of coaching, How are your girls doing this year?" Tommy asked.
"I'm very proud of them. Doris and Lelia will make it to the Olympics. I wouldn't be surprised if they break a world record or two. And it wouldn't surprise me at all if Kathy and Vivian make it also. They've been working extremely hard and their times have been improving steadily in practice. And then there's Tracy Brown. She's only fourteen, but she's a real ball of fire. She started in the program last year, but this year she seems to have switched into another gear. She's close to qualifying for Nationals. Maybe it's because she decided to get rid of her hair back in February. She's been bald ever since," Christine said.
"Well, that's an interesting development. Neither Doris nor Lelia were bald for the Olympics were they?" Tommy asked.
"Right, but Doris and Kathy both took the plunge last year. Lelia has mentioned once or twice that she is thinking about it," Christine said. "I'm careful not to say anything about it one way or another."
"That the right approach. It's really just a cultural and fashion choice, even though the male swimmers often shave themselves to be able to swim faster. I doubt that it actually helps significantly," Tommy agreed.
"I think it does help a little although it may be mostly psychological. The swimming cap makes your head a little bigger too, but sometimes a thousandth's of a second wins a race," Christine said. "Wait here. I'll go up and say good night to Pauline."
"I'll come with you," Tommy replied.
"Uh huh," Christine said with a little smirk.
Christine parked her car in the driveway knowing that Tommy had already put his little electric car in the garage. Usually they drove together in it to and from campus or shared it to pick up Pauline and later to pickup whichever one was still on campus, but today their schedules did not mesh, so Pauline had taken the "family" car, a small bio-diesel electric hybrid.
She had hardly gotten the door open when Pauline ran out the front door to greet her.
"Mama, I'm ready to go! I've finished all my homework already, but I didn't do any of the extras yet. Can we go?" Pauline asked excitedly.
"Hi, honey. You're eager to go aren't you. Well, give me a hug, and let me have a chance to say hi to your Daddy. I could use a bit to eat too. Then we'll go. We don't want to get there while Kate is having her own dinner," Christine told her.
"OK Mama, but let's go as soon as we can, please,. I've already eaten" Pauline implored her.
"We will. Come on in with me. Would you like to have a little visit with Nanna and Poppa to show them you new look after you're all done at Kate's? Christine asked her.
""Yes! That would be fun. I haven't seen them for a long time," Pauline answered.
"Well I guess eleven days could seem like a long time. I'll call her later and see if they're home this evening. We can't stay long though," Christine told her. "Where's your Daddy?"
"He's upstairs. I think he has to go to the tae kwon do school tonight," Pauline replied.
"Oh. That's right. He has a master class. I hope he gets back before you go to sleep. He'll be disappointed if he doesn't get to see you with all your hair gone and with a nice smooth and shiny head," Christine said as she headed up the stairs behind Pauline who had raced ahead.
They went into the bedroom where Tommy had just finished packing his gym bag.
"There you are," Tommy said as he greeted Christine with an embrace and kiss. "I have to leave in a few minutes. I think I'll get back in time to see the new Pauline."
"We'll be going over to Mom's so she can model for Nanna and Poppa. If you're not back before we are I think she can stay up a little later so she can let you have a chance to admire her nice smooth head," Christine told said with a little laugh. "Why don't you go ahead and take the Eco. Pauline and I can take the Mini," Christine suggested.
"Sounds like a good plan. Too bad the gym and Kate's shop are in opposite directions. I need to get going. I'll see you too later. Tell Kate to give you a nice polish," Tommy said to Pauline as he picked up his bag and left.
"Daddy fixed your plate Mama. It's in the fridge," Pauline said.
"Thanks Honey. I'll heat it up in the microwave," Christine said.
After a quick meal and a glass of iced tea they were on their way.
Very little on Melrose Street had changed in the past twenty five years. Some of the buildings had become a little run down while others had been renovated and looked almost new. Kate's building had seen some updates and several changes of occupants. There was a Glamour Nails shop on one side and a thriving deli shop on the other side of the entry way to the floors above where there were a variety of small offices. The third floor had been converted to condos which were in demand everywhere in or near the downtown area.
Christine found a parking spot a few doors down the block and walked back to Kate's shop. As they neared the door Pauline rushed ahead and opened the door to the jingle of the little bell - a sound that had not changed in all the years.
Kate was sitting in the old barber chair. It had been twenty five years old when she purchased the business when the original owner retired some thirty five years earlier. Fifteen years ago she had it completely refurbished with new cushioning and red leather as close to the original as possible. It seemed never to have lost it magic.
"Hello Pauline. Surely you're not back for another haircut. Didn't I just do it two weeks ago," Kate greeted her quite seriously.
"No Kate. I'm getting my hair done so I can be a baldy!" she said excitedly. "You're just teasing me. You knew why we came didn't you?"
