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In episode 18, the friends decide to get nose studs like Ginny and Kate. They become very excited about the prospect. On Friday Paula goes to Kate for her regular trim, but instead decides to get an entirely new style after having admired Michelle’s geometric cut which is cut short except for the thick bangs. While there she watches as Georgia is given a very strict bowl cut with the undercut sides and back clippered extremely close. Kate reveals that Georgia is the Mother-in-law of Elaine who had gotten her head clipper shaved the previous Saturday. After it’s mention by Kate, Paula describes the Bald Girls Mothers Club and invites her to come with Elaine. On Saturday morning Kate opens her shop at nine O’clock to find Ellen there to get her hair cut. She has a note from her Mother. After a telephone conversation with Ellen’s Mother, Kate gives her a very cute chelsea cut, much like Beth’s and Janet’s, but a little more conservative. That afternoon the entire group of Mothers and daughters go to Rings and Things for a grand piercing party. Everyone except Steffie gets an additional ear piercing. The women all get nose studs as well. In this episode Christine and Tommy go to the Rialto to see Annie. The following day is dominated by what happens at the second meeting of the Bald Girls Mothers Club.

Week 7 Saturday

An Unexpected Meeting at the Rialto

Christine had eaten the early dinner that she and Paula had prepared. Now she was doing her eye makeup. She had developed her technique and could now do it with considerable expertise. She was very judicious in what she did. She knew now that she looked very good even without makeup and that Tommy liked the natural look, although he also liked the subtle enhancements that Christine allowed herself. She had used the lightening technique that Paula had taught her to make her brows softer. After feeling her head and inspecting it closely she had decided to skip shaving. She had managed to get a little sun during the lunch breaks the past week which helped, but she could see a little shadow on her otherwise smooth bald head, even if most people couldn’t. She applied the shiny makeup from the stick that Paula had given her. Using a small sponge she evened it out over her head and down the back to her neck. The faint shadow now faded almost into invisibility. Finally she was satisfied with how she looked and changed into the clothes that she would wear to the show.

Inspecting her earrings she decided to take out the second hoop pair and replace it with her other pair of diamonds to go with the pair of diamonds that had been put in her ears just a few hours earlier. Her final touch was the short silver chain with the little teardrop silver dangle that Paula had let her borrow. She went downstairs to get Paula’s opinion.

“Mom, do I look OK,” she asked.

“Let me look at you. Hum. Did you remember to bring dark glasses for people to wear so they can look at you and not get stunned?” Paula told her with a little laugh.

“Mom, be serious. How do I look?” Christine asked again.

“You look quite fabulous Christine. I think you’ve grown another inch this summer. Didn’t that skirt come to the top of your knees in the spring?” Paula asked

“You’re right Mom. It was longer. I guess I have grown some. Is this necklace all right?”

“It’s looks very good with your earrings and clothes. you have very good taste in your outfits and accessories Christine. You know how to make your natural good looks speak for itself. I like the way you did your head. I don’t see a hint of shadow. It looks very smooth and clean. And the shine is just right.”

“Thanks Mom. I want it to look like I’ve never had any hair. I don’t like it when there’s a shadow showing. I think I would like to have laser treatments when I get older, so that no hair grows on my head and it is perfectly clean and smooth. Aunt Steffie is going to do that I think.”

Well don’t be too hasty. Everyone ought to have a chance to change their mind. So give that idea a lot of thought. Will Tommy be here soon?”

Christine looked at the clock on the mantle. “In about fifteen minutes. He always get here almost exactly when we agreed.”

Promptly at the appointed time the door bell rang. Christine walked quickly to answer it.

“Hi, Come on in. I like your tie,” Christine greeted him warmly.

“You looks really great yourself,” he answered. “I like your new earrings too.”

Christine Laughed. “You don’t miss much do you. Mom got her nose pierced too. I think it looks nice.”

“Hi, Mrs. Jenner. That’s a nice new look. Pretty soon you and Christine could pass for sisters.”

‘Well, thank you Tommy. I think I’ve gotten a little impetuous of late, but I do seem to be enjoying myself. Have a wonderful evening with “Annie.” Don’t worry if you are a little late getting back. I know that those shows can run pretty long.”

“We’ll try to get back before eleven Mrs. Jenner. I think we should be able to make it.”

“Bye Mom.”

“Bye kids. Enjoy yourselves.”

They left the house and walked leisurely to Elm Street to take the bus. They didn’t talk much, but as usual Christine was suffused with a warm glow.
They talked a little about ‘Annie’ while they were on the bus. Tommy did not know the singers, but told Christine that the reviews had been good.

As they walked across Elm Street and the half block to the Rialto, Christine was completely oblivious to the number of heads that turned to look at the bald girl who walked serenely beside a mature seeming teenager.

As they were shown to their seats in the second row of the balcony the young woman usher spoke quietly to Tommy, but loud enough for Christine to hear. “Wow, she’s absolutely gorgeous.”

“I agree with you, but she’s a lot more than just beautiful.” Tommy responded.

When Tommy sat down, she grabbed his hand and squeezed it. “You’re special Tommy Williams. Did you know that?” she said quietly into his ear.

“You’re special yourself Christine Jenner.” Tommy responded.

Christine was beguiled by the musical show, especially the jaunty twelve year old girl with the incredible voice who played Annie.

At intermission they went downstairs to the main level where there were tables set up selling cocktails and, they hoped, lemonade.

They were standing in line and had just reached the table. Christine had been casually scanning the crowd. She had seen any number of bald heads, all of which she assumed were guys, but once she glimpsed what she imagined was a bald girl. She dismissed the idea and turned to order a lemonade which to her surprise they actually had.

