27 September 2013

Published September 25, 2013 by rochellewisoff


As always, writers are encouraged to be as innovative as possible with the prompt and 100 word constraints. 

Henry David Thoreau said it best.

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”


Write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle and end. (No one will be ostracized for going a few words over the count.)


Make every word count.


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  • Shalom,


Copyright - Rich Voza

Copyright – Rich Voza


get the InLinkz code

As we pass through life we walk through many doors. One is the unavoidable door that opens onto puberty. 

Today it’s 1968. The Vietnam War, protests , civil rights marches and assassinations dominate the news. Peace signs, love-ins and psychedelic rock make the scene. Beehive hairdos and feminine curves are out. Ultra thin boyish figures and straight hair are in. 

Submitted for your approval: one adolescent’s story.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Word Count: 99


            “Hurry, you’ll be late for school!” Mom called from downstairs. “And your breakfast is getting cold.”

            “Give it to the dog!”

            “Don’t make me call your dad.”

            “Go ahead.”

            Jolene spread her long curly hair on the ironing board, laid a damp towel over it and then pressed it straight with the iron on the hottest setting.

            Then, to hide what Mother Nature had too generously endowed, she donned her brother’s sweater. Other girls her age had stick figures, like Twiggy. She tugged her jeans over her hips and scowled at her reflection in the full-length mirror.  

            “Hello, Ugly.”


As an epilogue to my story, I urge you to listen to the videoed song that follows.  I think you’ll understand why.

Remember when…?


copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

93 comments on “27 September 2013

  • Oh that takes me back! The agony of it all, especially when Twiggy was at the peak of her fame. Nicely done Rochelle. I’d tend to say “laid a damp towel over it” but maybe that’s just another Anglo-American thing?


    • Dear Patricia,

      Yes, it did work unless it was a humid day. It was just one of the many tortures those of us blessed with natural curl endured. Suffice it to say, that when spiral perms came into vogue i felt vindicated.😉

      Glad you liked the story.




  • Rochelle, although it’s sad, I like the stark portrayal of the differences in perceptions of beauty. Today, long, curly hair and an ample bosom would be something highly sought after. It reminds me of Anne of Green Gables hating her red hair.


    • Dear David,

      Thank you for your perceptive comments. It does seem that our perception of beauty change from decade to decade. In the 80’s when women started shelling out $100 for spiral perms I felt vindicated.😉




  • Rochelle,
    I LOVE this. Love is a many splendid thing. Self love is divine. I have always been marveled at the verse “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Clearly it means we should express great kindness and generosity to our neighbor. It is implied that we behave likewise to ourselves.


    • Dear Dawn,

      I’m sure you saved many a follicle by not ironing your curls. I had split ends that were longer than some girls’ hair. Funny, mine has gotten curlier over the years, the difference is that I like it.
      Thanks for commenting.




  • I remember I once snuck out to see my boyfriend and my parents found out. They knew how to hurt me most. They took my straighteners and hid them. I cried, I begged, I pleaded… I had to pin my fringe back for month, not the most flattering look for me.


  • hi Rochelle! Sorry to be a pain but my first attempt at linking seems to have failed and won’t let me delete it. Could you remove it for me – it’s #20 on the list and has Rich’s photo as the icon. Cheers!


  • I’ve just read your story – wow, so true to life. Why is it that adolescence is the cruelest of times? You’d think we would have evolved away from it, and yet the troubles endure, generation to generation: too fat, too thin, too curly, too straight… it’s all the same really.


    • Dear JK,

      Kudos to you for giving your children positive affirmations. Fashion is cruel and only applies to a certain few. The rest of us try to cram our nonconforming physiques into them.

      Thanks for stopping by with your kind words.




  • No No No Helllloooo Beautiful! We have all moved in and out of fashion over our lifetimes. It is a sad phenomenon really. Marilyn one decade, Twiggy the next. Women desperately trying to mold themselves to fit. I loved this story and how succinctly you captured teenage angst.


  • lucky girl! i’d sometimes use a curling iron on my hair. and Mother Nature was pretty stingy when it came to me. i love the message in your story and i love the artwork, really lovely🙂


    • Dear Carmen,

      Thank you so much for your lovely compliments in English and German. I had to look up künstlerin.😉

      Puberty was a nightmare time for a lot of us. Does anyone come through it without scars? Glad you like my story.