"That's right. I just wanted to have a little fun. I know how eager you are. I talked to your Mom last night and we're all ready to give you a nice smooth and shiny head just like you wanted."
"Neat. I really wanted to have it done. Can we do it now?" Pauline asked.
"Let me put on my special seat for you. Then we'll get started," Kate told her.
"Hi, Christine. I'll explain the process as we get started. It's pretty simple. I'll clipper Pauline with my number one guide. That's the first step. The next step is to apply this gel lotion. It contains some stabilized biochemicals that are absorbed through the skin and into the hair follicles. That takes about ten minutes. Then I clean off the excess and dry it. The third step is to use a special setting of my laser to go over her head. It's a very low power setting so Pauline probably won't feel it at all, although she might feel it as a sensation of having a heat lamp shining on her head. That activates the biochemicals to react with the follicles' machinery in such a way that they go inactive and don't wake up for about six months. It takes another thirty minutes for that whole process to to take place. When it has finished the follicles have released the hair shaft just like it does naturally. The last step is to use some sticky strips to remove the hair. It would fall out naturally but that would take a week or more as the hair bulb slowly shrinks . This way it's done immediately. It doesn't hurt at all. It's just seems like a little tugging at the scalp," Kate explained the process while she was clippering Pauline.
"That's sounds a lot like the process used for permanent removal," Christine said.
"It is Christine. The process is basically identical although the biochemical is completely different and the laser setting is different and even lower power. It takes more time for the process to work when you go permanent. I read the explanation and the instructor in my training course described how it works, but I couldn't remember the details because I never studied biology much less biochemistry. Anyway for the permanent procedure there is some process in the way the follicles function which gets completely deactivated and they just shrivel up and die. It's like what happens to a lot of your hair follicles when you get to your sixties and seventies. At least that's the way I remember it," Kate told her.
"Well, that sounds reasonable to me. I didn't get much in the way of biology and biochemistry either. Physiology was my area of interest," Christine replied.
"I'm going to put this lotion on your head Pauline. You'll have to sit for about ten minutes while it get absorbed," Kate told her.
"I know. That's step two and then you'll clean it off really good and after you dry it you will use the laser which is step three," Pauline said in her best precocious voice.
Kate laughed. "I keep forgetting that you probably know more about this than I do Pauline. You're studying biology aren't you?"
"It's just beginning biology. It's pretty easy, but the pictures are neat," Pauline answered.
The timer sounded that the ten minutes had expired.
"Come on over to the shampoo bowl Pauline. I have a booster seat in it for you. Christine it's a little makeshift, so hold the front down for me when I tip her back," Kate told Christine.
A few minutes later Pauline emerged. Kate carefully dried her head and then made sure it was completely dry using her blow dryer. She applied a light blue water soluble dye to Pauline head, then dried her head a second time.
"What's that for Kate," Christine asked.
"It's a water soluble dye that reacts to the laser. It turns colorless when the laser has been applied for a sufficient length of time. The length of time that the laser is applied is not very critical so long as the minimum time is exceeded, I don't want to miss any areas," Kate explained.
"Oh, that makes sense," Christine replied.
"I'm going to use the laser now Pauline so you'll need to wear these funny eye protectors. I think this small size pair will just fit. There. Is that too tight," Kate asked.
"It's OK," Pauline answered.
"Let me know if you you feel you head getting a little bit warm. That means it working," Kate told her.
"I can feel it a little bit. It's sort of like when you stand out in the sun, but not as much," Pauline explained.
"I'm almost done. There," Kate said as she released the trigger on the head of the fiber optics cable that carried the laser light from the laser itself to where it would be applied. She turned off the power to the laser power supply and put the cable into its storage compartment.
"So how long do we wait now Pauline," Kate asked her as she set the timer.
"It takes about thirty minutes Kate. Then you're going to pull the loose hair out and then I want you to make it nice and shiny please," Pauline answered.
"You've got it. It'll be very soft and shiny when I'm finished," Kate told her.
Kate opened a drawer and removed a box that was filled with strips of a soft cloth material coated with a sticky wax like substance on one side which was protected by a paper cover. The strips were one inch wide and about five inches long.
"Kate how often do you do this kind of treatment? I guess it must be pretty often?" Christine said.
"It has to be fairly often in order to afford the equipment. When I first got it about seven years ago, I had the only one in this area. Word got around pretty fast and I had more business than I expected. It was almost two a day for a year. By then several other shops were doing it. It went down to about six to eight every week, but it has increased over the past year and now I get almost two a day again. Of course I get a lot more women coming in for buzz cuts and clipper shaves. I actually have so many regulars now that I rarely have any open time. Mornings and evenings are by appointment only. Afternoon walk ins keep me busy the rest of the time. One of my regulars is coming in at six thirty. She normally keeps her head clipper shaved although sometimes she lets it grow out a little to a number one or two buzz. She also kept it shaved smooth for almost a year a while back. The temporary treatment is catching on too. I get quite a few girls like Pauline and some even as young as three or four who come in with their Mom's for the semi-permanent treatment. I think that many Mothers are a lot more comfortable with letting their girls get semi-permanent hair removal treatments. Some of the already bald women want their girls to be bald too, but are hesitant about making it permanent when they are very young. That's what one of my regulars said when she brought in her three year old girl. She kept Angela's head clippered, but she really wanted it to be smooth. She was very happy with the result," Kate explained.
