My hair caught on fire when I was in elementary school.

Did you read that right? Yup, it happened. Damnedest thing too, it happened in the first floor apartment in this building almost 20 years ago. My mom, sister and I used to live here in the second and first floor apartments when we were in elementary school.

It was just us, my mom wasn’t with her husband and my brother didn’t exist. My sister, Martika, and I fought all the time. I am sure it is from siblings being siblings but my mom was sick of it. You’ll see why momentarily.

We didn’t have electricity for some reason. The building is very old and out of date. It still has some old fuse system. I am not sure if we didn’t have anymore fuses or what but we just dealt with it. We just hung out in the dark.

That night for dinner, my mom made a box of shells mac-n-cheese. My sister and I were sitting at the coffee table eating our dinner, playing around when… whoosh! My hair catches fire from a lit candle.

I’m sure my sister was thinking I did not sign up for this crap because she stood up and stared at me from across the room. She was just sitting next to me. My mom is hearing me screaming and says, “You two need to stop fighting…oh my God!” She pops into the living room to see her daughter on fire.

I’m sure this is what she thought was happening…

It was only my head. My hair was flammable with the use of gel and hairspray. She runs over to me and starts patting my head on her chest. She tells me to go to the bathroom and run the water and pull my hair out. I didn’t process what she said until I started doing it. My hair was coming out like a river. I really started crying then because the reality of what happened hit me and I was in pain.

My mom called 9-1-1. The EMTs only put cream on my forehead for my burns, but because my hair caught the many fire…that was it. Otherwise, I needed a hair cut. A short boy cut. I had long hair for a while. I knew I’d be laughed at because I was being bullied already.

Basically me…

I went to school with my new cut. I was teased by all the boys for being a boy. I was so upset this experience happening, being on fire isn’t a walk through the park. Now I have to be teased because my hair is short. I have a phobia for loose hair now. Any hair not on my head just freaks me out and the feeling makes me paranoid.

Ironically, my daughter is the same way about hair too. She will give me this tone, “MOMMYYYY! Hair!!?” And sticks her hand in my face and I’m like ohhh I don’t even want it either, lol.

Now, I kind of laugh about it. But it has me cautious of fire and candles. I mean who else normally has their hair catch fire?

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