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In Part 25 the girls learn that the school board had agreed to form Junior Varsity (JV) teams in soccer and swimming and to allow ninth graders to compete on the varsity squads. The change was engineered by Coach Dickersen of Forest High School who was urged by some college coaches to get both the soccer kids and the swimmers into a top quality program to make sure they didn’t lose their motivation.

The five top swimmers easily win places on the Forest High team. They were told by Coach Dickersen that their times were certified and that they have qualified for the spring sectional championship meet. Ellen and Bridget also made the team, but haven’t yet qualified for a major meet.

Paula and Abby decided to get their heads shaved as Abby had promised to do if Tess kept hers shaved after school started and Paula had vowed if Christine made the team. At that point Iris decided to do the same, and in Part 25 Abby and Paula get shaved. In Part 27 Hallie and all of the girls end up being shaved although Cindi opted for a shaved chelsea like the one she had liked so much on Beth.

The first four weeks of the new school year have now passed relatively uneventfully. The swimmers have continued to improve, and the JV soccer team featuring the amigas has proven to be formidable.

This episode culminates with the third meeting of the BGMC which takes place at the end of September. Preparation for Steffie’s wedding two weeks hence have been finalized.

Week Sixteen – Wednesday Afternoon at Kate’s Barbershop

It was nearly four thirty PM. Kate had finished her last customer ten minutes earlier. She usually had one or two more customers in the late afternoon on Wednesdays, although this particular Wednesday had been an usually slow day. She had cleaned up and was reading the newspaper when the bell rang.

“Hi Kate. I hope we’re not too late,” a voice greeted her from behind the partially opened door.

At first she didn’t recognize the girl and woman who walked into the shop, then she remembered. “Well, hi Meredith and Ruth. Oh, Jan!” she exclaimed as she and Sandy came through the door behind them. My goodness this is a surprise. And no, you’re not too late. What’s the occasion? Weren’t you in two weeks ago Meredith. And You were in just last week Jan.”

“We’ve both had a big breakthrough Kate. I finally persuaded Ben that I would look good with a blond buzz cut. I found one of those web sites that allows you to load a picture of yourself and then choose all kinds of hairstyles and colors. They even had a couple of buzz cuts. One of them was just about what I wanted so I chose it and a nice blond and in a few minutes and a few bucks I had a picture of myself as a buzzed blond bombshell. Ben’s eyes almost popped out when he saw it. He didn’t even hesitate. He looked at it again and said ‘Is that what you want? Then go for it.’ So here’s the picture. I’m ready to get started. In fact I can barely wait,” Jan said.

“That’s quite striking Jan. You really would blow people’s minds with that style and color. You do realize that to keep it looking like that you would have to touch up the color every two weeks at least – every week would be better,” Kate told her.

“I know Kate and I’ll keep it like that only the first month or so. Maybe after that I’ll do it on special occasions just to keep Ben happy. Actually I want a shorter buzz cut than the one in the picture. About halfway between this and the one Heather has. Actually just about like yours,” Jan said enthusiastically.

“I can do that Jan. What about you Meredith?” Kate inquired.

“Well, I had a breakthrough too. You remember that newspaper story about all those bald girl swimmers and soccer players. I had softened up Phil a little with those pictures and of course Sandy is around our place quite often so he has gotten used to seeing an adorable bald girl playing with Ruth. Then after that second article with the pictures of those good looking women with their buzz cuts cheering for their kids at the tryouts, he finally admitted that they looked good. Jan told me about that hairstyle tryout web site and I did the same thing as Jan except using my own color, so he was finally persuaded, especially after I explained to him how much more time we would have for ourselves if I didn’t have to spend time shampooing and blow drying my hair. So here I am for my first buzz cut,” Meredith explained, her eagerness quite apparent.

“And I can get my head shaved just like Sandy’s,” Ruth chimed in enthusiastically. “I kept asking Daddy if I could, but he kept saying girls didn’t get their heads shaved. I told him that was not fair and that I really wanted to. He asked Sandy why she shaved hers and she said she really like it shaved and that she was going to keep it shaved forever. Mom showed him the pictures of all those other girls with no hair and that if I didn’t like it shaved it would grow out in a little while, so he said if I wanted it so badly I could do it. I’m not going to let it grow out though,” Ruth explained.

“That’s wonderful Ruth. So you really want to have a nice smooth head shave today?” Kate asked.

“She really does Kate. I’m quite taken by Sandy’s look and I think she’ll be just as cute as Sandy. I know she’s eager to have it done. Jan is it OK if Ruth goes first?” Meredith asked.

“Of course she can be first. Anyone as eager as she is shouldn’t have to wait,” Jan said.

“You don’t mind sitting on my booster seat do you Ruth? I’ll be able to do a better job if you’re up a little higher. Sandy sat on it when I shaved her,” Kate told her as she put the contoured cushion on the seat of the chair.

“I don’t mind,” Ruth said as she quickly scrambled into the chair and sat down.

“OK, I think we’re all set,” Kate told her as she wrapped a tissue around her neck and fastened the cape over it, then folding the paper over the collar of the cape. “I’m going to get rid of all of this nasty old hair on your beautiful head using my big clipper. They make a lot of noise, but they feel kind of nice too,” Kate teased her.

“I’ll be glad when it’s all gone. Can I feel it when you’re done?” Ruth asked.

“Of course you can, and see it too. You’ll look really cute with it all gone, just like Sandy and all the other girls,” Kate told her as she snapped on the big clipper and began to run it up behind Ruth’s right ear.

Ruth’s hair was quite short from the pixie cut that she had received just two weeks earlier. It took very little time for Kate to reduce her hair to barely there stubble. She had taken her time to do a thorough and complete job. Ruth’s light brown hair had disappeared for all intents and purposes, leaving behind only a hint of hair and the usual pale scalp.

“OK Ruth. You can feel it now and then I’ll let you have a look at it before I make it nicely clean and smooth for you,” Kate said.

“It looks super cool Ruth!” Sandy exclaimed. “You’re going to love it!”

Ruth reached up and touched her head then rubbed it with her hand. “It feels funny. Is it going to be all smooth like Sandy’s?” Ruth asked.

“Absolutely Ruth. And your Mom is going to keep it that way for you,” Kate told her as she turned her to face the mirror and see herself for the first time without any hair.

Ruth’s eyes went wide as she saw herself in the mirror. Then she giggled as she ran her hand over her head. “I look nice, but I don’t like it all bristly like this. I’ll be glad when it’s smooth.”

“You’re very sweet looking Ruth. It’s just a darling look. I think we’re just going to have to make sure you keep it shaved smooth from now on,” Meredith exclaimed determinedly.

“It’s time to make it feel silky Ruth. I’ll put on this gel so I can shave you smooth,” Kate said as she applied the warmed get to Ruth’s head.

Kate stropped her razor whil
e she waited for the gel to soften the hair, then began. “Here we go Ruth. One more beautiful baldy emerging from the bondage of hair. But please sit quite still while I give you a beautiful smooth head.”

The right side of Ruth’s head began to emerge as Kate made careful strokes removing the soft and fine bristles leaving only the softest of skin behind. She shaved in short strokes careful not to irritate Ruth’s scalp. She finished the right side and repositioned Ruth so she could shave the back. Repositioning her once again she shaved the left side. The top of Ruth’s head soon yielded to Kate’s careful ministrations. Kate finished the top and then explored Ruth’s head looking for any spot that needed a second pass. Finally she was satisfied.

“It’s all done Ruth. Nice and smooth. I need to clean off the gel and then finish you with some moisturizer and a little bronzer. Meredith you will need to shave her every day for about the first month. I guess you know that from talking with Jan,” Kate informed her as she moistened a towel and carefully wiped off any remaining gel. .

“I know Kate. Jan said that after a month you can shave every other day and after three or four months only once a week,” Meredith responded.

“That’s about right, although the new moisturizer may be a little better. It’s possible that you can shave her only once a week after two and a half months,”

Kate was applying moisturizer to Ruth’s head and giving her the gentle massage that had become a feature of Kate’s head shaves. “I’m going to put on some of this bronzer sunscreen so her head won’t look so pale. She shouldn’t be out in the sun without the sunscreen or a cap for a couple of weeks. And you know what to do in the summer Meredith,” Kate told her. “There you go Ruth. Smooth as silk and you look just perfect.”

“She is quite the adorable cherub Meredith. They look so good! I think they’ll be strikingly beautiful when they grow up. Kate, what happens after you’ve used the moisturizer for a year? Do you still have to shave once a week?” Jan asked.