The little bell rang. "Hi, Leslie. You're just in time. I'm ready for you," Kate greeted her.
"Great. I've finally decided to go for it Kate. I want you to give me the bald treatment. I've been dancing around doing it for three years now. I like how I look bald and I've decided to do it," Leslie blurted out. "Oops. Am I interrupting?"
"Not at all," Christine said. "We were just chatting about women and girls getting balding treatments and how the girls are showing up younger and younger," Christine said.
"Leslie. This is Christine. She's been a baldy for the last twenty five years. In fact she and her sister Melissa were the first two baldies in Crown Point," Kate explained.
"Oh! Aren't you the swimming coach over at the Brambleton Campus? You won all those gold medals didn't you. Your whole team of women was bald years ago. That's what got it all started. I read about it in some magazine a couple of years ago," Leslie exclaimed. "I'm glad to meet you. It must have been really strange to be bald back then, when everybody had long hair."
"Well, it was pretty unusual at first, but after several months some other girls got their heads shaved and when we went to high school there were five of us and several of our Mom's were also bald by then. Besides we sort of used it as a badge to show how determined we were to be in the Olympics. The next summer a few more girls got their heads shaved and I guess a lot of people saw us in the Olympics especially when we got interviewed. It was pretty easy after that," Christine exclaimed.
"Well, I think you are quite beautiful. I'm sure other people have told you that. I"m more determined than ever to get mine done. I kept letting my Mom and Dad tell me that I should wait, because it was just a fad and would soon disappear. I don't think it's
a fad anymore. I'm ready to get it done Kate," Leslie said.
"I guess you'll have to give up the big chair Pauline, while I take care of Leslie," Kate said. "one more fine looking baldy coming right up."
Kate proceeded to clipper Leslie's hair from it's present quarter of an inch to the eighth of an inch that was the optimum length for the hair removal treatment. She applied a slightly yellowish gel like solution and set a second timer for fifteen minutes.
"It looks like both of you will be ready for the next step at almost the same time. Christine is it OK if I let Pauline wait a few extra minutes. The longer you wait the easier it is, so there's no problem with delaying a little," Kate said.
"Sure Kate. We can wait," Christine agreed.
The bell for Leslie rang a minute before Pauline's. Leslie has already retired to the shampoo chair and was ready for the shampoo. In a few minutes she was back in the barber chair where Kate made sure her head was thoroughly dry using her blow dryer. She had already reset the laser to the specifications needed for the permanent depilation treatment. Now she gave Leslie the black eye protectors and made sure they were tightly sealed over her eyes. Application of the blue dye followed. She switched on the laser generator power, brought the head of the fiber optics cable to place it on Leslie's head and depressed the trigger that turned on the laser. Moving the head slowly she carefully traced out a complete coverage of Leslie's head. As she worked, Kate could see a small red light on the laser head that indicated that the laser was active. If she allowed the head to lose contact with Leslie's head the laser would shut down. After about six or seven minutes she was done.
"I'm done Leslie," she said as she took off the eye protectors. "It takes about forty five minutes before you'll be ready to have the hair removed. I'm going to do Pauline now. You'll see how the process works. OK Pauline, time for you to hop up here so I can make you smooth and shiny," Kate said as Leslie got up from the chair.
"OK," Pauline said as she climbed back into the chair and up onto the seat that was across the arms.
"You'll feel a little tugging on your scalp Pauline, but it really doesn't hurt. Here goes the first one," Kate said as she show her the sticky strip of cloth and then smoothed it on behind Pauline's ear. She pulled it gently downward leaving a smooth, hairless strip of scalp behind.
"I felt a little pulling. Is it done?" Pauline asked.
"Sure is. I'll keep doing it until I've done you whole head. It'll take just a few minutes. I'll make sure every hair is gone, then I'll give you a good polishing," Kate told her.
Paula, who had never seen the process done before, watched fascinated as strip after strip was applied and removed, leaving a larger and larger fraction of Pauline's head smooth and hair free. Kate examined the results and applied a few more strips where some hair had escaped the previous application.
"There. It's done Pauline. Nice and smooth. You haven't been out in the sun much have you," Kate observed. "The paleness will disappear in just a few days. I'll put on a little moisturizer to soothe your scalp and make it soft, then I can give it a good polish."
