Friday, November 5, 2010

Roscoe Bobs His Hair

Above: Roscoe looking quite scandalous, and fabulous, in his new bob.

So around the time of their first birthday, I received some emails from my now one-year-old pups.

Pandora wrote to let me know that she was celebrating with a bottle of champagne. As they say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. But, in truth, her new dad told me "she didn't think much of the Champagne, but did like the new toys!" And, the icing on the cake, Pandy came into heat for the first time which can make you feel both like a rag and really horny. It's a strange and wonderful combination. Take it from me.

Bruin, who lives near Boston and spends his summers and most weekends in Vermont wrote to let me know he "had an outstanding weekend in Vermont...hiking, swimming and celebrating." His new mom, Debbie, added "All is well and he is the best. Pics and further details to follow soon." I'm waiting!!

Now Roscoe he sent two birthday photos. He seems to be sporting a bob.

"Do you think I ought to bob my hair, Mr. Charley Paulson?"
Charley looked up in surprise.
"Because I'm considering it. It's such a sure and easy way of attracting attention."

So wrote the twenty-four-year-old F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), conjuring Bernice a society belle on her way to becoming "a society vampire" in his story "Bernice Bobs Her Hair," published in 1920. History credits French libertines with inventing the scandalous hairstyle, cut sharp and short at the jawline.

Opposition was formidable. Schoolteachers, nurses, shopgirls, and railroad office workers were prohibited from wearing the cut in various regions. "If a girl goes so far as to bob her hair, her work will probably be affected and she could not give 100 percent efficiency," argued a Baltimore insurance executive, convinced a bob demonstrated a distracting vanity.

Modernism called for drastic measures. The story of Fitzgerald's Bernice grew from a pointed 10-page letter he'd written from Princeton at age nineteen to his sister Annabel, then fourteen, instructing her on how to become a fascinating modern woman. He told her to groom her eyebrows, choose jaunty hats, refine her awkward walk, and kid the boys, while cultivating a "pathetic, appealing" expression to win them over (head hung, staring up directly into their eyes). "You have beautiful hair," he conceded, assessing her best traits. "You ought to be able to do something with it."