“I don’t think so. It’s more like every month or maybe not at all. They suggest using it less frequently after six months. They talked about an enhancer in the last brochure. It’s not for sale yet, but it’s supposed to make the results permanent after six months,” Kate told her. “Well Ruth how do you like your new look.”

“It’s really, really neat Kate. It feels so smooth and soft. And I look so cool. I absolutely love it. Mom, did you bring that little butterfly. I want to put it on now,” Ruth said.

“What butterfly is that Ruth,” Kate asked.

“She wanted me to get some temporary tattoos of birds and butterflies for her to put on her head after she got it shaved. I have the one she picked out in my purse. I’ll need to borrow a damp towel from you Kate. Come over here and sit down and I’ll put it on for you,” Meredith said. “Let me know when they start selling that enhancer Kate. I definitely want to use it on Ruth. Having her stay baby smooth is exactly what we want.”

“Well, once it’s done, its done. You might want to be a little cautious about making it permanent too soon,” Kate cautioned her.

“She looks so wonderful bald Kate. What do you think Ruth. How would you like it if you were to become bald forever in a few months and didn’t have to shave ever again?” Meredith asked.

“That’s what I want Mom. I thought I would have to shave it every week like Sandy,” Ruth responded.

“Maybe not. The new lotion may make your hair stop growing completely. We can talk about it some more later and decide if you’re really sure that’s what you want, although I definitely like the idea. I think we should talk to your eye doctor pretty soon and see if you’re ready for contacts too,” Meredith said. “There. Your tattoo is on and it looks quite cute.”

“Mom, that’s what I want to do too, so I can stop shaving and have it perfectly smooth all the time,” Sandy spoke up.

“Well, Sandra, you’ve been pretty determined about keeping it shaved and I like it as much as you do, so if that new lotion comes along I guess I’ll think seriously about it,” Jan told her.

Meredith had followed the instructions for the tattoo. With a little extra effort it was supposed to be almost waterproof and last for several weeks, but she wondered if shaving wouldn’t take it off. “Ruth, it’s supposed to last for a couple of weeks, but I suspect that the shaving gel and moisturizer will take it off quite quickly. If you want to wear one every day you might have to put on a new one every day or two. Besides they might not like you wearing them to school. If your teacher says you can’t wear them don’t fuss about it. Having your head shaved is pretty unusual already.”

“OK Mom. They didn’t cost much did they. I can wear one on Saturday and Sunday and take it off for school,” Ruth replied, signaling that she didn’t want to cause a hassle at school beyond her new shaved head style.

“Meredith, Ruth could use some earrings, like Sandy. They look extra good with a bald head. Most of the girls have two or three pairs, like Melissa. Ruth would look quite nice with some dangly ones like Sandy has.

“I hadn’t thought of that, but it’s a good idea. I’ll have to get her ears pierced the next time we are near one of the shops that do it. Thanks for suggesting it Kate,” Meredith said.

“You’re welcome Meredith. Jan, I’m ready for you. I’m going to do your buzz cut first and then start the bleaching. While the bleach is working I can do Meredith’s buzz. Does that sound OK to the two of you. As it is it’s going to be close to six before you’re finished. Oh yes. I should do your eyebrows too. They’ll be too dark with you new light hair,” Kate suggested.

“Do you really think so?” Jan asked. “It didn’t seem too bad on the picture.”

“With the very light hair color you’ll have, your natural eyebrow color will look very unnatural I think. Your brows are fairly dark, and somehow they didn’t show up on the picture, but the contrast will look quite unnatural. When you’re a light blond like you’re going to be it just looks a lot better if your brows are not a lot darker than your hair,” Kate advised her.

“I know that Christine, Paula and Heather all lighten their eyebrows. And I trust your judgment so go ahead,” Jan told her.

“There’s one other thing. Instead of tapering the sides and back, I going to leave it almost all one length, about a half inch. That way when it grows out a little the darker roots won’t show as much. I think I can do it so you’ll be able to get away with a touch up only every two weeks. With it that short, the touch up is pretty easy, because I just do it all. It all gets cut off in a month anyway, so there’s no problem about damaging the hair,” Kate explained.

“That sound pretty sensible Kate. Maybe I’ll keep it light blond longer if it’s that easy,” Jan declared.

“I’d better get with it if we’re going to get home tonight,” Kate laughed.

She adjusted her battery clipper to its closest setting and snapped on a half inch guide. That was shorter than Jan’s picture indicated, but a little longer than Kate’s buzz. Jan’s head was a little more round than Kate’s so the additional length would not be too much.

“Head down Jan,” Kate ordered. She ran the clipper up the back of Jan’s head to the crown. Jan’s short asymmetrical bob had a neatly tapered nape that was less than a half inch for the first inch. The right side left her ear partly exposed, while the left angled down almost to chin length. The clippered nape would work well with the half inch buzz. A second and third pass made short work of the back. Two more passes cleared around the right ear. Without further ado, Kate placed the clipper on Jan’s forehead and pushed it back to the crown leaving a two inch wide strip of half inch hair behind. Several
more quick passes and Jan’s bob was reduced to a slightly uneven half inch buzz. Now Kate went over it carefully and slowly to produce the perfectly even result that was the hallmark of all her cuts. Comb and clipper tapered the sides slightly followed by comb and scissors to make a small adjustment to the top and the crown. Still not quite satisfied, she used her comb and scissors to make some very judicious tapering around Jan’s ears.

“There, it’s done. I may do a little more tapering around your ears after it’s colored Jan, but now it needs to get bleached. I’ll make the mix and get you started,” Kate said.

A few minutes later Kate returned with a squeeze bottle filled with the bluish bleaching mixture. She had put on a pair of plastic gloves and had a wide toothed comb in one hand.

“I have to apply this quite thoroughly and get it right down to your scalp for the result to turn out well. I’ll use a cream bleach for your eyebrows,” Kate said as she begin the application using the comb to make sure every hair was covered. In short order Jan’s head was covered with bleach that had been carefully combed through her hair, thoroughly covering every strand.

“That’s done, now I can do your eyebrows. I’ll mix the cream bleach. By the way, I just realized that you didn’t bring Timmy. It’s been a while since I gave him his last trim” Kate told her.

“He had a game late this afternoon and was not going to get home until four thirty or so . One of the other women offered to bring him back from the game. I’ll pick him up on the way home. His bob is getting a little long, but he still likes it. I’ll probably bring him in next week sometime,” Jan explained.

In short order Jan’s eyebrows were covered with the thick white cream bleach, her head was covered with a plastic cover fastened with a clip at the middle of her forehead and she was stationed under the single dryer that Kate had in her barbershop which was quickly adjusted to the proper speed and temperature.

“It will take about thirty minutes Jan, but you brows should be done in half that. I’ll come back to check them,” Kate advised her.

“OK Meredith, I’m ready to give you a fine buzz cut. What do you have in mind,” Kate asked. Meredith was sitting with Ruth and Sandy exploring Kate’s large selection of hair styles. They had discovered a folder at the back of the rack that contained only illustrations of women and girls who were bald. The two girls were giggling at the pictures of teenaged girls shown in abundance and searching for girls their own age. Meredith was struck by the pictures of women her age who seemed to her to be stunningly beautiful with their heads shaved. She took a moment to disengage and respond to Kate. Finally she got up and walked back to the barber chair.

“Well, I think it should be a little shorter than Jan’s with the sides tapered. Not as short on the sides as the guys sometimes get theirs, but still pretty short,” Meredith told her.

“I think I know what you’re looking for. It’s a cut that I’ve done many times. It’s a number three on the top and a number two on the sides with a number one taper a little above the ears and up the back. I have some pictures of buzz cuts exactly like that. I’ll show you a few,” Kate told her. “Be right back.” She went to the rack and picked out a small folder, separate form the large binder that featured most of her styles examples.

“Here you go. All of these cuts are essentially the same. Sometimes they look like they’re different because of the hair color,” Kate explained.

“They look like exactly what I had in mind. Is this what the women in that club that Jan talks about all have?” Meredith asked.

“Pretty close Meredith. Four of them started out that way, but got a little shorter with the encouragement of their husbands,: Kate told her.

“OK, lets go for it just the way you said. Maybe I’ll go a little shorter too after Phil has had a chance to get comfortable and enjoys seeing me with a buzz,” Meredith said with a little grin.

“Sounds like a good plan. Let me get you caped so we can get started,” Kate said as she fastened a cape around her neck.