“Christine, do you know if Tess was coming here tonight,” Tommy asked.

“Did you see her? She went out with Brian last week, but Melissa didn’t mention hearing anything from Beth,” she replied.

“I saw someone over behind the planter. I’m pretty sure it was a bald girl,” Tommy added.

“Let’s go over that way and see. It would be neat if Tess were here,” Christine said.

Tommy paid for their lemonades and they they threaded their way through the crowd and around the end of the planter.

“There, it’s Brian and Tess. Let’s go see them,” Christine said

They headed toward the pair. Brian saw them first.
“Hi guys! Tess, it’s Christine and Tommy,” he announced.

“Hi Brian, Hi Tess. I had no idea you might be here! Where are you guys sitting, Christine asked.

“It’s pretty weird that we both decided to go to this show and on the same day. We’re in the back of the mezzanine. Where are you?” Tess asked.

“We’re in the balcony in the second row. How do you like the show so far. I think that girl who plays Annie is incredible. I can’t believe she can sing like that,” Christine said.

“She is pretty amazing. I like the show. I’ve never been to anything like it. It’s sure differ
ent from a rock concert. I think I could learn to like shows like this a lot. Hey you guys. I just had a thought. Brian and I are going over to The Dessert Place afterwards. Why don’t you come with us? You can ride with us back home,” Tess offered.

“That would be fun, but I’m supposed to be back by eleven although Mom said if we’re a little late it would be OK. I don’t know about riding with you though. I don’t think that would go over too well if she didn’t know in advance,” Christine answered.

“You’re right Christine. My Mom would be the same way about Beth. Here, you can call her with my cell phone. I can talk to her if she wants,” Brian volunteered.

A few minutes later after being assured by Brian that they would come back directly from the Dessert Place, Paula gave her consent.

The bell rang signaling the beginning of the second half of the musical and they separated to go to their seats having agreed to meet at the same location after the show was over.

An hour later they met and walked to the Dessert Place.

“That was fun. I liked it a lot,” Christine said.

“Me too.” Tess agreed. “Brian told me his Mom and Dad had actually seen it in New York.”

“That’s right. Mom, could tell me all about it. She really likes those old Broadway musicals,” Brian agreed.

“I think almost anyone who goes to a few of them will realize how good some of them are. The Fiddler on the Roof and the King and I are full of great music and they tell wonderful stories,” Tommy told them.

“My Mom can sing almost all the songs from South Pacific and I saw the list once. It had more than twenty songs,” Christine said almost in awe. “Tommy and I heard a few at a concert last month. I could hardly believe how beautiful Some Enchanted Evening was. I almost started to cry.”

“We should get together for some other stuff Christine. I think the four of us like a lot of the same things,” Tess said.

“We do have a lot in common, especially Christine and Tess,” Brian added with a laugh.

“Tess, you seem to be pretty comfortable now. I know I kept thinking people were staring at me for a quite a while. Have you gotten many nasty comments?” Christine asked.

“It’s funny Christine. I keep forgetting that I’m bald. I start to push my hair back and end up rubbing my head. Sometimes I notice people looking at me, but I don’t mind. I just rub my head and smile. Anyway I think I look pretty darn good. I think Brian agrees. Why else would he be taking out a bald girl?

“I definitely agree. You look better than pretty darn good Tess. Anyway, I think we had better get going. I don’t want your Mom upset with me Christine. Tess said that you all have a big day tomorrow.”

“That’s right. The Bald Girls Mothers Club. So I would like to get back,” Christine agreed.

They stopped in front of Christine’s home at ten after eleven.

“Thanks for bringing us back Brian. It was fun. Bye,” Christine told him.

Christine and Tommy went in the front door and into the Family Room where Paula was just watching the late news.

“Hi, Mom. We’re back,” Christine announced.

“So I see. How was the show,” Paula asked.

“We liked it a lot, but I’ll bet it’s not as good as South Pacific,” Christine answered.

“That would be hard to beat. It was quite a coincidence for you to meet Brian and Tess there. It was nice of them to ask you to go for some dessert and offer to give you a ride home, but I’m glad you called me first,” Paula told then.

“It was Brian’s idea. He understood immediately.”

“It can easily be one of those impulsive things that seems perfectly OK. You did the right thing to call,” Paula said. “What did you think Tommy?”

“If Christine had said yes, I would have mentioned that we should let you know first, Mrs. Jenner.”

“I think I shouldn’t worry much about you two. I’m glad you had a good time,” she said.

“It’s getting late Christine. I had better get going,” Tommy said.

“I guess you’re right. We have a big day tomorrow, Christine responded.

“Goodnight Tommy. Be careful on your way home,” Paula said.

“Goodnight Mrs. Jenner. I’ll be careful,” Tommy responded.

Tommy and Christine went back out the front door and around to the side of the house where Tommy had parked his bike.

Christine hugged him. “I had a wonderful time with you tonight. Thanks for taking me,” she said.

“Thanks for going with me,” Tommy responded. “Did you enjoy being with Brian and Tess?”

“It was fun, but I wouldn’t want to do it all the time. I like being with you. Doing something with Brian and Tess would be OK once in a while though,” Christine answered.

“That’s the way I feel too. I like both of them, but I want to be with you mostly,” Tommy said.

“I think you’re stuck with me as long as you can stand it,” Christine said laughing.

“I think I can stand it as long as you can stand me,” Tommy responded.

“I’m glad that’s settled. Maybe you can hold my head and kiss me goodnight,” Christine told him.

Tommy held her head and they kissed warmly, but still with restraint. She put her head on his shoulder as he caressed it gently. After a moment they released each other and Christine took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

“That felt so good Tommy,” She said.

