It is a Saturday night. My husband is out playing Magic: The Gathering, and, as he is the gamer in the family and I am only a gamer-geek by association, I am at home, drinking tea, reading, and trying to figure out a new way to braid my hair.
I don't remember learning how to braid, like I don't remember learning the English alphabet (I remember parts of learning to read), or how to sew a button back on. I just know. But until I was sixteen, I could not braid my own hair. It was either down, in a ponytail, a headband, or someone had to braid it for me. Usually, because I was lazy, I would brush it in the morning and then leave it down for the rest of the day. It got cut short a few times during my childhood (once when I went away to camp because all I could do was brush it). In high school, when it got caught in my desk, my locker door, and too many people wanted to play with it, I had my waist-length hair cut to chin length and grew my bangs out.
A year later, I was standing in front of a mirror, struggling to braid my hair for the first time. It was messy, but soon became very easy And now that my hair is past my waist, I can braid it into one or two very long 3-strand braids in a minute or two. This is getting boring, not to mention the fact that, even braided, my hair still catches on things. I'm not about to cut it short again (although an inch or so should be trimmed off the bottom soon), because I do like having it long (Also, short hair makes me look like I'm twelve, and I'm trying to promote the "wise, mature, married woman" image).
Therefore, I'm trying to learn Dutch and French braiding so I can braid my hair into a crown around my head, thus eliminating this problem of hair caught in odd things. Normal braids pinned onto the top of my head don't stay in place without many, many bobby pins. Dutch braiding came easily, since I tend to cross the strands of the braid that way anyway. French braids are proving more of a challenge, since the strands need to be crossed the opposite way to what feels normal for me. And braiding a crown, well, the current plan is to get out my American Girl doll and practice on her hair until I know what I'm doing. And I think French braiding might be easier if I do two. Also, I should get a mirror so I can check the back of my hair. The bathroom mirror is not helpful.
First though, I think more tea is in order. That, and maybe a break from braiding. My arms ache.