Meredith’s medium brown hair was longer than Jan’s by a good amount. It was a chin length layered style with a few wisps of bangs

Just to be on the safe side she decided to start with a number four guide. Because Meredith’s hair was longer than Jan’s she use a slightly different strategy. Starting in the back she push the clipper up about half way then away, holding down the hair with her comb. This process was continued around Meredith’s head resulting in a sort of crude bowl cut. Now she could see better what she was doing and could continue up to the top which she proceeded to do. The final step was to run the clipper from front to back reducing all the remaining hair to the specified half inch. There were still a few errant long strands which she quickly removed and also went over Meredith’s head once again with greater care to make the cut even. She discovered a little hollow just above Meredith’s occipital bone and made a mental note to adjust the cut there. After examining the result of her initial buzz she decided that a number three was definitely the right length. She replaced the number four with a number three.

“I made it a little longer than a number three Meredith, but it’s definitely too long so I’m going over it with the number three,” Kate explained to make sure that Meredith would not think she was making it shorter than she had told her initially.

“Jan tells me that you won’t give anyone a haircut that doesn’t look good on them, so I trust you to do it right,” Meredith responded.

Just as she turned on the clipper the fifteen minute timer sounded.

“I have to check Jan’s brows Meredith. Be right back,” Kate said as she picked up a towel, dampened it and stepped over to Jan.

“I’m checking your brows Jan,” Kate told her as she wiped off the bleach from one. “Hum, not quite enough. I’ll have to put on some more bleach.”

Kate wiped off the other brow, picked up the little bowl that contained additional cream and applied it to Jan brows. “That should do it. I’ll check again in about five minutes.”

She set the timer for five minutes and returned to Meredith picking up the clipper and resuming her. Starting in the back she quickly clippered it, being careful to leave the depressed spot a little longer. The sides were followed by the top. Now Kate was satisfied that the length on top would be right and replaced the number three with a number two. The bell sounded again and she dampened the towel again before returning to Jan. This time she found that her brows had been lightened sufficiently to acquire the color that she had planned. She cleaned them thoroughly and dried them with a corner of the towel before resetting the timer for an additional ten minutes.

“I don’t think I’m going to be able to finish you before I have to shampoo the bleach out of Jan’s hair Meredith.” I’m not going to rush it,” Kate told her as she began the careful work of buzzing the sides and back up to the curve of Meredith’s head where she made the transition from a quarter of an inch to the three eighths of an inch top. She completed the circuit around Meredith’s head and removed the guide. Now she could use the adjustable feature of the clipper which she set at an eighth of an inch. Working confidently she went up a little more than an inch above Meredith’s ear. She proceeded around her ear then began on the back. As usual she allowed the taper to dip a little lower in back, but would still be as high as the occipital bone where she was careful to leave the longer hair in the depression undisturbed. She would use scissors and comb to do the final finishing and that small imperfection would be perfectly disguised. The bell rang again.

“Meredith you can sit here or move around as you like while I wash Jan and put on her color. It will take me about fifteen minutes,” Kate told her.

“Jan I’m going to check the color, but I’m confident it’s OK,” Kate told her.

True to her prediction Jan’s hair was now a very pale yellow and would take the desired color well to become the very light cream color that Jan wanted. They had looked at some color swatches to make the final choice. In short order Jan’s hair had been shampooed and the color applied. Once again a plastic cap was put on her head and the timer set. Jan was now seated in the only other chair in the shop that was used in Kate’s work. It was a recliner with a headrest. Jan had her head back and with a towel covering her eyes as Kate applied the color to her pale bleached eyebrows.

“It will take about twenty-five minutes for your hair Jan. I’ll check you brows in about fifteen minutes. Just relax. It’ll be over quite soon and you’ll love the result,” Kate told her.

“I’m very eager to see it Kate. It’s very exciting to realize how different I’m going to look. It actually gives me butterflies in my stomach,” Jan said.

“Those are happy butterflies Jan. You’ll see. Meredith I think I can get you finished now. What were you and the girls talking about that had them giggling so much,” Kate asked her.

“Oh, they were just discussing which other girls they were going to work on to try to recruit some more baldies. Apparently they actually have some serious prospects. They’re going to be talking it up. I know the Mother of one of the girls, and she always wears her hair very short. It’s almost a crew cut now, and her daughter has a short pixie like Ruth had,” Meredith told her.

“That sounds promising. “It’s the kids who are going to keep this movement going. Of course a few Hollywood stars who decide to shave their heads and keep them shaved would work pretty well also,” Kate said with a laugh.

Kate had been steadily working on Meredith’s cut with comb and scissors carefully finishing the taper on the sides and back and making some small adjustments to the top. She used her edging clipper to define the nape, sideburns and around her ears. After a final inspection she was satisfied.

“There you go Meredith, all done. You look smashing as they say. I like this buzz cut on you and you can definitely carry off a shorter version if you like,” Kate told her as she rotated the chair to face the mirror.

“Wow, I look great! I never realized how good I could look with my hair cut off so short,” Meredith exclaimed as she ran her hand over her buzzed head. “I think I look actually cute and a lot younger. Hey Ruth, come over her and tell me what you think of my haircut!”

Ruth and Sandy had become completely engrossed in their plans to recruit more of their friends to become baldies and were working out complex strategies. They looked over to see Meredith emerging from under the cape.

“Mom!. Wow, you look super. That is so cool,” Ruth jumped and came over to get a closer look. “It’s really short! Daddy’s going to flip!”

“I hope he does. It makes me feel very buoyant. I almost feel like dancing,” Meredith said laughing.

“You do look quite the bright young woman, I must say,” Kate added.

Kate went back to Jan and checked her brows. She cleaned off one and found that the color was just right.

“Your brows are going to look good Jan. They’re done. I’m going to clean off the toner and wash them before I add a little soothing lotion. We have to wait another ten minutes for your hair color to develop completely,” Kate told her.

Ten minutes later after laughing with the two girls as they tried to find more outrageous ways to promote the bald look among their friends, Kate did a quick check and declared that Jan’s new color had developed. A shampoo followed by a conditioner and blow drying and Jan was nearly ready.

“I want to do a little bit of finishing Jan. It won’t take a minute. You’re going to be a real knock-out you know!,” Kate said enthusiastically.

Five minutes later Kate declared, “Done! And you’re one great looking blond. You may not recognize yourself.”

“Oh my God! What have you done? I can hardly believe it! It’s better than I ever believed it could be. I love it. Oh Kate, you outdid yourself. Ben is going to get his socks blown off when he sees it,” Jan said.

“Jan you look sensational. I’m really tempted to go blond like that. You’re absolutely amazing. Ben really is going to be stunned,” Meredith told her.

“Mom, that is so cool. You look like a rock star,” Sandy said.

“Oh, Sandra, I don’t want to be a rock star, just the best Mom I can be. And you’re the best looking of all. Come here and let me hug you,” Jan said. “We’ll really have some fun tomorrow at the BGMC meeting won’t we?”

“You’ve got that right Jan. Now all you need is a nose stud like all the other buzzed Moms and a couple of earrings to set it off nicely,” Kate said.

“A nose stud like yours Kate? That would be great Jan. Where can we get that done?” Meredith said with sudden enthusiasm.

“Just head on over to Rings and Things at the mall. The head lady there will do it for you,” Kate told them.

“Several of the women in the BGMC have them,” Jan stated. “I’ve been thinking about it. Maybe I’ll take you up on it Meredith. I would like my ears pierced again and I’m going to get Sandra’s pierced again too, but right now I need to get home before Ben gets there and be ready to give him the surprise of his life.

Week Seventeen – Third Meeting of the Bald Girls Mothers Club

“Christine, what are you doing up so early?” Melissa asked.

“I’ve got a lot of work to do today. We had a practice yesterday morning, and I went out with Tommy last night, so I didn’t come close to getting it all done. And we’re going to the Club meeting this morning, so I figured I had better get up and try to get some more of it done,” Christine told her.

“You have a rough schedule don’t you? Can you take time out so we can shave?” Melissa asked.

“Sure. Now that we shave only once a week, I’m not spending much time at all shaving anymore. And it doesn’t feel bad even after after a week. Jessie says that she shaves only twice a week now. That moisturizer really works,” Christine answered her.

“Good. I’ll set up. Did you have anything to drink yet. I want some orange juice. I’ll bring you a glass if you want,” Melissa offered.

“That would be great Melissa. I definitely need something. Thanks,” Christine said.

Melissa raced downstairs in her usual speed demon fashion, poured two glasses of orange juice and rushed back upstairs to Christine’s room without spilling a drop. She gave Christine her glass and headed to the bathroom where she had everything set up in a minute or two.

“It’s ready Christine,” she called down the hall in the general direction of Christine’s room.

“Be there in a minute,” Christine responded.

Christine entered the room a moment later and sat down in the chair.

“It’s going to be really hard Melissa. My classes are tough and we have to work so much to keep getting better. I don’t get to see Tommy much at all. It’s not like it was in Summer when we could be together a little bit every day. It’s hard for him too, and it’s only been a month,” Christine said a bit despondently.