“It sure feels great just to do it,” Tommy answered. “Have a great time tomorrow with your gang of baldies.”

“I’m sure I will. Goodnight. See you Monday.”

“Bye. See you Monday.


Week 8 Sunday

Second Meeting of the BGMC

Christine stuck her head into Melissa’s room. “I almost did it again Melissa.”

“Did what?” Melissa asked.

“Fixed breakfast for us. It’s so automatic that when it’s my turn I don’t think about it and just head for the kitchen,” she explained.

“That funny Christine. I think it’s sort of like what I do when I play soccer and what you do when you’re swimming. When I want to switch the ball from one foot to the other it just happens. It used to be I almost had to stop and change gears to do it,” Melissa told her.

“That’s it. I was trying to show Ellen and Bridget how to do a fast turn around in freestyle and I couldn’t remember exactly what I did. I had to go through it in slow motion to be able to show her the exact sequence of tuck, flip, twist and push. My morning routine is just like that. Going down to fix breakfast is the last part of the routine,” Christine laughed.

“Why don’t we have a glass of orange juice and then shave,” Melissa suggested.

“That a good idea. I would like a little something,” Christine answered.

They raced downstairs laughing. Melissa grabbed glasses from the cabinet while Christine got the bottle of orange juice from the fridge.

“What was Annie like? Did you like it?” Melissa asked.

“It was good. The girl who played Annie is only twelve years old. She is no taller than Penny and she wore a big curly wig, but she could sing like crazy. She was louder even that some of the adult singers. It was amazing. The show was a lot of fun to watch and there are some good songs in it. Did Beth say anything about Brian and Tess going to it?” Christine asked.

“No, Why? Melissa said

“Well, we met them there at intermission. We went to the Dessert Place and Brian drove us back home. I was surprised. Tess thinks it would be fun for the four of out to go out together,” Christine answered.

“Does Mom know that you came home in Brian’s car?” Melissa asked a little tentatively.

“Don’t worry. Brian let me use his cell phone to call her. She talked to Brian too. We wouldn’t have gone with them unless Mom said it was OK,” Christine answered.

“I should have know you would have asked her. Come on. Let get shaved,” Melissa said.

“OK, I definitely need it. I told Mom that in a couple of years I want to get laser treatments so it will be perfectly clean and smooth an
d I don’t have to shave any more. She said I shouldn’t be hasty. Isn’t that funny. After making us get shaved, now she’s worried that we might like it so much that we will make it permanent.” Christine told her.

“That is funny Christine, but I guess maybe she thinks that we’re too young to be making plans like that. I want to do the same thing. Do you want me to do you first?” Melissa asked.

“Sure. I wish we had one of those hot lather machines. That would make it even smoother maybe,” Christine said.

“I’ll try to make it as smooth as possible. If it feels like it might irritate your skin tell me,” Melissa said.

“OK, go ahead,” Christine answered.

With the gel already applied, Melissa began shaving the left side of Christine’s head. She applied considerably more pressure than she ordinarily used and went over the same area twice going upward first and then from front to back. When she tested it with her fingers she knew she had gotten it smoother than ever before. She continued around the back working slowly and carefully to achieve the best possible result. The right side received the same treatment. She cleaned the shaver under hot water and began on the top. Melissa took her time to work from front to back being careful to cover every square inch with the same pressure. Finally she finished and felt the result. It was obviously smoother than usual, but she wondered if she could get it even better.

“Christine, I think I could get it a little better if I shaved it again the way Kate always does. I watched her do it to Sandy and she said that she almost always does it twice,” Melissa related.

“That’s right. Jessie said she did her twice. Go ahead,” Christine agreed.

Melissa applied gel to Christine head, spread it evenly and allowed it to sit while she cleaned the shaver once again. She started on the right side this time and paid special attention to getting it as smooth as possible, going against the grain up and back. She continued around the back and the opposite side working the shaver slowly and firmly.

“I think it’s going to be really smooth this time Christine,” Melissa said as she cleaned the shaver once again.

She continued over the top of Christine head taking extra time to shave in several direction at the crown which she knew grew in a circular pattern. Finally she concluded that she had done the best job she could do.

“It’s finished Christine. I just have to clean off the gel. Not much blood either,” Melissa joked.

“I’m relieved. I certainly don’t want to get red spots on our carpet. Mom just had it cleaned,” Christine responded. She felt her head with her fingers and then her whole palm.

“That’s good Melissa. That’s really good. It’s never been this smooth before. Wow, you did a great job,” Christine said excitedly.

“I think our heads are used to being shaved and we can press harder now,” Melissa suggested. “You can do me the same way.”

“OK, sit down and I’ll do it. Let me look at my head in the mirror first. Well I can still see a little shadow, but it feels great. I’ll bet it will feel like this all the time after I get laser treatments and there won’t be any shadow either,” Christine said.

She proceeded to apply the gel to Melissa head and then clean the shaver. “If it feels too hard let me know. You can never see a shadow on you head, but I guess you want it to be super smooth anyway,” Christine suggested.

“Yes. I felt yours and it was awesome. So I want mine to feel the same way,” she responded.

Christine followed the same pattern used by Melissa – start on the right side and proceed around the back to the left side then do the top. Christine pressed the shaver firmly onto Melissa’s head, moving it slowly but steadily up and then back. She went over several areas a second time. She completed the circuit around Melissa’s head and was about to start on the top with Paula stopped at the door and looked in.

“Morning girls. I see you’re getting ready for the big show,” Paula said.