  • I would be afraid of ironing my hair! I’m sure I would have burned my ears🙂 Curling irons and straighteners are scary enough🙂 Of course, I’ve been “blessed” with mainly straight hair so I guess I would have been one of the “cool kids”


    • Dear Carrie,

      Yep, straight hair was most desired in those days and I would’ve been insanely jealous of you. However after those years of frying my hair and burning my fingers I’ve made peace with my curls and even like them.

      Thanks for commenting.




  • This brings back so many memories. I had the naturally straight hair. However, I remember only allowing myself what I could fit on a saucer to each each day in a vain effort to look like twiggy… I didn’t help. My bones are too big so I just looked gaunt. 😛


    • Dear Lynda,

      I believe a lot of anorexia seeds were sewn back then. The irony is that Twiggy was one of those girls who couldn’t keep the weight on.

      This story seems to have triggered a lot of memories. Thanks for commenting.




  • Just now getting back, to comment on the story earlier. I think you portrayed ‘yourself’ (?) well in the story as I know how you struggled once with anorexia didn’t you? I think that was a time long after Wayne and i left Kansas City perhaps. It is so sad to see young women suffer with their self image and low self esteem. Although I never had anorexia I did have problems with my own self image and low self esteem. remember Twiggy well. And Karen Carpenter (a popular singer in the sixties with her brother) with a lot of great hits. She died from anorexia.


    • Dear Joyce,

      You nailed me. Actually, my anorexic days lasted off and on for twenty years or more. It started before I had Travis. I still remember you making a comment that my legs were like toothpicks. The worst years of it, though, were after you and Wayne left. In any case, those days are behind me and it’s all grist for the mill.
      Unfortunately, the fashion industry does little for the average woman’s self esteem.
      Thanks for commenting. Nice to have you back this week. I know it’s a challenge to keep up with a novel and Friday Fictioneers.😉




      • Thanks Rochelle. I had no idea how long your problem went on. I am very glad that is behind you. I agree, that the fashion and trends of today’s young woman does little to make one feel as if they are beautiful, unique and just the way God created them. I had to deal with that as a teenager too, and so did our daughter, Steph when she became a teen.


          • Believe me, I can understand that, more than you know. We had a sad chapter in our lives too as parents that tested our faith and perseverance like none other. It is our faith in Jesus Christ that healed, restored and helped us in rebuilding our broken relationship with Steph during a very dark time in our lives when she was a teen, when she did not know him personally Today, she is a totally different woman, was a wonderful mother, and one who herself is stronger spiritually, and in every way.


  • Well done! This brings back all kinds of memories as this is my era! I used to spend hours trying to get my eye makeup to look like Twiggy’s! And I love the drawing of her! You’re a talented girl, Rochelle!


    • Dear Linda,

      I bet you were cute with all those tons of eye make-up. I was just too short, small eyed and curvy to ever hope to look like her. In fact one girl in my whole class actually did.

      Glad you liked my story which seems to be a memory jogger for a few of us. Thank you for the compliments.




  • The sad and unhealthy things done for style — ugh! Reminds me of the stories and movies I’ve read/seen of further back in history, when women wore tight corsets to force their bodies into a shape trendy for the times. Also — great illustration to go with the story. As Linda wrote, you’re talented!


    • Dear Dave,

      It seems that every era has seen its tortures for the sake of “beauty”. Corsets were very close to Chinese foot-binding IMHO. At least hair ironing wasn’t disfiguring unless you burned yourself on the iron.😉

      Thank you for the compliments.




  • Rochelle, I remember watching a show of ‘Little Women’ and seeing the girls wrapping their hair around iron heated rods to get curls. Oh to be satisfied with what we have.

    Nicely done. I remember Twiggy too. I think I just heard about her in the news a bit ago in one of those what ever happened to them type of stories. I don’t remember it all, but I think she was happy…


  • Dear Francine,
    The media made stick girls popular. Personally, I never found that look sexy or attractive. My angst was long hair as girls showed no interest whatsoever in boys with crew cuts. By the time I gained the freedom to grow it long the fad was starting pass. Aint that the way life goes.
    Tastefully chic, Vlad.