“But you guys did great in your first two meets,” Melissa said somewhat perplexed.

“The team did do well. Gail and Jessie both qualified for the supersectionals and it was terrific to see both Ellen and Bridget qualify for the Spring sectionals, but the first five of us are thinking of the US Nationals next fall and we’ll need to improve our times if we’re going to qualify,” Christine said.

“I though you guys were thinking of the Olympics,” Melissa said.

“I don’t want to think about that yet.
We’ve got to qualify for the Nationals before we think about that. I shouldn’t be complaining either. I’m doing exactly what I decided to do and I knew it would be hard. And Tommy has been super at encouraging me. I don’t think he’ll let me not make it. I just get tired sometimes and it’s hard to study,” Christine said.

“You’re definitely going to make it Christine. I just know it,” Melissa said quietly,

“Thanks little sister. And I know you will too – you and the rest of the amigas. I heard that the JV team almost beat the varsity team on Friday,” Christine said.

“It wasn’t a whole game – more like a half. We tied them. Three of their players were on our summer team. You remember Denise don’t you? She substituted for Cindi and sometimes for Beth. She’s a good player. The other two were good too although not as good as Denise. The three players that took their place are not nearly as good. They have a lot to learn and they aren’t very interested in working out either. Anyway we still have a good team. Audra wants to play basketball next year. And Cindi says she wants to play volleyball. I hope they don’t quit playing soccer,” Melissa said with obvious concern in her voice.

“So do I. You guys are too good as a team to split up like that,” Christine.

“I’ve finished shaving you. You didn’t have much to shave. The moisturizer must be still working. I’ll put it on for you if you like,” Melissa said.

“Sure go ahead,” Christine replied.

Melissa dispensed a generous amount of the moisturized into her hand. It was the second large container of the moisturizer that they had purchased. According to Kate it was supposed to be even better than the original. She applied it to Christine’s head and began to massage her as she slowly worked it in. As it began to disappear she dispensed more and continued her slow massaging action for a few more minutes until that too disappeared.

“Thanks Melissa. That was great. I feel a lot more relaxed now. You’re getting almost as good at that as you are at soccer,” Christine said with a grin.

“I hope you’ll return the favor sometimes when I’m nervous about something,” Melissa said.

“OK. I’ll shave you and save the massage until you really need it,” Christine said laughing.

“My, you girls are up early,” Paula said, stopping at the door before going downstairs.

“Christine was up before me. She has a lot of homework to do today,” Melissa said.

“Don’t ask about breakfast Mom, but Melissa started your coffee. We had orange juice,” Christine said.

“Actually I remembered that there would not be any breakfast this morning. I’ll have some coffee and come back to shave. I do want to look extra nice today.”

“You’re not going to wear your wig today are you?” Melissa asked.

“Wear my wig!? Certainly not. Did I tell you that our office manager said that he had no objection whatsoever to me not wearing my wig. I’m not going to wear it tomorrow. That will be fun. Several times a bunch of us have gone out for lunch together and I’ve started taking it off before we leave.”

“That’s great Mom. You look so good!” Christine told her.

“Well thanks, but it’s you two who really are at the top on anybody’s list of great looking baldies. I’d better go get my coffee,” Paula said.

“Wait Mom, I have something to ask you,” Christine said.

“Sure,. What is it?” Paula asked.

“Well,” Christine hesitated. “You remember a couple of years ago we were down at the lake and we all shared that little room while we changed?”

“Oh sure. It was pretty snug wasn’t it?” Paula replied

“That’s right, but that’s not what I’m asking about. When you were changing I noticed that you didn’t have any bikini hair or really any hair down there at all,” Christine said slightly embarrassed.

“My goodness you are observant. Well it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. When I was first married I started having it waxed. I liked it smooth and kept it up. After three or four years it didn’t come back any more, or at least not much. Actually it has come back a little and I’ve been thinking of getting it done again. Now you can ask me the real question,” Paula laughed.

“I’ve been trimming mine with scissors, because it was showing when I put on my suit, but I don’t want to have to keep doing that. I think I would like to have it all gone.” Christine said.

“I think you’ll need laser treatments. That’s the way they do it now. Waxing wasn’t much fun. I think it still has to be redone a few times before it’s permanent. Is that what you want? To have it permanently removed?”

“That’s what I would like Mom.”

“OK. I don’t see why not. Still, you’re very busy so it will be difficult to find a time that you can do it. Do you get a day off on Columbus day? That’s October eight.”

“I think we do, Mom.” Christine answered.

“There’s a very good clinic on the other side of town that does it. I’ll see if I can get an appointment for you on that day. I want to warn you though, it’s pretty embarrassing what you have to go through for them to get to all the places. I was really mortified the first time I had it done,” Paula told her. “Its a lot worse that having your doctor examine you.”

“I guess I can understand that, but I still want to have it done,” Christine answered.

“OK, I’ll figure out something, but right now I need my coffee, and I guess you need to study,” Paula said.

“Thanks, Mom. You’re the best,” Christine said.

Downstairs in the Kitchen Melissa was reading the Sunday Comics. Paula poured herself a cup of coffee and sat down.

“I guess all of you bald girls have become celebrities by now,” Paula said to her.

“Hardly anyone pays any attention to it any more. I’m glad that we have a bunch of us though. It would be no fun to be the only one,” Melissa said.

“I believe that. But with six or seven of you, the rest of the kids can’t gang up on you I suppose. I heard that Johnny acted up a little last week,” Paula said.

“He’s still got his little gang, but nobody pays much attention to him. He said something nasty to Ellen. That was stupid because she could probably beat him up if she wanted to, she’s so strong, but her boyfriend and a couple of the other guys in ninth grade shut him up pretty quick,” Melissa said.

“That’s good. It’s always best if everyone gets involved when something like that happens,” Paula said.

“I guess it took a little while for the kids at Forest to get used to having five bald girls there,” Melissa said.

“Yes, it did. But when it was announced at assembly that they had already set state records for high school swimmers that got their attention. When the other kids learned that all five would be going to compete in the big summer meet, things quieted down. I guess the only serious incident occurred when one of the football players kept pestering Christine. He made the mistake of grabbing her arm when she started to walk away just as Tommy arrived. I guess that Tommy took exception to that and the bigger boy suddenly found himself in a rather awkward position standing on his toes with Tommy holding his fingers. Several kids saw it all and reported it. Apparently the football coach really lit into the guys on the team about respecting women and girls and said that if it happened again the offender would be tossed off the team and maybe expelled, I doubt there’ll be any more problems. The swimming team is winning everything in sight and the football team has lost two games already,” Paula related.

“I know, and the guys on the swimming team have been hanging around them too. Hank, he’s a senior on the team, likes Janet and has been out with her. Jeremy is always around Gail too,” Melissa stated.

“I hadn’t hear about Janet. That’s good. Having supportive friends and family is a big help,” Paula said.

“I guess Jill and Ginny won’t be there today,” Melissa said.

“Well, Jill is too far away, but Ginny is comi
ng home for the weekend and will be there. Heather said that she let her hair grow out and it’s now a nice buzz cut rather than almost shaved like it was in the summer. Ginny said that it doesn’t get so much attention that way and she didn’t want a lot of attention, especially her freshman year,” Paula replied. “I had better get myself upstairs and shave. You can clean up the kitchen if you like,” Paula said.

Twenty minutes later she returned. “I’ve really gotten the hang of it Melissa, but I’m sure that we need to replace the cutter and foil. Kate said that they usually need replacing after six months of use and with the three of us using it it’s definitely gotten six months of use. I guess we better get going. Why don’t you go up and tell Christine.”

A few minutes later they were on their way.

They found a parking space on Elm Street about a block away from the Herb Garden. They got out and walked leisurely toward the restaurant chatting oblivious to the occasional surprised look that they generated. They opened the door to the Herb Garden to be met by a new greeter, whose eyes appeared to be stuck in an expression of astonishment. She finally managed to greet them.

“Good Morning. Are you with the Club group,” she asked.

“Yep, that’s us, And we know exactly where the Tarragon Room is. What do you think of my Mom’s headstyle,” Melissa asked cheerily

The greeter, caught completely off guard, stammered then finally got herself together. “She’s quite striking. Are there other women who are shaved? I think you’re the first I’ve seen ma’am.”

“There are quite a few more who are either smooth shaved like me,” Paula ran her hand over her head, “or have very short clipper cuts. It’s quite fashionable you know.”

At this remark by Paula, the greeter’s eyes got even wider if that was possible.

“I’m sure it is,” she finally got out. “Please enjoy your brunch. Your servers will be Wanda and Marie.”