“Mom, come here and feel my head. Melissa made it really smooth,” Christine called to her.

“My, that is smooth Christine. How did she do it?” Paula asked.

“I just pressed harder and shaved her twice,” Melissa answered.

“That’s how I would like it to be all the time Mom,” Christine added.

“Me to Mom,” Melissa echoed her.
“Well when you’re older you can decide for yourself what you want to do,” Paula told then. “What’s for breakfast?”

“I didn’t fix any, because we’ll be eating at the Herb Garden. We just had a glass of orange juice and your coffee is ready . Is that OK?” Christine answered.

“Didn’t we go through this last time?” Paula laughed. “I’ll go get some orange juice and a cup of coffee while you two finish up here.”

Christine continued shaving the top of Melissa’s head, carefully going over the crown area in several directions to make it extra smooth. She had applied considerable pressure without any complaints from Melissa. She thought she might not need to do a second shave. She felt it critically and concluded that Melissa was about as smooth as she was.

“OK, Melissa, I think I pressed harder than you did. It feels pretty good to me, but you can decide if I need to shave it again like you did,” Christine explained.

Melissa explored her head carefully. Finally she gave her verdict. “I think it’s practically the same as yours Christine. Nobody but us could tell the difference if there is any. Let’s clean up and get dressed. Maybe I’ll go extra shiny like you did last week,” Melissa giggled.

They cleaned up and put away everything except the moisturizer which they applied liberally their heads.

“Let me help you get it really shiny Melissa,” Christine offered.

“Sure. It’s probably a lot easier if you do it,” Melissa agreed.

Christine applied some of the shiner, carefully spread it over her head, around her ears and down her neck. She waited a few minutes and then buffed it gently with a soft cotton makeup cloth. A second application followed. After buffing, Melissa’s head had a somewhat greater shine.

“I’m going to do it one more time Melissa,” Christine told her.

The third application followed. This time the buffing had a substantial impact and the shine was immediately apparent.

“That did it Melissa. Now you have a really shiny head, shinier than I was able to get. If they give out an award for the shiniest head you’ll get it. Take a look,” Christine giggled.

“Wow, that is really shiny,” Melissa exclaimed laughing. “Everybody will think it’s funny. I’m going to go just like this.”

The went to their rooms to get dressed. Christine decided that she wanted to apply a little powder to lighten her brows. She was eager to have them redone. She considered having them made a little lighter this time. And maybe a little thinner too.

“I’m ready Christine. Let’s go,” Melissa said.

“What’s the hurry. I’m not quite finished doing my eyebrows. Yours are already light and they look exactly right. Mine are way to dark for having a bald head,” Christine complained.

“You’re getting them redone tomorrow aren’t you?” Melissa asked.

“That’s right, but I wish I could have then extra good today. I guess it’s not so bad. I still look decent,” she said.

“A lot better than decent. Everybody says you’re beautiful. I have no idea what they’re talking about though,” Melissa kidded her.

“You’re right. I need to quit thinking about it. Tommy likes how I look and I have more important things to take care of like making sure I do well at the big meet in two weeks. I’m ready. Let’s go,” Christine said.

They headed downstairs where Paula was just finishing her cup of coffee and reading a magazine.

“We don’t need to go for a little while, but let’s get there early in case we need to help Heather and Jan get things set up,” Paula said.

They piled into their car and headed to the Herb Garden. Walking into th
e vestibule they were greeted with a little poster board announcing that the Bald Girls Mothers Club would be meeting in the Tarragon Room on the left side near the back. The Tarragon was the larger of the two private dinning rooms. Paula had heard from Leigh that several additional Mother/Daughter pairs had contacted her and were expected to attend. Sammie Haskell, whom she knew casually had called her and said she and Jessie were coming, at Jessie’s insistence. The numbers had grown beyond anything Paula could have imagined.

The receptionist greeted them enthusiastically.

“I really love the way you bald girls look. And some of the Mom’s haircuts are so great like yours Ma’am.” she said. “The room is in the back. Just take the left isle and turn right.”

“Thanks, we know the way.” Paula responded.

Sandy, Tess, Beth, Penny and Ginny, and their Mom’s were already there. Leigh was setting up a podium that the ingenious Ray had fashioned from an old music stand top, a telescoping handle used on a paint roller, and a wooden wine bottle box to which he had fastened two pieces of plywood to make it easy for Heather to stand on. Someone had brought a rather large bell for Heather to use to get everyone’s attention.

Jan had realized that they needed a better way to communicate so she had brought two large clip boards with signup sheets requesting that they put in their names, addresses, telephone numbers, and E-Mail addresses.

Christine looked around for Jill, but saw no sign of her.

Everything seemed to be in order. Leigh had the “podium” set up and there was a large sheet with the words “The Bald Girls Mothers Club” in ornate script surrounding a picture hanging from the front of it. The picture shawed a woman sitting in a chair with a bald young woman in a red dress standing beside her. The perfect picture for their group.

They were all greeting each other and laughing. It was still early, but people were beginning to arrive.

Leigh and Abby joined the group. Abby had gotten her buzz cut redone by Kate on Friday. It was now a number one buzz with a very short wispy fringe of bangs.

“That is a very neat buzz cut Abby. You outdid me. How did Dan react. Leigh said.

“He just laughed. He actually likes it and he knows I’m going to get it shaved in a month. There’s no doubt Tess is going to stay shaved now that she has met Brian. It was absolutely a miracle for us to attend the Barbecue. She would never have met him otherwise. I think he is a super young man. You should be proud of him,” Abby told her.

“Oh, I am. He told me he likes Tess a lot. I hope to see much more of her in the future. She’s pretty special herself,” Leigh responded.