    • Dear Vlad,

      I never really stopped to think back in the day what the boys liked. Like other girls I bought into what the media dictated and tried (unsuccessfully to fit the mold. I was never so happy as when women started spending $100 a pop for a spiral perm. Vindication!

      I did, and still do, like long hair on guys. My husband’s hair is longer than mine and he wears it in a long ponytail. So it’s never too late to let your locks grow.😉




    • Dear Amy,

      You may call me Francine if you like. I think it’s my favorite so far…”Francine Loyd Write” .

      I think they make better hair straighteners now but I no longer feel the need to use them.😉 I haven’t had a Twiggy figure since I was ten so that’s not an option.

      Glad you liked and commented on my story.




  • Oh yes, I remember it well. My sister inherited the Jewfro – and she and cousin Richard ironed their hair, before realising that their curly locks were nothing to be ashamed of. I was saftig and no twiggy – but I later starved myself for years (not anorexic – just lived on salads and yogurt for 20 years) in order to be the thin and beautiful woman I was in all those photos I keep posting to my site. Once I left rock and roll, I let the rolls back into my life so I am saftig once again.


    • Dear Lindaura,

      Jewfro? I like that. I never quite had that, although I knew guys who did. It used to make me giggle to see some of the teenage boys back then clip a teeny tiny Yarmulke somewhere in the midst of a hair bush.
      Saftig…there’s another word you don’t hear much anymore. Someday, perhaps, we can share more tales from the Yiddish side.😉 .
      Thanks for commenting,




    • Dear Joanna,

      A couple of years ago I was on the planning committee for my 40 year class reunion. The most fun we had was sharing those teenage angst stories and enjoying one another as the adults we’ve grown to be.

      Thanks for commenting.




  • Oh, puberty! The agony of it! This is me! I used to iron my hair. I also had a ‘beatle’ hair cut once. I hated my ‘feminine curves’. I had a black and white ‘Mondrian’ dress with a big daisy attached to the front and massive daisy earrings. I wore white face make-up and white lipstick and painted black rings round my eyes. Black patterned hold-up stockings under disgracefully short dresses. I had block-heeled shoes with square toes. What a ghoul! You certainly re-opened a door for me! I will now firmly shut it again! Great writing. Ann


  • I’ve never been brave enough to iron my hair. And Twiggy was never much of a role model for me. I never understood models😉 Wonderful story and I really can understand it as many of my friends did the same thing. I knew I would never fit it so didn’t try. I was and still am a loner and always myself. Great writing as usual.


  • The story was excellent, and it was clear enough, didn’t need the song. I never could understand Twiggy’s appeal. I think teens have those “gee, I wish I fit in” blues in all eras. Personally, I’m glad I never fit in. I was too far outside the box to even try.


    • Dear Stephen,

      I’m finding the feedback from the guys in the group interesting and amusing. I never stopped to think about how boys saw Twiggy. Maybe I wouldn’t have wasted so much time trying to fit an impossible mold.Happily by the time I hit my later teens I found that I didn’t want to fit in. I was much happier.;)

      Glad you liked my story, even without the song.😉




  • I used to wrap my wet hair around my head in a swirl which got rid of the waves. I knew if I tried to iron my hair I would burn myself! I was tall and thin years after Twiggy was the in thing. I was given the nickname Olive Oyl in junior high…

    Thanks for the challenge! I tried this today for the first time. My gravatar did not show up when I clicked the next button after entering my info… 😦

    Thanks again! This gave me something different to do on my blog which I was looking for. Thanks to Penny Howe to for sending me your way! – B


    • Dear Barbara,

      Again, welcome to “Our Gang”.

      Seems to me I tried wrapping my hair around my head, too. Not sure there’s anything I didn’t try. Then when curls came back into vogue I accepted my hair as a gift and quit putting it through such torture.

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting. See you next prompt.




  • good one Rochelle – it takes me back to when shape magazine would arrive in the mail for Jan and I would tell the girls – look at that – no meat on those bones, too skinny to be pretty, too weak for adventures….


  • Awesome story! Makes me wish I had been a teen in that era, honestly. I often thought I missed my true calling by a couple of generations as Led Zeppelin roadie/fan! …If only…


  • Excellent Rochelle, the one time in my life that I fit. Long straight hair, and well I preferred to think of myself as lithe as opposed to skinny! Great story brought back a bazillion memories (much loved ones)! Thanks for that!🙂


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