Author: Tina Rowley

I Got Dumped – and Madonna Made It Okay

In the summer of 1989 just before our senior year of college, my friend Jen and I confessed to each over the phone that we were really loving Madonna’s song “Express Yourself.” This was a confession rather than a plain old conversation because we both fancied ourselves cooler and more indie than your average pop music fan. But nobody sang about girl power and washing-that-man-out-of-your hair better than Madge did, and we both had men in there that it looked like they might need to be washed out. I hate to say it but, musically speaking, “Express Yourself” hasn’t held up for me. The song was remastered and heavily smeared with ‘80s horns somewhere along the way, which hasn’t helped matters any. But that song meant a lot to me that summer, and its sentimental value has endured. [pullquote]School breaks were no good. Love died over them. This had apparently been proven by science.[/pullquote] The song came out when I had my first serious boyfriend, whom we’re going to call Chad. The guy I’d dated …

Me & Jo: When a Friendship Breaks Apart

We met when we were in our late 20s, acting in a play together. On breaks from rehearsal, Jo used to scoop me up in a fireman’s carry and walk me around the room, yelling, “WHY, GOD! WHY DID YOU TAKE HER!?” while I went limp and pretended to be dead. The first time I hung out at Jo’s apartment was around Christmas, where we bonded over our insane love for the holiday while basking in the glow of her tree. Our friendship deepened and I felt free enough to bring up a small incident that had bothered me, something reasonable Jo had said, but at the wrong place and the wrong time. There was something about Jo’s being that made me feel that it was safe to be honest with her about it, and she listened receptively to what I had to say. A new level of trust bloomed in me in that moment: trust in her and trust in myself. It was a giant gift, and I heard from a mutual friend that …

Losing It: On the Life, Death and Rebirth of My Hair

If the gods were whirling around looking for a luxurious head of hair worthy of chronicling, if they were going to point a finger down from Mount Olympus and boom out, “You! Tell the other mortals the story of your mane and sing of it,” it’s safe to say I would not be a contender. My hair is ordinary, even a little pitiful. But for all its lack of glamour, my hair has lived and struggled, and lo, gods, whether you like it or not, I will sing of it. Ages 0-7: My hair and I are at peace. Unless a hairbrush is coming close enough to attack, I never think about it. Age 7: Allison Pykett gets a Dorothy Hamill haircut. Dorothy Hamill is an Olympic figure skater whose hair is cut in a famous short wedge, and Allison is my best friend. Allison’s hair is thick, blond and luxurious, just the right texture to create that wedge. When Allison walks into Mrs. Langbein’s class with her new do, Mrs. Langbein leads the class …