“Jan, your bob seems to get a little shorter every time I see you,” Leigh told her.

“You’re right. I have no idea where it will stop. I’ve already planned the next step. I may end up looking like Sandra. I’ve really become attracted to the way she looks, and especially the way it feels. I think she is wonderfully cute and angelic as a bald girl. I can imagine her looking terrific when she’s eighteen, then a very beguiling twenty-five, a striking forty year old and an elegant fifty-five. I hope I live to see all that,” she laughed.

“You have exactly the right vision Jan. I think they may all achieve the same transition,” Leigh said.

Paula, who was standing nearby, saw another pair walk in the door. “Look, that’s Georgia. I met her at Kate’s shop on Friday. Kate mentioned Elaine. I wonder if that’s her. Let’s go meet them,”

“Hello Georgia. You probably don’t remember me. We met at Kate’s Barbershop. I changed my hairstyle after you left, I’m Paula Jenner,” Paula said.

“I remember you very well, Paula. You gave me the idea to talk to Elaine and she had heard the name of this club mentioned Saturday a week ago when she got her hair cut in this marvelous style. Anyway, this is Elaine Barkas. My son Joe had the good sense to marry her. I am very proud to have her as my daughter-in-law. I would have been delighted to have her as a daughter, but then Joe would not have had her as his wife, and I would not have beautiful twin grand kids,” Georgia told them.

“Two grand children!” Paula exclaimed “That’s wonderful.”

“That’s right. A boy and a girl. Joe is taking care of them, but I expect my Mamma is keeping an eye on him. She has a hard time believing that a man like Joe can be so good with the babies,” Elaine laughed.

“There must be a story here somewhere. How did you come to meet him,” Jan asked.

“We met in college. He was always after me to go out with him, but I wasn’t going to go out with a white guy. He pestered me for two years before we had our first date. Actually he was a really nice guy, but I wouldn’t have married him if Georgia hadn’t been such a great person. My Mother and Georgia really enjoy each other’s company. I may bring them both to the next meeting,” Elaine responded.

“Elaine I am delighted to meet you. Your and your Mother-in-law are absolutely a wonderful addition to our funny club,” Jan told her.

“Georgia, that is a beautifully done bowl cut. You really carry it off well. And Elaine, your buzz is a lot like my daughter Ginny’s. She’s around here somewhere. I’d like you to meet her. Your cut looks like hers does after she gets it done. You must have gotten yours done recently,” Heather observed.

“You’re right. It was last night I barely made it there before Kate closed,” Elaine laughed.

“Come on, I’ll take you around to meet the others,” Leigh offered.

“Here comes somebody. I think that’s Jessie with her Mother Sammie,” Paula said.

“Hello Sammie. I’m Paula Jenner. The last time we met I had long hair down my back. And Jessie. I guess you’ve really joined the bald girls club,” Paula laughed.

“I hardly recognized you with that haircut Paula. That’s quite good looking. Jessie said I should get my head shaved like hers, but I declined, although looking around here, I think I could be persuaded to get a short cut like one of those,” Sammie indicated Abby and Jan who had just joined them.

“Sammie, this is Jan Reece and this is Abby Quinalt. Their daughters Sandy and Tess are perfectly smooth like Jessie. You know Tess don’t you Jessie?” Paula asked.

“Oh sure. She’s actually one of the best swimmers on the summer teams,” Jessie answered.

“Jan, why don’t you take Sammie around to meet the other,” Paula said. She had appointed herself to be the unofficial greeter.

“I don’t know who that is Abby. Do you recognize them,” Paula asked.

“Not at all,” Paula,” Abby answered.

Christine, who had been keeping her eye on the door watching for Janet, came running up to them.

“That Ellen!” she almost shouted running to greet her. “You got your hair cut. That is so neat. You look absolutely terrific,” Christine said giving her a hug.

“Thanks Christine. This is my Mom,” Ellen said her face breaking into a huge smile.

“You must be the Christine I’ve heard so much about. I’m glad to meet you Christine. I’m Doris Hardy. Ellen tells me you’ve been the inspiration for all the other girls on your team,” Doris told her.

“I don’t know about that. I just wanted for out team to be the best they could. Everybody has worked really hard. I’ll introduce you to my Mom,” Christine replied.

“Mom, this is Doris Hardy and Ellen. She’s on the swim team. I think she’s going to be a great swimmer. She has been improving really fast,” Christine.

“I’m glad to meet you Doris. I’m Paula Jenner and this is Abby Quinalt. Ellen that is a super cute haircut. I think you’re the only girl to have one like it,” Paula said.

“My goodness, this is something. All these girls with their heads shaved, and women with almost shaved heads like yours Abby,” Doris said.

“I love it this way Doris. I’ve never felt so good about myself,” Abby told her running her hand over her buzzed head.

“There’s Michelle and
Cindy,” Paula announced.

“And here come Hallie, Steffie and Audra, right behind them,” Abby said.

“Michelle, that is a stunning look for you. Did you get it cut off all at once?” Abby asked.

“Yes I did. I was so ready to do it I could hardly wait. I didn’t know what new style I wanted, but when I saw this one in Kate’s book I knew I had found it. I love it, but Kate showed me another that I like even better. It’s shorter and I’m sure James will like it. I’ll probably get it cut that way next,” Michelle told her.

“Hi guys. I’m so glad you could make it Hallie. How did Victor react to your nose stud.” Paula greeted Audra, Steffie and Hallie.

“Oh, he inspected me carefully and claimed I looked younger. He’s a big liar, but I love him anyway,” Hallie laughed.