“You two are going to make somebody faint with that routine one of these day,” Christine said laughing. “You did that at Super Lots and that lady almost swallowed her tongue.”

“Well, people need to get over seeing women and girls with short or no hair,” Melissa said in mock seriousness.

“Come on let’s see who’s already here,” Paula said.

They entered the Tarragon Room and spotted Heather, Ginny and Penny with Michelle and Cindi.

In another group Abby and Tess were talking with Rhonda and Bridget. It was only nine forty, so there was plenty of time for the others to show up. Paula and Christine went over to join them. Iris and Janet who had come in a moment later joined the group. Tess was expressing her joy at how much she had progressed now that she was fully involved with the others in their workouts and practices.

“I’m really glad they got me into it before the tryouts. I was just loafing before that. Now I know what it means to work hard. I finally caught up with Bridget in the hundred free, but I doubt I’ll be able to catch up to her in the two hundred. I’m going to concentrate on the hundred meter free and back. That’s what I’m best at. I want us to be the best even if I get beat. I guess everyone feels like that. That’s what makes it such a great team,” Tess explained as the others listened in amusement. Tess had clearly accepted and adopted the unspoken code that had developed among the other six swimmers.

“That’s right Tess, but we don’t talk about it – just do it,” Janet said. “You’re going to be great pretty soon.”

Gail joined them along with Ellen. Doris and Kate had joined the other women. Paula had resumed her self appointed job of greeter with Leigh as her helper.

“Christine look. Isn’t that girl on the left the girl on the gymnastics team who wanted to talk to you about being shaved?” Janet asked, pointing out a girl with a buzz cut and her Mother who were talking with Paula at the entrance.

“Yes, that’s Vicky. I did talk to her for a while. She said she liked the way we all looked and wanted to do something like that. I did mention the BGMC. I wonder how she found out when it was meeting. I guess the other girl must be her sister,” Christine said.

Just then Melissa spotted them and raced across the room to engage in an animated conversation with the younger of the two girls who also sported a buzz cut but with a fringe of bangs, like a conservative chelsea.

The room began to fill up. April arrived looking as extraordinary as ever with her clipper shaved head. Elaine appeared with both her Mother-in-law Georgia and her Mother Dawna. Steffie and Audra arrived to the delight of all, followed immediately by Leigh and Beth. A second unknown Mother/Daughter pair came through the door to be greeted enthusiastically by Paula.

A couple of minutes later Jan and Sandy arrived to an instant uproar as it registered to most of those present that the spectacular blond with the buzz cut was actually Jan. Jan’s new appearance created an immediate sensation that dominated the group for several minutes. They were accompanied by a Mother daughter who introduced themselves as Meredith and Ruth.

“Oh my gosh Jan, you look unbelievably good. I never imagined that you would do something like that,” Abby told her. “What did Ben say? I’ll bet he was shocked speechless.”

“Well not quite speechless, but he made it quite clear that he approved. I’ll never have any problem keeping my hair buzzed from now on. We had a couple of very lively evenings the past few days,” Jan giggled. “I think I’m going to be a buzzed blond for a while.”

Another five minutes saw the arrival of all the swim and soccer Mom’s along with one final Mother/Daughter pair. This time the unknown pair was quite unique. The daughter, who appeared to be about five years old, was completely bald. Her Mother, who was in her early thirties if not younger, had an attractive brush cut much like Sammie’s original.

They had hardly gotten through the door when the young girl was surrounded by the amigas plus Sandy and Ruth to the delight of the young girl who got to feel the smoothly shaved heads of all of them and receive their undivided attention. She told them her name was Carly and that she had never had any hair.

“That’s wonderful Carly. I wish I was like that. I have to shave mine all the time to make it look nice like yours,” Sandy told her.

“You look so sweet Carly, I wish I was as pretty as you,” Penny told her.

“I’m going to be just like you Carly. Pretty soon I won’t have any hair any more, because I think it looks the best,” Melissa told her.

Jan was circulating with a box full of name tags which she was trying to get everyone to put on although she had a hard time getting anyone to pay attention to anything except her stunning transformation. She had a number of blank ones which she handed out to the newcomers along with with a marking pen.

Dan and Ray had worked together to construct an elegant podium for Heather. Ben and Andy discovered that they shared a hobby of working with electronic gadgets. Ben had a wireless microphone and knew where to borrow another. Ben had a pair of modest sized speakers and an old receiver. Together they got it all working. A gooseneck fastened to the podium held the microphone and the speakers sat on small tables on each side of the room. Jan kept the second mic so she could give it to whoever needed it.

“Greeting everyone,” Heather’s voice thundered throughout the room. Leigh raced to the receiver to turn down the volume.

“Greeting everyone,” Heather spoke again at a more reasonable volume. “That’s a little better isn’t it. It’s absolutely wonderful to see so many shiny heads and so many new faces. I think the word is getting around. Many of you have been terrific ambassadors of the short hair and bald look on women and girls. You all look absolutely terrific. We have gotten to be quite a crowd. Let’s see how many we have here for the first time. Hold up your hands. That i
s stupendous. Thirteen new members of our unusual little club. Well, not so little anymore. We always do introductions first. Gail is here for the first time although we’ve know her all summer. Gail please do the honors for yourself and who came with you.”

“Hi. I’m Gail French. I’m on the Forest High Eagles swimming team. I love being bald. I’m going to stay bald as long as the others do. Anyway, I remembered that everyone calls Audra’s Aunt, Aunt Steffie. I like that idea, so I want to introduce my sponsors Aunt Kate Richards and Aunt Gabby Peters. Aunt Kate and Aunt Gabby please stand up,” she instructed them. “They’ve made being on the swim team a great experience for me. And if I want an especially good shave and a nice head massage Aunt Kate will do it for me.”

Kate and Gabby stood up. “Gail does us a great honor. We are privileged to be her sponsors and to be adopted as honorary aunts. We’ll do our best to live up to the challenge,” Kate said.

“Gail is going to be a great champion. I’m waiting for the moment when she wins her first important race like the spring regional championship so that I can celebrate by getting my head shaved smooth and keeping it that way as her adopted aunt.” Gabby said.

The room erupted in applause.

“Well, that quite an incentive, but we all know that Gail is up to the challenge,” Heather said. “We’re rooting for you and I’m sure Gabby will be joining the ranks of the proudly bald very soon. Next we have Elaine to introduce someone.”

Elaine stood up and turned to face everyone. “At the last meeting, I came with my Mother-in- Law Georgia. And she came with me this time too. Stand up Georgia. But the big news is that my Mother Dawna Landon finally trusts my husband Joe to take care of the twins and so she came. Mother, please stand up. This is my beautiful Mother. Maybe with your help we can persuade her to uncover her truly beautiful head,” Elaine said.

“I have to admit that there are a lot of good looking heads here. Maybe I will give it a try someday. Thanks for letting me be part of it,” Dawna said.

“Vicky, it’s your turn,” Heather said as Jan handed her the microphone.

“Hi,” Vicky said shyly.

“Just a little louder Vicky. We’re all your friends here,” Heather encouraged her.

“Hi. I’m Vicky Cavanaugh. I’m on the Oak Hill High School Jaguar’s gymnastics team. We had a meet with Forest High two weeks ago and we lost in swimming – by a lot, but we did better in gymnastics. Anyway I watched some of the swimming competition and talked to Christine after the meet and asked her why all of the girls had shaved their heads. She said that they just liked to be bald. I told her I liked the way they looked, but I was afraid to get it shaved, but I would like to get it buzzed. She said I should do whatever I liked and would be happy with. So I did get it buzzed, and now I want to get it buzzed even shorter. This is my sister Arlene. She’s on the JV soccer team and played against the Forest JV team. That’s how she met Melissa and her friends who’re shaved. She thought that was cool and wanted to get her head shaved like that, but our Mom said she couldn’t. Anyway Melissa told Arlene about all of you and how you have a club and gave Arlene the name and telephone number of Mrs. Brower. Mom called her and she invited us to come. Oh, I forgot. My Mom’s name is Joyce Cavanaugh.”

“I must say it’s quite fascinating to see all of you with your hair cut so short or even shaved completely and everyone quite happy with it. Vicky and Arlene really lobbied me to let them get buzz cuts. Now I guess I’ll have to let them be even more daring. It’s nice to know that there are so many husbands and Dads who appreciate women with short hair or in many cases no hair at all,” Joyce laughed. “I guess I’ll have to keep coming back.”

“Oh absolutely, Joyce. Keep coming back. And don’t worry about your girls. They’ll handle it just fine, whatever they choose to do. Next we have Deedee.”

