Mom! Will you take me to get some scrunciis?
What in God's name was a scruncii I wondered. That's almost how it started.
Actually, my first confrontation with a scruncii (pronounced in this house as 'scrunchy') was a few years ago and I just didn't know it. I was sitting in nursing class surrounded by young girls whose hands were continuously drawn to their hair.
Day in, day out, every minute of class, scrunciis were being slithered slowly from silken hair and replaced. It goes like this. Fiddle faddle fiddle with any stray hair or curls hanging down...smooth up and down the back for lumps or bumps (even imaginary ones)...fiddle faddle fiddle with bangs (if any exist), prod and pull here and there. Pause. Repeat this procedure until your hands are distraught with complete dissatisfaction. Then out comes the scruncii which is quickly slipped round the wrist a la temporare while fingers of both hands become a human comb from the nape of neck up to the crown. They detangle, probe, spread and fluff. Again and again. When optimum flow of hair through fingers is reached, both hands begin a little dance. The entity of hair is exchanged alternately from hand to hand until such moment as it is decided to twirly twist the hair into a blob. What determines this moment, bringing the dance to a halt is unknown. You just know. The aforementioned scruncii is then applied to hold it in place. A quick tightening yank is given, then bits of hair are selectively pulled forming random loops and curls. A lovely disarrayment. And the whole thing begins again...all around me...all shades of blonde, brunette, and black hair. One stops fiddling and another begins. It's hypnotizing.
But. Because I am not fond of most of them, I become annoyed by degree throughout class. The 'scruncii girls' are a clique. Spoiled yuppy kids driving cars supplied by parents, materialistic and unappreciative. (Yes, I was guilty of unfairly stereotyping my nursing class mates.) I listened to them talk about their stuff and about to be acquired stuff and it turns me away. The scruncii activity somehow punctuates it all.
My feeling at the time was 'I hate you and I hate your stupid scrunciis.' Only, at the time I didn't know they were called scrunciis.

Now, having four daughters, one could hardly expect to escape the scruncii craze. We now have scrunciis of all colors and textures. I refused to use them myself. But time has a way...and I had much to learn about scrunciis. For one thing, a few years ago I'd seen pics of hair styles that would soon be "IN". Hair knotted and twisted into these horrendous semblances of buns with the ends of hair sticking out askew all over! I immediately called a friend who kept on top of such stuff. This would never catch on! Instead of being appalled, she turned the pics around making little sounds of acceptance and forseeings of possibilities.

Bottom line is that now I've acclimated to them. I think I love them. (Which means they're probably on the way out now.) If only I could get them in right. My girls can whip a scruncii into place in 5 seconds just right. They sit on the couch laughing at my lame attempts, begging their help.

Mom your problem is you're trying to make it too neat. It's supposed to look sloppy. Why can't you make it look sloppy? It's easy.
I whine. I just CAN'T. S (17 yrs old) puts one in for me. I whine panicky...what if it falls out and I can't FIX it?

The best way to learn how is to do it while you're driving. I mean what would you do if your scruncii fell out while you were driving? You'd do it real fast and probably sloppy because you're driving and you have to pay attention and hurry. So it'd probably look real cute.

Mine never look as good as when she does it. She knows how to flick hair around so it falls slap-happy just right.

It doesn't have to be sloppy you know, it'll get that way on its own if you don't fix it again now and then. Do you want hair sticking up mostly on top or below the blob? Or do you want it to look really messy all over?

How the hell do I know.
I just don't want it to look like a wasp's nest dangling all fat like M's. In my day hair that was 'up' was tucked neatly in all over. But now it's ok to have it hanging half-assed with tendrils escaping randomly, or stiff straight ends poking out the side like an idiot. Understand now, I have learned to love this look. I'm just disgusted because I can't achieve it on purpose. Who'd have ever thought there was an art to getting that sloppy scruncii look? There really artsy skill to making it look natural, accidental, yet attractive in some bizarre way. And it never looks the same way twice. Very spontaneous.

Yesterday was a scruncii buying day. I can afford a few scrunciis. We went thru all the scrunciis at our mall and picked a few. Mine was a blue print. S got 1 black, 1 white, one print, and one very classy looking leopard one which looks excellent against her blonde hair and honey skin. We both doted over it. In the car she decided to put that one round her upper arm.

I'm gonna have to really watch this one.

Why would you say that?

Cuz boys take them (she says matter of factly)

What for?

It's just a thing now.

What? I don't get it.

Well, they just take them. And you DON'T get them back!

Well, the only way to get it back is if you really beg and lie and tell them it was someone else's. But that doesn't always work. Or you can steal it back. But it's not easy.

I'm sure my face was incredulous. Why would a boy want a damn scruncii? I suppose it's better than stealing underwear.

It's just a thing they do now.

What do they do with them?

Collect them. Some boys have special things they put them on. David has a couple things this long with all kinds of scrunciis on it from lots of girls. And you know they like the most expensive ones best.

She caresses the leopard scruncii on her arm, gazing out the window.

They don't know they're taking your expensive one, but they just always do because the ones that look best are expensive. If you get one you like a lot, they'll probably want that one. And you'll just turn around and it will be GONE! You have to watch them every minute. If you take it out of your hair you put it on your arm or wrist but don't lay it down. Cause they'll TAKE it.

That's ludicrous! You mean I keep having to replace these damn things because of boys?

(busts out laughing)

Some of them put them on their car mirrors. Sometimes, but not very often you can get one back. I got one back ONCE. But that's all.

Well, what pray tell did you do to get it back?
I gave the boy a back rub. He was aching real bad from working out.

She looks down fondly at the leopard scruncii glowing in the sunlight as wind blows our hair wild through car windows.

They'll WANT this one. I'll have to keep a close eye on IT.

I am scruncii wise now.

the gray-black one