“Audra, it looks like you got your head shaved. It’s perfectly smooth,” Abby observed.

“Kate shaved it for me yesterday Mrs. Quinalt. I did it just for today. Aunt Steffie shaved it for me this morning. I like the feel and the way it looks, but I think I’ll go back to my regular buzz cut at least for a while. Maybe later I’ll keep it shaved like Aunt Steffie. I want to go show the rest of the gang,” Audra said as she took off across the room to where Melissa, Sandy, Cindi, Beth and Penny were crowded around each other.

Another Mother/Daughter pair arrived.

“I’m Abby Quinalt and this is Paula Jenner.” Abby told them.

“I’m Iris Norton and this is Janet, a member of the bald swimming crew,” she laughed. “I’m going to have to get my head buzzed to keep up with this crowd she said, laughing again.

“It’s wonderful that you came. Those girls have really formed a bond among them. They are a special team for sure,” Paula told her

“I’ve never met anyone like Christine. If we can keep up with her we’ll have a great team at Forest,” Janet said.

“She’s over there with Jessie, Ellen and Tess. I’m sure she’ll be happy to know you’re here,” Paula told her.

Heather was standing on her makeshift podium. She rang her bell once, then again more vigorously. The room quieted noticeably, but there were still a lot of talking. She rang it the third time as loud as she could. Finally she got everyone’s attention.

“Hello everyone. I’m so glad that you all came. I’m especially happy to see so many new faces, with wonderful shiny bald heads. Look around and you will see more bald girls than you probably believed existed in the entire country. I’m sure we have a corner on the market. I never imagined saying something like this, but here it is. I absolutely love how bald girls look. I have two of my own – one bald, and one with the shortest possible haircut. We Mothers of Bald Girls, have come to appreciate the bald look on girls and women. Several of you will soon be joining the ranks of the beautifully bald. I salute you. In time more of us will join your ranks. But for now we only have one Mother and Daughter pair who are both bald. And here they are now! April and Jill!”

Everyone turned toward the door where April and Jill stood arm in arm wearing identical outfits. Applause broke out spontaneously, and they smiled and waved as they walked to the front.

“Jill didn’t know until last night that her Mother April had gotten her head shaved for the occasion. She called me and we conspired to arrange this little surprise for April. Now you know why Jill is not our server for today.”

“We’re going to have a buffet brunch first, then we’re going to have some fun. First thing is for everyone to find a place to sit so our two servers can get your orders for tea, coffee or juice. Second order of business is to let you know that we’ve arranged to make things pretty easy. It’s an all your want buffet for twelve dollars per person, tips included. That’s a good deal and makes it easy for everyone. Leigh and Jan have volunteered to collect the money. We want to make this fun and for you all to know each other. So we’re going to do introductions like we did last month. We’ll let the Mom’s tell who they are and which girl they brought with them. I’ll start. I’m Heather Brower. I brought Ginny – stand up Ginny – and Penny. I guess you’re next Georgia,” Heather said.

Introductions went swiftly.

“OK. Do you all remember all those names. We’re going to have to have name tags pretty soon. So let’s get some food. If you’ve ordered you beverage go ahead and get your brunch,” Heather told them

A large group stood up and headed for the Buffet line. Another group clustered around Leigh and Jan.

Steffie had made a point of introducing herself to Elaine and Georgia.

“I really like your head Elaine. You are one great looking woman,” she told her.

“Thanks. Kate did a great job. In a way you were my inspiration. We arrived just when April had gotten her clipper cut and Audra was about to get hers redone. I decided right then that I wanted a clipper cut like theirs. My husband Joe loves it. You’re completely bald aren’t you? You are about the best looking black woman I’ve ever seen. How long have you been bald? Don’t you have to shave it every day to keep looking so good? Elaine questioned her.

“I have a little secret. I got it shaved just five weeks ago. I was shaving it every day for a while, but now I shave it only three times a week. By the time summer is over I should be down to once a week. I have this special lotion which slows down the rate of growth. It really works. You can ask Christine and Melissa who’ve been shaving the longest. But the secret is that I’m going in for laser treatments next month. I expect to be permanently bald before Louis – that’s my boyfriend – and I get married in October. He can’t keep his hands off my bald head. I love it smooth as silk. No matter what, I’ll never have hair again,” Steffie told her.

“If I didn’t know you were serious I would think you were crazy, but I have to admit that all these bald girls do look good,” Elaine responded.

“They sure do. And their Moms are supportive. You’ll like this group. They’re like Georgia – they’re about the best group of women you’ll ever encounter. It doesn’t matter who or what you are, they make you feel wanted and comfortable. Come on let’s get some food for ourselves.” Steffie said.

“Let me feel it Audra,” Melissa said reaching up to put her hand on Audra’s head.

Audra giggled. “Maybe I’ll keep it shaved. How often do you shave yours Melissa?”

“Only twice a week now. It takes about two months before you can do it that little. I think it may get to once a week in another two months. It would be cool if you decided to stay bald. You look great without any hair,” Melissa told her.

“Did you hear my Mom say that she liked the way bald girls looked. I’m going to ask her if I can get mine shaved. I don’t know if I want to keep it shaved though,” Penny said.

“You would look just as good as any of us except maybe Christine. She looks like a model or something,” Beth remarked.

“I didn’t realize how many bald kids there were. Tess, Janet and Jessie are super good looking I think. And you’re great looking Audra. It’s only been a week, but I’m going to ask Mom if I can go back to Kate’s for another haircut next Saturday. I’m going to get it cut a lot shorter this time,” Cindi vowed.