Deedee took the microphone from Jan and spoke quite confidently. “Hi. I’m Deedee Dorsey. I had long hair last spring, but my Mom wanted it cut short for the summer. I didn’t mind much. Then she saw the pictures in the paper with a lot of women and girls with their hair shaved and she wanted me to get it cut a lot shorter like theirs, but I didn’t want to. Anyway, Mom’s sister saw two girls getting their hair cut really short and told Mom I would look good that way, and Mom said she would get hers cut short first if I would get mine cut too. So I said OK. My Aunt Marie goes to Kate’s to get her hair cut so that’s where we went. Mom did get a short haircut like she said and I got mine cut like this. I think I’m going to get it cut shorter when we go back next week. Anyway, Kate told us about this club so we decided to come. My Mom’s name is Helen.”

“I’ve always like short hair on women and girls, but like most women I’d been brainwashed to believe it had to be long to be acceptable. Now I know different. Next week I’ll have a short buzz cut, and Deedee will probably have a nice close clipper cut. My husband Paul was alarmed when I said I was going to get us buzzed, but he was won over when he actually saw it. This is a really nice club and I love all the bald heads I’ve seen,” Helen told them.

“That’s great Deedee and Helen. Just look around you at all the happy and confident women and girls with little or no hair and it’s easy see that buzzing or shaving your head is a positive experience that you will never regret. And now for our most wonderful new member. Carly, can you say who you are?”

“I’m Carly Evans. There are a lot of girls here like me with no hair. They are very nice. Here’s my Mom.”

“Hi folks. I’m Frances Evans. As you can see, Carly doesn’t have any hair. Actually if you look closely she has fine short hair which breaks off before it get mores than a quarter inch long. Carly has a wig, but she hates wearing it. She has a rare genetic flaw that means she’ll never grow any hair. But maybe that will be OK if she has people like you to relate to who actually like being bald. I saw your pictures in the news paper and the names of some of the bald girls. So I finally tracked you down through Tess Quinalt. There’s only one Quinalt in the phone book for our town. If Carly can grow up being around bald girls with the self-confidence that all these bald girls have she will probably have the same kind of confidence in time. I sort of wonder if I should get my head shaved too. Maybe that would be a boost for her.”

“It must have been quite a shock to discover that Carly would never grow any hair, Frances. No one should have to have baldness thrust upon them. It should be a choice we can make if we want to. But it’s not the worst thing that could happen, and now that it has happened I think she should be around these bald girls and women. That will give her a boost so that she can believe in herself. But you definitely should not sacrifice your own hair for her. That might do more harm than good. If you can see these bald girls like Sandy and Melissa and Ellen as being quite beautiful with their bald heads, then you can see Carly as beautiful and treat her that way. If she wants a wig she should have one, but if she doesn’t don’t force it on her. If you want to join the proudly bald set, do so because you really want to. But most of all welcome to the Bald Girls Mothers Club. We will do whatever we can to make it seem like the most natural thing in the world to be a bald woman or girl,” Heather told

“OK, everyone let’s make Frances and Carly feel this is their home away from home. Our last new member is Ruth,” Heather announced. “Tell us about yourself Ruth.”

“I’m Ruth Waters. Sandy is my best friend. I wanted to get shaved just like her, but my Dad wouldn’t let me. Finally he said I could. I like being shaved just like all the other girls here. I’m going to keep it shaved. Here’s my Mom. Her name is Meredith,” Ruth told the
crowd.

“Hi everyone. Jan and I are friends, although she makes me look kind of drab beside her now. Anyway she and I talked about getting buzz cuts like many of you have. It took us a while to convince our men that we would look good with them, but we finally did it. I loved the way Sandy looked and wanted Ruth to have her wish of getting her head shaved. My husband Phil finally relented and now he likes the way we look and And I really like my new buzz cut,” Meredith told them.

“That’s great Meredith. Ruth is a very sweet bald cherub and who could not like these wonderful buzz cuts. Keep up the great work and let’s keep our movement growing,”

“I’ve appointed one person from each table to collect for our brunch which is twelve fifty per person. I think everyone has been served something to drink, so let’s get to our brunch and while you’re at it mix your selves up so you get to talk to someone you haven’t talked to before. Especially talk with the beautiful bald girls and women about their experiences since joining that special group. After we’ve all gotten our food we’ll be handing out some special awards.”

Paula had managed to get behind Frances and Carly as they headed toward the line and overheard Carly talking to her Mom. “Mommie can I go with them, please?” she asked.

“I think you should stay with me honey,” Frances told her.

“Frances, those girls would love to take care of her. She’s probably never been around people who didn’t think she was sick or something. They’ll treat her as though being bald is perfectly normal and OK,” Paula told her.

Frances looked at her trying to come to terms with the very attractive bald woman standing beside her. “Don’t people think you’re strange to walk around with a shaved head?”

“Oh, I suppose they do, but I’m like the girls. I tell people straight out that I’m bald by choice and love it. Then we get on to another subject. After a while they tend to stop staring at my head and start to listen to what we’re talking about,” Paula said laughing.

“Please Mommie,” Carly said again.

“OK sweetheart, you can go with them,” Frances said.

“I take it that you actually like being bald. Don’t you get some unwanted attention,” Frances asked.

“That’s a very good question Frances. Actually I really do like being bald. I may never let it grow again. To answer your question, I did attract some unwanted attention a few times at first. Now I don’t. I dress conservatively. I don’t use a lot of makeup. And I walk with my head held high and with a confident no-nonsense stride. That turns away the ones who dream up some foolish notions about what I’m about, but it does attract some flattering comments now and again. For those I offer a thank you or ‘that’s very kind of you’ type of response. I have attracted an admirer or two, one of whom seems to be seriously interested although I’ve not yet responded to his overtures. The older bald girls like Christine, Tess, Janet and others have learned the same lessons. They don’t try to show off and they walk with confidence. You can watch them. They know what they’re doing and have an incredible level of determination and self-assurance. They are on a mission,” Paula told her.

“I admit they are attractive girls once you can see them as girls without hair rather than crazy rebels. They seem to be acting quite maturely, but I thought that was because all their Mom’s were present. What about boyfriends, Do they have any? And what’s this mission you mentioned?”

“They are quite mature Frances. Mature and self-assured. They have fun, kid around play games and help around the house. And I mean all of them. They even complain once in a while. But they have all become outstanding young people. And yes they do have boyfriends. Christine, Tess and Gail have exceptional boyfriends who share their belief and support their goals. I think Janet may have found someone like that too. And even Ellen has a young admirer. Their boyfriends really stand beside them while letting them be themselves and be responsible for themselves. As for a mission, they’ve dedicated themselves to being the best swimmers in the world. What they accomplished just this past summer got the attention of several national swimming organizations and clubs. They will all be going to the spring championship meet. If they do well there they may be invited to join one of the elite swimming clubs.

“Did you see April. She’s over there, the lady with clipper shaved white hair. She’s almost fifty four and looks fantastic. She’s a widow, but for the first time in years she has a new male friend who really appreciates her. They’ve been dating regularly now for almost two months and it all started after she got her clipper shave. So as far as I’m concerned they all look wonderful, and being bald has somehow triggered a tremendous degree of confidence in all of them. Even Sandy acts a lot older and more mature and self-assured than kids her age and she has to go to school where she’s the only bald girl there or was. Now she’ll have Ruth. She wants to be bald and is completely sure of herself. It’s amazing. Anyway that’s enough talking about that. Let’s get our brunch,” Paula told her.

“I feel like I’ve stepped into a whole different world Paula. I think I’m getting a handle on it, but it still seems completely against everything I’ve grown up believing. I guess I’ll just have to let Carly find her own way at least to some extent. If being around these girls can result in her being comfortable with her baldness, that surely can’t be bad,” Frances said.

Meanwhile Carly was having the time of her life from all the attention she was getting from the amigas, Sandy and Ruth who told her how cute she was and kept her laughing while they put food on their own plates and helped her with hers.

Deedee and Arlene had joined the amigas group while Vicki had found herself with the swim team group. The women had broken up into four groups with one of the four baldies at each of the tables. Jan and Meredith had joined Paula and Frances who were then joined by Leigh and Sammie.

“Jan, how have things gone with Sandy in school? I assume she’s the only bald girl in her school,” Leigh inquired.

“Well she was until Ruth joined her last Wednesday. I was a little concerned, but Sandy was quite certain she wanted to stay shaved and didn’t want me to do anything like take her to school. She went on the bus with the other kids, most of whom knew she was bald. Apparently she had to endure a little teasing the first few days, but after that it settled down. I think her teacher was shocked more than anyone else. She actually called me to make sure that Sandy wasn’t sick. I finally convinced her that Sandy just liked to have her head shaved like several of the boys in her class. Actually her head stays a lot smoother than theirs. She did say she didn’t want anyone to think she was a boy, so she wears more cute girl’s clothes now and always wears dangly earrings,” Jan explained.

