French braids and chemistry

Sitting on the trolley today, I watched a woman french braid her hair all by herself and was instantly taken back to my 11th grade chemistry class.  My lab partner in that class was a young woman with era-appropriate name of Tiffany.  We first met in the 5th grade and spent most of middle and high school at that level of friendship that is two steps up from acquaintance but several down from attending each others’ birthday slumber parties.

Tiffany was cute, blond, thin and always came off as a little bit of an airhead.  I’ve always believed that the ditziness she exuded was a complete act, as she had a brain for chemistry unlike I’ve experienced since.  She absorbed chemistry and made it sing.  It was completely incongruous and totally fascinating to watch these two sides of her play out each day.

It was also a gift from the heavens for me, because just as Tiff was naturally gifted with an aptitude for balancing equations, I was equally talented at bungling them.  I give her almost entire credit for getting me through that class, for helping me understand the subject matter and finding my mistakes before the teacher ever saw them.

You are probably wondering what this has to do with french braiding your own hair.  Well, in addition to her chemistry abilities, Tiffany was also a soccer player.  At our high school all the members of the girls’ soccer teams would carefully french braid their hair before practices and games.  Tiffany became an expert at doing her own braid and would often sit in class, unconsciously braiding and unbraiding her hair as Mr. Runion talked on about the properties of this chemical or that one.  So whenever I see someone able to french braid the hair growing out of their own head without the aid of mirrors or combs, I am impressed and I think if Tiff.


A few of you noticed the fact that in yesterday’s post, I dropped in the fact that I’m dating someone, without giving any other details or tidbits.  It’s all still new and forming, so I’m hesitant to put too much of it out here for display.  But I can tell you that it’s been really fun so far.  That I’m feeling excited and hopeful about it.  And that I like him, quite a lot.

6 thoughts on “French braids and chemistry

  1. Marisa

    Howard–Most of the time I write the post first and then go back and give it a title. So I had the whole thing written and was taking a look at it to figure out a good title, when it suddenly became clear. So the linking of the two in the post wasn’t intentional, but the linking in the title was.


  2. Sparky

    I have always marveled at how girls can braid there own hair. It seems as foreign as chemistry to me, well at least the perioditic table kind

  3. craige

    Back in the day when my hair was long I could braid it myself. I never had particularly thick hair, so it didn’t look that great in a French braid, though. I found it easier to do it by feel than by trying to look in a mirror while both hands were stuck in my hair.

    The French braid was most definitely the style of choice for girls’ sports, wasn’t it? I was often called upon to braid my friends’ hair before their games. Also, I have no idea where I learned to French braid as my mother never learned. Maybe that was why, since she couldn’t do it for me.


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