All That Candy is Going to My Head

Last Halloween, my niece, Kate, came out of school carrying two bags of candy and the hat to her witch’s costume.

She was a cute little witch. But the best part of that costume, according to my sister, was the fact that they didn’t have to fix Kate’s hair that morning. Tangled, matted curls are part of a witch’s persona.

Kate climbed into my car and immediately began rummaging through her candy. She pulled out a Twizzler and said, “Oooh, I like these!” before polishing it off in two bites.

She held up a Twix and said, “Want one?”

“No, baby, but that’s really sweet of you to share. You eat it,” I answered.

As she unwrapped the Twix, she said very matter-of-factly, “I know what too much candy doos to you.”

“Does,” I said, the English teacher in me feeling the need to correct. “What does too much candy do to you?”

“It makes your hair tangled.”

Someone could have told me that when I was a kid. You see, I have enough hair for three people, and when I was a kid, all that hair was a major pain in the ass.

I remember making my brother and sister late to school because both my mom and I were trying to tame the wild kingdom on top of my head.

It was so bad that my brother nicknamed me “Werewolf.”

Raymond Adkins, the boy who sat in the assigned seat behind me every year in school because Adkins came after Adams, loved to shuffle his hands through my hair and say during Bible class, “I bet this is what Gideon’s golden fleece looked like!”

Kate’s answer made perfect sense to me because I clearly have hair issues and I dearly love Milk Duds, Raisinets, and malted milk balls. In fact, my hair kinks up just thinking about Heath bars.

The next day, I received an email from Disney with this teaser: “Unleash Your Inner Disney Villain!”

I’ve already explained how the whole Disney Princess thing turns my stomach. But I can do villains; they’re more realistic, in my opinion. I clicked on the email, and to my great delight, Disney had provided a quiz to help me discover who, exactly, is my evil cartoon altar ego.

The first question was, “Your closest friend is . . .” The choices were (A) My hairstylist (B) My gym buddy (C) Anyone who would lend me money (D) I prefer henchmen or (E) I have lots of close friends.

Hmmm. I’m pretty close to my hairdresser. One can’t cope with hair like mine without a dedicated and competent hair stylist. Josh has been taming my mane every four weeks for nearly fifteen years, and in that time, he’s seen me through the birth of a child, a bitter divorce, and sending two kids off to college. He’s a friend and amateur therapist with enough dignity to consistently refuse my offers to live rent-free in my home in exchange for doing my hair every morning.

As for the rest of my options, I have no gym buddies because I prefer to do walking lunges alone. I don’t borrow money from friends. I prefer to pay my henchmen in order to guarantee their silence. And the “I have lots of close friends” option is a copout – that answer will surely result in some sappy “You can’t possibly be a villain” result.

Having eliminated the other choices, the answer to that question is (A) My hairdresser.

Another question: Do you have a fatal flaw? For me, the most appropriate answer is again the first choice, A, which reads, “Well, I do collect more than my fair share of speeding tickets.”

And this: What do you worry about? The choices are (A) A bad hair day (B) Looking bad in front of my loyal fans (C) Getting outwitted (D) Nothing (E) Failing in my quest. Of those choices, unfortunately, my best answer is (A).

I tallied up my score to find that I’m not Ursula the Sea Witch, even though I am of German heritage and feel much better when I’m near the ocean. I’m not Maleficent or the Evil Queen or Gaston or, thankfully, Hades.

I am Cruella De Vil, thanks to my over-processed hair and horrendous driving.

It’s quite funny, actually. Three horribly mischievous dachshunds and a three-legged Australian Shepherd run my life, yet I’m cast as a villainous puppy killer. I finished the quiz and walked downstairs to put my dogs outside for the day. I opened the door leading out to my garage to find that during the night, they somehow managed to jump onto the seat of my golf cart and from there reach onto the shelf of my barbeque grill and pull down the large bag of chewy treats – doggie Milk Duds, if you will. They ate all the treats and then shredded the bag. And then they got sick from eating too much candy.

At least their short hair won’t tangle.

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