“That’s amazing. I was certain that Carly would have to wear a wig to school. She wears it to Kindergarten, but hates it. Do you think I should let her go without it?” Frances asked.

“That a judgment call Frances. She’s been wearing it, so if she goes without it there are bound to be a lot of questions and probably some teasing or worse. A discussion with her teachers might be a good idea. And Carly will need to know what to say. If it had always been a matter-of-fact situation it would have been a lot easier, but in our society girls are supposed to have long blond hair. Girls like my Beth and Sandy who always wanted to have short haircuts have a hard time, especially as teenagers. I’m glad that we have made it possible for them to do what they want and still receive love and approval,” Leigh told her.

“If she grows up believing that to be accepted she has to have hair, preferably long hair, then she’ll definitely need to have some very fancy wigs like those silic
one suction cap wigs that won’t come off no matter what she’s doing, even diving into the water or surf-boarding. But they cost thousands of dollars and she’ll have to keep her head slick bald for them to work right,” Jan added.

“I knew there were some expensive wigs that she could have that were so realistic that no one could actually detect them. But I though we’d wait until she stopped growing to get her one. The one she has is almost five hundred dollars. It looks pretty good, but it’s obviously a wig because a little girl wouldn’t have hair like that. I’m having second thoughts about this. I’ll talk to my husband George and see what he thinks,” Frances responded.

At the table with the swim team the conversation also centered on baldness.

“How long have you all been shaved smooth like that,” Vicky asked

“Christine started before June. Tess you got yours shaved in June didn’t you. Jessie got hers shaved next. Then Gail and I got shaved except for bangs. Everybody got shaved smooth right after the team tryouts the last week in August. So it varies a lot, but we’ve all been shaved for at least a month and Christine and Tess have been shaved about four months. How often do you have to shave now Christine?” Janet asked.

Melissa and I only shave once a week now. It looks really good. You can hardly see any shadow. Melissa looks like she’s a natural baldy – there’s nothing to see. Are you doing it just once a week now Tess?” Christine asked.

“I just started. This is the first time I’ve gone a whole week,” Tess answered.

“How long are you planning to stay shaved like that?” Vicky asked.

They looked at each other. Finally Christine spoke. I expect that in a few years I’ll have it made permanently bald like Aunt Steffie over there.”

“You mean like Carly?” Vicky asked.

“No, like Aunt Steffie. She’s that beautiful black lady over there. She’s been having laser treatments to permanently remove all of her hair. That’s what I’m planning to do too,” Christine answered.

“Oh my God! You’re serious!” Vicky exclaimed completely flabbergasted. “What about the rest of you?”

“I haven’t thought about it much, but I like being bald like this. I suppose I could change my mind, but I don’t think I will. I expect to be bald for the rest of my life,” Tess responded.

“I’m pretty much the same,” Janet added.

“Same here,” Jessie said.

“I’m sure I’m going to stay bald. Jeremy really likes it that I’m bald. I would like to do what Aunt Steffie is doing too,” Gail added her voice.

“I really like being bald. I feel like I have a lot more freedom. I thought I should have long hair and it was almost waist length two months ago. Now it’s all gone and it feels great. I’m not going back,” Bridget told her. “I’ll probably make it permanent like Christine when I get a little older. My Dad actually suggested that maybe I should.”

“Sean thinks I look super. My Mom and Dad like it too. And I really like it,” Ellen finally added her opinion.

“I wonder if I got my head shaved, if some of the other girls on the gymnastics team would do it. A bald girls gymnastics team would be very cool. I remember that Russian girl at the Olympics with light blond hair which was cut very short. I thought she looked cool. Maybe at our next meet I’ll be bald or at least super short,” Vicky said.

Their conversation was interrupted by Heather who was standing at the podium.

“Listen up everybody! I have some awards to give out. The first award is to be given to the world’s most unique swimming team. And the winner is the bald members of the Forest High Swimming team. Come up here girls so that everyone can really see you and admire seven boldly, beautifully bald swimmers. Does anyone have anything they would like to say,” Heather asked.

They looked at each other. “Go ahead Gail,” Janet said.

“OK. I just want to say that being bald has had a big impact on us. When you’re a bald girl you have to have confidence and when you have confidence you can do things you never thought you could do. So we’re going to be the best team Forest has ever had because we have Christine setting the pace for us. We bald girls will stick together no matter what.”

“Thanks, Gail. You girls are teaching us what the real meaning of dedication, determination and hard work are,” Heather got out before the applause overwhelmed her.

When it had died down, she announced the second award.

“Our second award is to the happily bald amigas for their remarkable achievements on the soccer field, once again the result of dedication, determination and hard work with an equal part of complete unselfishness. Who wants to give us a little speech?” Heather asked.

They jostled each other, but finally urged Melissa to take the microphone held out by Jan.

“We all like to be bald just like the swimming team. And they really got us going in the gym so we could get better. We’re going to be a lot better pretty soon. Thanks,” Melissa said.

“Well said Melissa. We’re going to be having a lot of fun trying to keep up with you amigas,” Heather got out before the applause erupted.

“OK, folks this is one of our three special awards. This award is for the most remarkable lady barber and her magical chair that most of us have sat in many times as we have been transformed from quite normal and unremarkable women and girls to the most confident and outstanding women and girls with buzzed or shaved heads. This award goes to Kate Richards. Come up here Kate and get your award,” Heather said to a thunderous ovation.

When it had finally settled down Kate finally had a chance to speak. “This summer has been the most incredible of my entire life. I’ve found myself giving more buzz cuts and head shaves than I would have imagined in my wildest dreams. It has been a truly miraculous summer. I have become involved in the successes of these amazing girls in ways that I would never have dreamed of. I have participated with their Moms in the transformations that defined their commitments to their girl’s dedication to excellence. And I have slowly been drawn in so that I have found myself fully committed to supporting their efforts. I am grateful for being allowed to be a part of something wonderful, whatever it turns out to be.”

The applause lasted for minutes before finally ending.

“And she deserves every second of your applause,” Heather said. Now for an extra special award. This award is for the most beautiful cherub. And the winner is the remarkable Carly Evans the most adorable cherub in the world.”

“Go on up there Carly,” Leigh told her. Carly hesitated not sure what she should do and a little frightened at the prospect.

“Come on Carly, we’ll go with you,” Penny said taking one of her hands. Carly looked back and stuck her other hand out which was was immediately taken by Sandy. The three of them went to the front where they stood facing Heather who stepped down and handed Carly a rolled up sheet of stiff paper tied with a ribbon.

“Open it Carly,” Sandy urged her. She found the end of the ribbon, pulled it and the ribbon came loose as the paper unfolded. There was a picture of Carly on it with a halo around her head. Various sized stars surrounded the border of the picture. At the bottom was an inscription in ornate script. A red ribbon with the words winner was pinned to the left side. Carly looked at it and pointed to the halo. “What’s that,” she asked.

“It’s a halo. It means that you’re really really special,” Penny told her.

“Show it to everybody,” Sandy said.

They turned around and Carly held up her award. “I won,” she said into the microphone after being prompted by Jan.

There was much applause as Carly ran to show Frances her award. Abby had gotten a recent photo of Carly without her wig, turned it over to Heather and Chris had done the rest.

“Well folks, this is it – the award for the person or persons who have made the most un
selfish and generous contribution in support of the girls. And the award goes to Kate Richards and Gabby Peters! Come on up Kate and Gabby,” Heather cried out to loud applause.

“I’ve told this to some of you before, but here it is again. Over the summer as these girls started showing up with each other to get short haircuts, buzz cuts and eventually shaves, I was drawn in by their enthusiasm, energy and spirit. I began to read about them and heard about some of their remarkable achievements from several of the Mom’s and I felt like I wanted to be part of what they were doing and root for them. I kept telling Gabby what great kids they were and how their parents had become their biggest fans and supporters. On Saturday of the regional meet I kept thinking about what I could do. Finally someone pointed out that I referred to them as my kids. I realized that I did think of them that way, not like a Mom, but more like a coach or an adult friend. So I called up my friend from a salon across town and she came over that evening to give me a buzz cut like many of the swim and soccer Mom’s had gotten earlier. On Sunday when I went to the meet to root for the girls, I found out what I was destined to do. I was going to be a sponsor. So that’s what I’ll be concentrating on for as many years as I’m needed,” Kate told them.