Five minutes later Pauline was admiring her gleaming head in the big mirror above the counter.
"Wow, it looks really great. Thank you Kate. It feels so nice and soft, just like Mama's," Pauline said.
"We have to hurry Kate. I promised Pauline she could go see her Nanna and Poppa before we went back home. She does look like a little Cherub doesn't she. You look very sweet Pauline. Let me give you a big hug," Christine said.
Pauline had climbed out of the chair and now made a dash for Christine who hugged her and kissed the top of her head. Pauline hugged her in turn. "Thank you Mama for letting me get my head done. I really love it."
"And I'm sure that Nanna and Poppa will love it too. Let's go. We'll see you a week from Sunday Kate," Christine said
"Bye Kate," Pauline added.
"See you," Kate called after them as they exited.
"I talked to Nanna while you were looking at that magazine. Poppa will be home so you can show off you beautiful smooth head to both of them," Christine told her.
"OK. I like to talk to Nanna and Poppa. They're fun," Pauline replied.
Shortly after Paula and Howard married, they received word that Christine and Melissa's Father, Wendell, had died of lung cancer at the age of forty five. The last time Paula heard anything from him after their divorce, Christine was eight years old. Neither Christine nor Melissa remembered much about their Father. Still they were saddened that he had died so young and that they had never really known him. Paula never said much about him, only that it had not worked out between them and that he wanted to have adventures that were incompatible with having two young girls to raise. Finally he had just left.
Howard knew the story and was determined to try to be a Father to Christine and Melissa even though they were approaching adulthood. After Wendell's death Howard suggested that he should adopt both Christine and Melissa. After discussing it with Christine and Melissa, who agreed to it, they went through the legal procedures. Howard had proven to be a thoughtful and supportive Father figure for them and they came to trust his judgment and appreciate his devotion to Paula and his allegiance to them and their goals. So Pauline and Emily were his true Grandchildren and he was as devoted to them as a Grandfather could possibly be.
"Here we are Pauline. Do you want to surprise them," Christine asked.
"Yes!. I can hide behind that bush near the door and when they open it I can run in," Pauline said.
"And yell 'surprise' while you do it," Christine said laughing.
Christine rang the bell while the small figure of Pauline tried to make herself even smaller so she wouldn't be seen behind the shrub; a rather hopeless job considering that it was only a little after seven on a very long day in mid June.
Paula opened the door. "Hi Christine. I thought you might have someone with you."
"You didn't come all this way by yourself did you?" Howard interjected.
Just then Pauline yelling, 'SURPRISE' at the top of her lungs, leaped from behind the shrub and raced through the door only to be captured by Howard.
"Would you look at this Nanna!" Howard exclaimed. "I do believe its a lovely little cherub with the shiniest bald head I think I've ever seen."
"I'm sure you're right Poppa. That is certainly a beautiful cherub - no doubt about it," Paula exclaimed. "Let me get a good look at her if I may. She certainly does have a beautiful little head - so smooth and shiny. Have you seen her before?"
"You know I think I may recognize this cherub. I think it just might be Pauline. What do you think Nanna," Howard exclaimed.
"Nanna! Poppa! it's me Pauline. Mama let me get it done I just got it done. Kate did it tonight!" Pauline exclaimed as they all collapsed in laughter.
"My, my, you look just as beautiful as your Mother and Nanna, Pauline," Howard complimented her.
"It's perfect for you Pauline. It feels just as soft as silk and looks quite wonderfully shiny," Paula added. "Let me give you a big hug. I really love my two little cherub granddaughters. You're both perfect."
"Thanks, Nanna. It's just like I wanted it - just like you and Mama and Aunt Melissa and Emily.
"What changed you mind Christine? I thought you were determined to hold off a few more years," Paula asked her.
"She was really lobbying to have it done before the Club meeting. I was still reluctant, but said we would talk to Tommy. He reminded me that Kate had mentioned a new semi-permanent treatment. I called her and she explained that the newest treatment made the follicles go dormant for about three months, but they would return to normal after that. It was the perfect solution, even though I have to take her in about every six weeks. She has the option to change her mind when she gets older which is what I wanted to give her. When she's twelve or so maybe she can make it permanent if she is very sure of herself, which by then I'm sure she will be," Christine explained laughing.
"She's very smart isn't she. I don't see her everyday like you do. When she visits she seems like a precocious eight year old, but from what you tell me she is more than than," Paula remarked.
"Oh, Mom. It's a lot more than that. She's reading at near college level and she's almost at ninth grade level in most areas. It's going to seem very strange to have a twelve or thirteen year old heading off to college and then to graduate school three years later. Tommy and I try to give her a normal family life and we don't push her. In fact we usually try to treat her just like an ordinary eight year old, but she has an inner drive to learn that's almost scary. And it's not just memorizing. She really understands what she is reading and is at the stage where she can ask searching questions that neither Tommy nor I can answer," Christine told her. "If we can't answer she'll do a google search and find the answer. Then she'll come back and explain it to us."