“That’s funny Cindi. That seems to happen a lot. Once you decide to get it cut it keeps getting shorter and shorter until it’s buzzed really short or shaved. Of course a few kids like Beth and Sandy just get it shaved all at once,” Melissa said.

“Let’s get something to eat. I’m starving. Getting your head shaved makes you hungry,” Audra joked.

All the adults along with Jill and Ginny seemed to have taken one of the two tables. The teenagers had appropriated the other table and divided themselves into two groups. Iris Norton was sitting between Leigh and Michelle and across from Abby.

“Abby, that buzz cut really suits you, just the way it seems to be perfect for Heather an
d you Leigh. I am really tempted to get my cut like that. Where did you get it cut?” Iris asked.

“Finally the big question has gotten asked,” Abby joked.

“We’ve all discovered the most magical place. It’s called Kate’s barbershop on Melrose Street between twenty fifth and twenty sixth. It’s actually owned by Kate. Who would have thought? She has a wonderful big old barber chair that puts rebellious thoughts into our heads. Kate helps of course. Anyway almost all of us have gotten haircuts there. She has a big collection of pictures of short haircuts. No more than a month ago Paula and Michelle had very long hair. Now they’re on their way toward their perfect haircut, whatever it turns out to be,” Leigh explained with a chuckle.

“I had a little trouble with my husband Dan when I got my first buzz cut and had Tess shaved smooth. But now he’s a convert. If you come to our next meeting, and I sure hope you do, I’ll be bald myself. Like Steffie I expect I’ll stay bald for the duration. Looking at April, it’s obvious that even when you’re in your fifties you can look sensational with a bald head. I want to try it out in my sixties, seventies and eighties. I think I will look quite good,” Abby told her.

“That’s where Janet got her shave, too. I suppose I’ll just have to give her a visit. Janet is so determined to be a top swimmer that I suppose I should get a haircut like hers or yours Abby to show my solidarity with her,” Iris said.

“Good idea Iris, but do it mostly for yourself. That’s when you have the most fun and start to feel great about yourself,” Leigh said.

The bell rang once again. This time everyone got quiet rather quickly.

“I’m back folks. I need to tell you a couple of things. First is the money of course. A couple of you haven’t paid up yet. So pay up or we won’t tell you how to get the short haircut you’ve always wanted. Second, We only have use of this room until noon and it’s already almost eleven. Third we have the awards. There are two age categories: eighteen and older and seventeen and younger. Since I’ve done all the talking so far I’ll be the MC. I’ve asked Hallie to help me.

“The first award is for the most dramatic makeover. In the seventeen and under category the contestants were Beth Singletary, Audra Thomas and Sandy Reece. Hallie will read the results,” Heather said.

“It was a close contest, but going from an ordinary short cut to a perfectly smooth head in one jump gave the nod to Sandy Reece. Come on up here for your award and give us a speech.” Hallie said.

There was a loud round of applause as Sandy walked up to the front, took the rolled up paper with the red ribbon and turned around in embarrassment. The room quieted down and finally she was able to talk.

“Thanks. I really wanted to be shaved like Melissa. Mom has been keeping me shaved and said I could keep it this way as long as I want. I’m going to keep it like this forever,” Sandy told them.

“Thank you Sandy. That was great. Keep up the good work, stay smooth as silk forever,” Heather responded in her best MC style.

“In the adult category the contestants were Michelle Michaels and Paula Jenner. Give us the results Hallie,” Heather said.

“Once again the contest was close, but the judges concluded that Michelle had made a little more dramatic a change. Come on up Michelle,” Hallie called over the applause.

“This is so much fun. Thank you all for being here. I have to point out that Christine and Melissa were the inspiration for everything that has happened. But it was Steffie and Heather who turned my husband James into a short haired women admirer and that led to me loosing my inhibitions and feeling the wonderful freedom of being allowed to do what I had always wanted to do – get my hair cut short, like this, soon to be even shorter,” Michelle told them.

A round of applause followed this little speech.

“OK, folks this is it. The biggest award of the day. The most beautiful bald head award. In the seventeen and under category the contestants were Jessie Haskell, Christine Jenner and Tess Quinalt. And who’s the winner Hallie?”

“We have three terrific baldies, but the judges agreed that Christine Jenner was the winner. Claim your award Christine,” Hallie called out over the very loud applause.

“Christine walked slowly up to the front, obviously embarrassed by all the attention.

“Thanks everybody. It’s a little bit embarrassing to be singled out like this. I really do like the way I look. I’m pretty sure I’ll always be bald, even though it’s only been a little over two months since my first shave. I need to thank my Mom, who started the whole thing by insisting that I get shaved even though I was sure I would be a freak. Now I know better. We baldies have to stick together, and I know we will,” Christine told them.

“That’s wonderful Christine. We really are like one great big family. We all need to support our great kids and their teams. We have something special happening here. I don’t quite know what it is yet, but I definitely want to be a part of it. You should too,” Heather told them.

“Now for the eighteen and older category. The contestants are Steffie Thomas, Jill Douglas and Elaine Barkas. Who’s the winner Hallie?” Heather asked.

“The committee could not agree on any one winner, so they declared it was a three way tie. Come on up ladies,” Hallie laughed.

They make their way to the front. Jill was the last to arrive. She paused briefly then nudged her way between them and put her arms around their waists.

“This is the most beautiful Oreo sandwich I’ve ever been a part of,” Jill said.

Steffie and Elaine burst out laughing.

“I guess some of you have never heard of an Oreo Sandwich. That’s when you have two black people and a white one between them. Sometimes it’s a reverse Oreo. Jill and I have something in common. We were both inspired by Christine and Melissa. Without their examples we probably would still be part of the hairy set. Thanks for making this so much fun,” Steffie told them.