Gabby took the mike. “Kate and I have been together for a long time. There aren’t many like her. When she told me what she was doing I wanted to be part of it. And I am. Sponsoring Gail is about the most fulfilling thing I can imaging being privileged to do. I’ll do my very best to be worthy of the challenge.”

Gail ran up to the two women to be wrapped in their arms while the rest applauded.

“Paula, what is that all about,” Frances asked perplexed.

“Gail’s parents think that sports are a waste of time and that Gail should be using her time on something more productive like chasing boys I suppose. They think she’s just a rebellious teenager for getting her head shaved and won’t help her with her special diet. She may be an Olympic swimmer in a few years, but they’re not interested in that. She was getting quite depressed about it, and I think she might have quit if Kate and Gabby hadn’t picked up the slack,” Paula said.

“Does she understand what they are?” Frances asked.

“Oh, Frances. Yes, of course she knows. Even Jeremy, her boyfriend knows. It doesn’t matter. It’s not an issue. They’re good, kind and generous women, not some kind of predators. I’ve know her for years,” Paula said in exasperation.

“I’m sorry Paula. I shouldn’t have brought up the subject. It’s just, well, I don’t know. You hear stories about priests and stuff,” Frances said.

“I know, but it’s not at all the same thing. Let’s finish our brunch,” Paula said.

“It was very touching what they did for Carly, Paula. I don’t know how they accomplished it. I called Abby Monday evening and mailed her that picture on Tuesday. How did they manage it?” Francis asked Paula.

“I have no idea Frances. I didn’t know a thing about it until just now,” Paula responded.

“Well she is certainly having a great time with those girls. I have another question for you Paula,” Frances said.

“Sure, What is it,” Paula responded.

“Isn’t it a nuisance to have to shave you head every morning.?” Frances asked.

“It is, but no more of a hassle than shampooing long hair and blow drying it. Anyway that stage doesn’t last very long. I’ll be going to only three times a week in a couple of weeks. In four months I’ll only have to shave it once a week.,” Paula answered.

“How in the world does that work?” Frances asked.

“There’s a special lotion that we put on every day that causes hair growth to slow down over time. It seems to continue to work for at least a year. I don’t know how often I’ll need to shave then, but it will be less than once a week. Now that’s what I call convenient,” Paula laughed.

“I shave Sandy only once a week now,” Jan added. She can shave herself, but she likes me to do it and I rather enjoy doing it for her. She always gives me a big hug when I’m finished. And it does feel so nice and smooth. I think I would like to try it myself, but even though my husband Ben loves this blond buzz cut, he isn’t quite ready to accept that step yet,” Jan volunteered.

At another table Steffie was talking with Joyce.

“Well, I always wanted to get my head shaved and when I saw Christine and Melissa I was bowled over. That was when I decided I would, if Louis was OK with it. He was and I persuaded Audra to get a short buzz and I got my head shaved. I’ve never looked back. I’m about halfway through the first stage of laser treatments. You should have seen them at the salon when I told them I wanted laser hair removal treatments on my head. They almost dropped their eye teeth,” Steffie said laughing. “After we got past that, we started talking about the procedure and how much it would cost. It was less than a total bikini it turned out. And of course they had to make sure my skin and hair color was suitable which it was.”

“What was it like? Did it hurt much. I know that even a little bit of waxing along the hairline can be quite painful,” Kate said.

“It’s a lot less painful than waxing, but it’s still uncomfortable. I’ll be glad when it’s over,” Steffie responded “It’s definitely worth it though. My head feels so silky smooth all the time now.”

“You’ve almost persuaded me that I should let Vicky and Arlene get their heads shaved the way they wanted,” Joyce said.

“What’s the harm in it. If they find they don’t like the attention and feel uncomfortable, they’ll just let it grow out. They could go for a clipper shave first like my daughter Ginny did. She was happy with it all summer, but decided to let it grow out a little into a more normal buzz cut for her first year in college,” Heather said.

“Well, that’s a point. A clipper shave would let them see what it’s like. I think I’ll let them do that. I should get a card from you Kate. You seem to be the favorite aunt for all of these girls,” Joyce said.

“I’ve grown very fond of them. They’re really rather unusual. They have such a huge amount of dedication to their goals, that it amazes me,” Kate said.

“Arlene’s soccer coach said she was a very good player and had a lot of potential, but Melissa and her friends play at a level and with such intensity that they look almost like professionals. Arlene’s coach said that with a couple more good players they could beat any of the high school teams despite being much smaller. How did they manage that?” Joyce asked.

“It’s just dedication and hard work Joyce. Besides practicing every afternoon, they workout in the gym several hours every week. Their coach had to order them to ease up because they’re still growing and too much of that kind of training isn’t good for them,” Heather explained.

“I think Arlene would really like to be on their team. I wonder if she could join them next summer in the summer leagues?” Joyce asked

“Probably she could, but they may have graduated from that level by then. They’ll probably have to get into an older league. They keep improving. They tied the Forest High Varsity team last week,” Heather said.

The topic of the day at the table occupied by the amigas, Sandy, Ruth, Carly, Deedee and Arlene was, as expected, the idea of having a shaved head or in the case of Carly being naturally bald. At one point Carly had said quite forcefully that she didn’t like wearing her wig to school and that she wanted to be like they were. Melissa had a sudden inspiration.

“Hey guys wouldn’t it be cool for us to go to Carly kindergarten and show all the little kids that we like being bald. Maybe that way Carly could stop wearing her wig and just be herself and the other kids would be OK with that,” Melissa told them.

“That’s a neat idea Melissa. I would like to do that,” Beth said. “Maybe that would make it easier for C
arly, if the other kids see a lot of bald girls.”

“How would you like that Carly, if we all came to your school and let the other kids see us and feel our heads? Then you could be the first bald girl in your kindergarten,” Penny added.

Carly’s eyes lit up at this idea. “Could you really come?” she asked.

“Well we’d have to get out of school for a couple of hours, but maybe we could go at lunch time. Let’s see if we can do it,” Cindy said. “I’ll tell my Mom and she could talk to the principle. It’s for a good cause and we’re all doing good in our classes. It would be fun.”

By now they had all finished their brunches and were enjoying talking with each other. Heather had begun circulating among the tables getting input about a future meeting. As expected, fall was a very busy time for everyone and the end of December was certainly not a good time. It finally came down to the end of January as the next possible time for a meeting of the BGMC.

“I need your attention one more time everyone. It’s pretty obvious that a meeting anytime between now and January is not going to work. So how about the end of January. That four months, a lot longer than we originally thought, but probably the best we can do. Let me see a show of hands of those of you who definitely can’t make it the last Sunday in January? That would be the twenty fifth.”

A couple of hands went up, Leigh and Dawna Landon.

“OK, almost all of you can make it. That’s great. That’s set then. One more thing. If any of you would like to volunteer to help with the arrangements for the next meeting let me know.”

Helen immediately raised her hand. She had received extravagant approval of her brush cut and was captivated by the bald women and girls. “I would really like to help. I have some friends who were shocked at our buzz cuts, but after a day or so they admitted liking them. I’m going to invite them. Deedee said that one of her friends wanted to get a buzz cut like hers. If she gets it maybe she’ll come and bring her Mom.”

“Absolutely, Helen. The more the merrier. Every time some girl or woman gets buzzed or shaved it usually results in one or two others doing the same. Let’s keep our movement growing. First our town, then the state followed by the country and then the whole world,” Heather said enthusiastically.

“Let’s enjoy ourselves for the next forty-five minutes. We have this room reserved until one PM. All of you old-timers introduce yourselves to the new members,” Heather said.

Taking Heather’s request at face value the soccer and swim team Mom’s made an effort to introduce themselves to the five new women. Finally they began to say their goodbyes and leave. Heather had collected the money and was pleased to find that everything was covered including a nice tip for their two servers.

“I need to get back home to finish my work, Mom,” Christine said.

“OK. Let me say goodbye to the others, then we’ll go,” Paula responded.

Just as they were leaving, Steffie rushed up to them.

“Paula, I need to talk to Christine and Melissa for a moment. Can you come overt to our place for about an hour at seven thirty tonight? You know I told you I wanted you to be part of the wedding. It may not take even an hour. I’ve invited Penny to be in it also,” Steffie told them.

“I can come Aunt Steffie,” Melissa said.

“I think I can, but it will depend on whether or not I get my homework done in time,” Christine replied.

“Well, don’t worry about it. You’ll be in charge of the guest book. It’s pretty simple. I can tell you what to do in a minute or two. So don’t worry if you can’t make it,” Steffie reassured her.

“Thanks Aunt Steffie. I really want to be part of your wedding,” Christine responded.

“See you tonight if you can make it. Bye,” Steffie said and rushed off.

To be continued in Part 28

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