"I don't think I would have been up to it if either you or Melissa had been like that. But you and Tommy can handle it," Paula encouraged.
"We'd better be able to handle it. We don't have a choice. There must have been something special in the genes of both you and our Father. I've compared notes with Melissa, and Emily is pretty special also. She and David are considering the possibility of her attending the same school as Pauline. She is far ahead of kids her age and needs more stimulation than she's getting. I think she reading at fourth or fifth grade level already. Pauline has been showing her multiplication. She had already mastered addition and subtraction and she's quite fascinated with numbers," Christine explained.
"I knew she was unusual, but with Pauline around it can get a little difficult to keep everything in perspective. I think you will both handle it OK. You've always been able to handle whatever comes along," Paula told her.
"Tommy is super good with her and she's so good at analyzing things that she almost never acts rebellious or gets upset when things don't go the way she would like. I think we will be able to survive OK," Christine said. "By the way. How is the meeting shaping up? Have you heard much?"
"They've persuaded Heather to MC it because she was the first. They decided to hold it at the convention center downtown because there were far too many people coming to be accommodated at the Herb Garden. They did get the Herb Garden to cater it. There has been an announcement at the front door that they will be closed until Noon that Sunday. They had to borrow some people and even a cook from another restaurant. Heather said that almost two hundred positive answers have come in so far. They're planning for more than two hundred. Gail and Jeremy are flying in from the west coast. Apparently Cindy and Bridget are flying in from Toronto. People are coming from everywhere."
"I sure wouldn't want to miss it. I've always enjoyed those meetings even though not a lot happened. It was just relaxing to be with all those bald girls and women and everyone so approving and complimentary. I think it always strengthened my resolve to remain bald," Christine said.
"I really didn't need much strengthening once I saw myself with a shaved head. I suppose I was more like Steffie. Howard always loved it and I never looked back. When I told Howard I wanted to make it permanent, he said to go for it, but you already know that story," Paula said. "Does Marie know about Pauline yet. She'll want to see her."
"I called her to let her know. She knows to act surprised. She and Harry want to take us out to an early dinner at the Herb Garden Sunday. They want to come over and pick us up in their new solar electric car," Christine said with a little laugh. "I think it's time for me to take Pauline home. I said she could stay up a little later tonight so that she could show Tommy her new head style."
"I'll go find her. Howard is probably showing her some of his puzzle games. She seems to find them fascinating. He's always amazed at how fast she can figure them out," Paula said.
"Hi Mama. Poppa showed me a new puzzle. It was hard, but I can do it now. Nanna can you take a picture of me for your album. You need a new one now that I don't have any hair," Pauline said.
"Absolutely. I'm glad you reminded me. I'll be right back," Paula said.
Paula, who had taken up photography when Christine and Melissa had begun their rapid ascent into becoming world class athletes, quickly returned with her camera and separate flash. "Here Christine, hold this and aim it toward the ceiling. Pauline, you stand over there and face me. OK, now turn your head a little toward Poppa. Don't move your head, but look at your Mama. That's perfect. Got it," Paula said.
A few more quick shots and she was done.
"Can I see them?" Pauline asked.
"Of course, honey. You look just wonderful," Paula said.
"I like the one that shows my head," Pauline said.
"Well, the next time you visit, I'll have that one and another one in the album and you can see it in a big picture," Paula said.
"It's getting late Pauline. We have to go," Christine said.
"OK, Mama. Bye Nanna and Poppa," Pauline said as she ran to give them hugs.
The short drive back to Crown Point took a little over ten minutes. Pauline was eager to see Tommy and show him her now smooth and shiny head.
"I hope Daddy is home. He really likes your smooth head Mama. Will he like mine just as much?" Pauline asked.
"Well of course he will. How could he not. He thinks that little bald girls are the most beautiful people in the whole world, and you're the most beautiful of them all," Christine reassured her.
They pulled into the driveway. The absence of Tommy's car in the driveway announced that he had not yet returned. The new garage door opened almost silently as it sensed the correct car in the driveway. They got out of the car as the lights turned on having sensed their presence. Christine reached up to the special electric cord hanging down just in front of the 'Mini' and pulling it down plugged it into the socket that was cleverly hidden in the design of the 'Mini's' decorative grill. Walking into the house Christine said 'close' to the little box near the door, triggering the garage door to close.
The had just reached the family room when Tommy's voice came out of the intercom speaker. "Hi Christine. I'm home. Are you there Pauline?"
"I'm here Daddy. My head is all smooth and shiny!"
"I'll be right there in a minute. I'm eager to see the new Pauline," Tommy said.
They heard the door to the garage open and Pauline raced to the back hall to be greeted by Tommy who picked her up and twirled her around.