“Christine is responsible for my head as well, even though it came through Audra and Steffie. However this got started I’m grateful to you all for being so enthusiastic and supportive of all of us women and girls who have decided to give up their hair and choose freedom,” Elaine laughed.

Again there was much applause as they headed back to their seats.

“We have one other special award: The most original makeover. It’s a special award that will be given out only when the awards group think it is especially merited,” Heather explained.

“The special award for the most original makeover goes to Georgia Barkas. Come on up Georgia. You’ve set a great example for us,” Hallie told her.

After the applause died down Heather spoke one more time. “OK, everyone, enjoy your brunch, get to know each other and stay in touch. We’ll let you know when the next meeting is going to happen. Encourage your friends to get buzzed and shaved. Make yourselves ambassadors for the bald look. Let’s make our movement grow,” she shouted over the applause and shouts of ‘right on’ and ‘way to go’.

Sammie was sitting across from Paula. “Paula, I’ve been dying to ask you about your nose ring. I’ve seen at least three. Does that have any significance,?

“Oh, absolutely. It means that we all feel self assured and confident. I think there are six of us now. Heather has one along with her daughter Ginny. Steffie, Hallie and Leigh have them. All of us except Ginny went together and got them yesterday afternoon. All the girls got another earring too. I think we all feel we have lost some of our inhibitions. We just feel very confident about ourselves. Of course they’re not nose rings but nose studs.” Paula told her.

“Whatever they are they’re attractive, maybe because you all seem so self-assured. Don’t some husbands object,” Sammie asked.

“Some do Sammie, but these are strong women who really love
their men. Their objections didn’t last very long. I’m not married and don’t have a boyfriend so I’m not the best person to talk to about it. Most of them had talked to their husbands first, or already knew they liked unusual jewelry and short hair. That’s how it was with Heather. I know some men really freak out over anything different on women. You know more about your husband than anyone. You just have to talk with him,” Paula told her.

“I like your haircut, Paula. I especially like Leigh’s buzz cut and her nose stud as you call it. Coming here has been an eye opener for me. I haven’t been as supportive of Jessie as I should have. I thought it was just a little summer fun at the rec center. What is really going on with them?” Sammie asked.

“I’m not quite sure, but Heather and Leigh know something about it. They’ve looked up the records. Heather told me that the Bulldogs swimming team would be competitive with any college team in the state right now and they get better every week. They aren’t letting up a bit. It’s the same with the soccer and volleyball teams, especially the soccer team. Even though most of them are only thirteen they could easily make the Forest High team. It’s hard to believe, but like Heather said there is something special happening. My girls come home in the evening and act just like girls always act. They help around the house, fix breakfast, but when they get to the rec center, they turn into fanatics about working out in the gym and practicing. Michelle has been to the soccer field to watch them a few times. She says that they go absolutely all out for nearly three hours and no one ever complains or sits down. Christine keeps telling me how much Jessie has improved and how she battles Christine every inch of the way when they have have time trials. Yet they’re not competing against each other. They are just determined to be the best they can be. I guess it’s just the highest possible level of determination and dedication.

Doris, who was sitting beside Paula listened attentively. “That’s right Paula. I talked to one of the assistant coaches and she said that the four of them may be the best in the entire state right now. Ellen never told me anything about her times although she did mention that she had won a race in their last meet. What she did tell me is how much Christine helps the other swimmers. She goes out of her way to show them her techniques and encourages them all the time. Ellen thinks she is very special and wants to be like her. So does Bridget. The one thing that Ellen did that should have clued me in, is that when when I asked her if she wanted to go shopping for some new clothes with me, she turned it down and said she had to go to the gym to workout. She had always loved to buy new clothes. I though it was not like her at all to turn down a chance to go shopping because she had to do a workout in the gym. I think I had better get with the program. I wonder how I would look with a chelsea,” she laughed.

“I’m not getting my head shaved any time soon, but I think I had better get my act together. Hal is a big sports fan. He thinks Jessie is just having a little fun, nothing serious. As far as he was concerned she was being a typical rebellious teenager when she shaved her head. I’ll have to talk to him about what Jessie has accomplished. He’s not going to believe it. Obviously they have no interest in talking about their accomplishments. Sort of all action and no talk. Jessie is like Ellen. She seems incredibly single minded about practicing. She stopped watching any of the late evening shows on TV and is always in bed and asleep by eleven. One time she woke up a little late and rushed to eat and get on her way. When I asked her what the rush was about, she said she couldn’t be late for their workout. What she said was ‘our workout.’ Apparently they do absolutely everything as a group and being bald is just another way for them to bond with each other. They came over to my place for pizza last week. Christine immediately jumped in and started chopping veggies and onions. She is a natural leader. They all look to her for advise. She never tells them what to do though according to Jessie. She just leads by example and maybe a little by offering suggestions. She is obviously the most self-assured of the group and amazingly good looking to boot. I think I’m going to have to get a buzz cut like Leigh’s. We Mothers of bald girls should stick together too,” Sammie said grinning.

“I think it’s time I talked to Rhonda. We certainly need to start giving these girls some more support and encouragement and definitely some praise for their accomplishments. Maybe we can get with Iris and Patty and start doing something. Now that I see what’s happening I’m definitely going to get my hair cut if for no other reason than to let Ellen know I appreciate what she is doing,” Doris said.

“I’m all for that Doris. I’ll definitely join you I think Iris will too although I don’t know her very well. They have their regional meet in two weeks and try-outs for the Forest High team two weeks later. Let’s be sure we’re all there to cheer them on,” Sammie said.

To be continued in Part 20

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