"Hi, sweetheart. My my, you do look terrific. That sure is a great looking head," Tommy said as he sat her on her feet. "Hum, let me feel it and see if its satisfactorily smooth. Well, yes it does seem to give the requisite impression of silkiness," Tommy joked.
"Thanks, Daddy. Is 'requisite' the same as 'required'?" she asked.
"Just about. It's something needed to achieve the desired result. I see Kate gave you a very nice shine. What do you think of it?" Tommy asked.
"It's exactly what I wanted. I'm sure I won't let it grow again. I know Mama wants me to wait, but when I'm ten I want to have it done permanently. I'm going to practice making it shiny like Kate did so I can do it like that all the time," Pauline told him.
"I'm sure you can do it exactly the way you want it." Tommy told her.
"Where have you been all my life," Tommy said as he embraced Christine.
"Hum, I wonder. Now you have two bald women to deal with. Will you be able to handle it?" Christine teased him.
"I believe I will be able to cope somehow. Although having two beautiful bald women around is going to be a strain on my eyeballs," Tommy joked. "However I do believe that it may be past the bedtime for the smaller one."
"I know Daddy, but it's only fifteen minutes late, and I'm going now," Pauline said.
"I'll be up to tuck you in shortly," Tommy told her as she danced up the stairs.
"She looks very sweet with her shiny bald head. I'm glad you reminded me about that new semi-permanent treatment," Christine told Tommy.
"I'm glad it worked out so well. She would have been disappointed if she hadn't been able to have something done. Of course she could have gotten a normal shave. I'll bet you still have that little electric shaver that you and Melissa used," Tommy replied.
"Actually I do. Melissa has one too. We had to buy a second one when I spent that first summer at the Olympics swimming training camp. I even have some of that special moisturizer around somewhere," Christine laughed.
"I'll go say good night to Pauline. It's a nice evening to be outside. I'll meet you on the porch," Tommy said as he headed upstairs.
Saturday Morning at Kate's Barbershop
Kate was doing a little cleaning and tidying up when the bell rang at ten after nine and Janet came in with her ten year old daughter Rose.
"Hi, Kate. Sorry we're a little late. Someone called in sick at the lab and they want me to come in this afternoon to help out for a little while," Janet told her.
"No problem Janet. So. What's are you having done Rose?" Kate asked.
"I want the permanent treatment Kate. Mom wanted me to have the semi-permanent, but I really want it all gone permanently," Rose told her.
"We been discussing it for the past year. And Hank has been involved as well. Between us we decided that Rose really did understand the consequences of doing the permanent treatment, so I finally gave in. I'm sure she'll look quite adorable with it perfectly smooth. So go ahead," Janet said.
"It certainly seems to be a strong trend Janet. Of course one little barbershop is hardly a good measure, but more and more girls her age are coming in for permanent treatments as well as quite a number in their teens and twenties. In the last year it seems the numbers have increased. It was only six or seven a week last year. Now it's nine or more. You're the tenth this week and I have another appointment for a treatment at eleven. Are you ready to get started?" Kate asked.
"Yes," Rose answered as she settled herself in the barber chair.
"Looks like you've been clipper shaved not too long ago. I won't need to repeat that," Kate said.
"Hank clipper shaved her last Sunday evening. Rose claims that he does it better than I do. I told her she could shave it smooth the way I did that first summer, but she wanted me to shave her every day for three months and I didn't have the time for that. So in the end it will be taken care of once and for all," Janet laughed.
"That's for sure," Kate said as she spread the gel lotion over Rose's head. "This is a lot easier than those laser treatments you Mom had to endure, Rose."
"I know. Mom told me she had to go back four times before it was really smooth and no hair grew back. And it felt like a sunburn every time," Rose responded. "You have to use a laser on me. Will it hurt?"
"I've never had anyone say that it hurt. A few people complained that it felt pretty hot. Most people say that it feels like standing out in the sun on a warm day. And of course it doesn't take long. This lotion will take about fifteen minutes to do its job, Rose. Meanwhile I'll get everything else set up Why don't you go over to the shampoo bowl. I'll come over as soon as its time," Kate told her.
"Christine brought in Pauline for the semi-permanent treatment Wednesday. I'm doing a lot of that too and on very young girls," Kate said passing the time.
"I know. We all get together once in a while. I talked to Tess last week and she told me that Hope had the semi-permanent treatment too. And I know from talking with Melissa that Audra's girl Ladeana has been done for a while. It's pretty obvious that by the time our girls are adults the number of bald women and girls is going to be a lot more than now," Janet said. "Hope said that a lot of girls in her school are bald now and every month or so another one or two have become bald."
"I'm not surprised. I asked Pauline about her school and she had the same story" Kate replied.
Fifteen minutes later Kate carefully shampooed Rose's head and dried it with a towel.
"OK Rose. You can get back in the big chair and I'll dry you with my blow dryer. I have to put on this water soluble blue stuff so that I can be sure to cover every area. Then I can do the laser step," Kate encouraged her. "You have to wear these eye protectors.
Let me know what it feels like."
Janet watched with interest as Kate began moving the laser head slowly and methodically over Rose's head. First the left side, then the back. At one point Rose said it felt a little hot. The right side followed, then the top. Kate went back to a couple of areas that she thought she saw a hint of blue and applied the laser again.
"There. That parts done. Now you'll just have to sit around for half an hour while the process goes to completion," Kate told her. "I have another appointment at nine thirty but it looks like she's a little late too," Kate said.
She had hardly gotten these words out when a young woman walked briskly past the shop window and entered the shop.
"Kate,sorry I'm late. I missed my bus and had to wait for the next one," she said a little breathlessly.
"Don't worry Missy. We're all just a little behind schedule. I'm ready for you right now," Kate told her. "I've just finished Rose here and she won't be ready to be cleaned up for half an hour, so I can get started on you. Looks like I'll need to clipper you first. By the way let me introduce you to Rose's Mom, Janet Lancaster. Janet, Missy Ivers" Kate introduced them.
"Hello Janet. Glad to meet you. I really like your bald head. It's beautiful and elegant." How long have you been bald?" Missy asked her.
Janet laughed. "Thanks Missy. I wouldn't have it any other way. It will be twenty five years in just two months."
Missy's eyes got wide. "Twenty five years! But! Did you lose your hair when you were young?"
"If you mean because of alopecia, no. I had it shaved the first time just a week before starting my first year in high school. I had laser hair removal treatments five years later. So I've been permanently bald for twenty years," Janet laughed.
"You need to know a little bit more about the story Missy. She was one of the great swimmers who started out swimming for the Crown Point Bulldogs in the summer leagues twenty five years ago. The next year they were the core of the newly formed Crown Point Cheetaks There were seven of them - all bald. Among them they accumulated enough medals to fill a good sized chest," Kate told her.
"Oh my god! You're one of them!" Missy said in astonishment. "My younger sister - she swims on her college team - told me about you and the other swimmers, and how many gold medals and world records you set at three Olympics in a row. I think it was you guys who got the idea of bald women started!"
"We were among the first to do it, but we had no idea it would turn out like this. Christine and her sister Melissa were the actual first. A bunch of Mom's joined us, including my Mom. And the five Amigas were all shaved. They were joined by Arlene and Denise the next summer so those seven plus the rest of their team won a ton of soccer medals including two Olympic gold medals. I think by then there were twenty or more Crown Point women who had shaved their heads, and the Middle School and High School had an even larger number of girls who were bald," Janet replied.
"Come on Missy. I need to shampoo you so I can do the laser treatment," Kate told her.
Missy returned after her shampoo and Kate dried her head and applied the photosensitive blue dye. She started the laser treatment.
Missy was still fascinated by the idea of anyone having remained bald for twenty five years. "It's amazing how the idea of being a bald woman has just sort of, you know, snowballed. When I was ten years old it was still unusual. Whenever I saw a bald woman or girl I would point it out to my Mother. My little sister had insisted on shaving her head when she was only twelve. Mom had a fit, but finally gave in. She kept it shaved until she finally decided to make it permanent last year. I'd been thinking about it, but could never quite get up the nerve to do it, even though I like the look and it has become pretty common among women my age. I've had Kate shave me a couple of times and almost told her to take it all off but always chickened out at the last minute. When Bitsy had her permanent treatment last year I finally made up my mind to do something and when Kate told me about the semi-permanent treatment I finally had the guts to do it. So here I am," Missy finally ran down.
"Don't worry Missy. You won't regret it. You have a very well shaped head. You'll look very good with it clean and smooth. I think your ears are better than mine," Janet said.
"You're all done Missy. It takes about thirty minutes for the final step to be completed. Rose, I'll be able to clean you up in about five minutes," Kate informed her.
"OK!" Rose responded enthusiastically.
"Rose I meant to ask you. How many girls in your class last year were bald?" Kate said.
"Ellen, Jenny and Rachel were bald, but there were a lot of girls with almost no hair like me. All the others had pixies except Jennifer, who had a short bob," Rose replied. "We used to tease Jennifer, but after a while we stopped. Her Dad wouldn't let her get it cut any shorter," Rose answered. "Donna said she was going to get her hair all gone this summer and that her Mom said she could. Two of the teachers in our school were bald too. One of them was Miss. Coles. She taught third grade. Everybody liked her. She made up a lot of different games for playground," Rose said.
"Did you school have any men teachers?" Kate asked.
"Yes, four I think. I think two of them taught fifth grade classes. Maybe there was a first grade teacher who was a man. I'm not sure," Rose responded.
There was the "ding" of a timer. "OK Rose, we can get you cleaned up now. In a few minutes all of this hair will be gone and you'll be clean and smooth," Kate told her as Rose quickly got back onto the barber chair.
"You'll feel a little pulling while I do this Rose, but it won't hurt at all," Kate told her as she applied the first sticky cloth strip.
"That wasn't a very scientific survey, but its a pretty good indication of what's happening. Classes are usually about twenty five kids, usually close to half boys and half girls. So in her class last year about a quarter of the girls were bald. They have about twenty five teachers in a school, mostly women. So almost one out of ten women in the school is bald," Kate analyzed the results she had gotten from Rose.
"Our principal has her hair buzzed very short. Some of the teachers do too. And one teacher is almost bald, but you can see she has a little hair," Rose informed them.
"You're saying that the younger kids are becoming bald quite rapidly now," Missy observed. If a quarter of them are bald now and more are joining them, by the time Rose graduates from High School, half the girls will be bald. That's hard to believe," Missy said somewhat incredulously.
"I think Kate's right Missy," Janet interjected. "I've read some of the studies, and looked at the charts. It started out quite slowly, but has accelerated in the past ten years. The younger generation has always led the way. So in ten years Rose's generation could easily be at fifty percent."
"Well, I'm not going to be left behind. That's why I'm here," Missy laughed.
"Almost done Rose. I haven't heard you complain. Two more strips and I'll put on some moisturizer and give you a good polishing," Kate laughed. "You know Janet there are some really good polishes available now. I have several available - all the way from a sheer satin to a super gloss. What would you like. The super gloss is more like something you would wear to a party or to the Club meeting," Kate asked.
"You wanted it pretty shiny didn't you Rose, but probably not the super gloss," Janet suggested.
"Can I have it super gloss for the Club meeting? I'd like it very shiny this time." Rose requested.
"Janet, I can give you a small sample tube of the super gloss. That's enough for two applications. I'll do her extra shiny. You can get whatever you need at the Emporium," Kate suggested.
"Your moisturizer is done Rose. Now I'll give you a really good polishing," Kate told her.
True to her word Kate applied some creamy material to her head and spread it evenly from near her former hairline over the rest of her head. A brisk buffing with a soft cloth produced a noticeable glow. A second application was followed by a some more buffing, but Kate was not yet finished. She picked up a small device with a buffing wheel, similar to the one sometimes seen in nail salons, but larger. It rotated only moderately rapidly as she applied it to Rose's head. The effect was immediately apparent. Rose's head took on a polished gleam that was quite visible.
"Janet, this stuff completely blocks the pores and sweat glands so you may not want to use it as a regular thing. What do you think of her shine," Kate asked.
"Wow, that is really shiny," Missy exclaimed before Janet could respond.
"It really gleams Rose. I'm sure you will be satisfied," Janet said laughing again.
"Here, have a look at yourself," Kate said as she turned her to face the mirror.
Rose looked at herself critically, then giggled. "It really shines doesn't it. I look pretty cool. I would like for the other kids to see it like this sometimes. Can I feel it without messing it up," Rose asked.
"Sure thing. It won't smudge much unless you rub it a lot," Kate told her.
Rose traced her fingers over her head, then giggled at the sensation. "It really is smooth as silk isn't it?"
"Well Missy, how much shine would you like when I do you," Kate asked.
Missy broke into loud laughter before she finally got control of herself.
"I may just try that super gloss stuff that you mentioned. People would have to wear sunglasses around me. Well maybe not. I'll just stick with a nice glow. You have something like that don't you?" Missy asked.
"Sure thing Missy. Come on and I'll get you cleaned up," Kate told her.
"OK . I'm eager to see my self with a clean, smooth and nicely polished head," Missy said with a little laugh.
Rose had been looking at herself in the big mirror. She giggled several times as she saw the light reflecting off her gleaming head and when she felt its luxuriously soft and satiny texture.
"I really like it. Thanks Kate. It's looks great and feels great," Rose told her.
"I'm glad I could do the job for you. As I've been telling everyone that I've shaved or made bald, there can never be enough bald girls and women in the world," Kate said.
"I remember you telling me or my Mom that when we first got our heads shaved, Kate. It's still true isn't it. We need to pay our bill and go. You should tell Missy about the Club meeting," Janet said.
"I'll do that. See you there," Kate said as they departed.
"What club meeting is that Kate," Missy asked.
"It's the Bald Girls Mothers' Club. It was started twenty five years ago. They're having a twenty fifth anniversary meeting to celebrate that remarkable summer when the swimmers and the amigas made their breakthroughs as champion swimmers and soccer players. They're holding it in the Convention Center downtown Sunday after next at ten AM There will be quite a crowd of bald women and girls attending. Bring your Mom if you can persuade her. That's what makes it the most fun. You would be very welcome," Kate said.
To be continued in Part 2.
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