Tribe of the Ring Fort

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Women (Barry)

News flash: After extensive search, Irish woman seen today with non-straight hair.
Apparently the gene for straight hair has achieved near-total dominance among females here in northern Kerry. This is news to me because, for various reasons, I felt sure that thick wavy hair was the classic mark, universally, of Irish hair. Come to think of it, however, this was just because random people throughout the course of my life would make comments to that effect; now, in my first full field test, I see it was all hearsay.

Our friend Maura Mahoney says this is because they all pay to have their hair straightened. I don’t quite believe that yet, because looking around my 5-year-old daughter Susannah’s all-girl Junior Infants class reveals a room where straight hair is also the rule. In fact, we received a steady stream of admiring comments from mothers at the school about said daughter's hair, and weren’t quite sure what made it that special. Now we think we’ve learned.

They (women) also dress up in a big way here. Ask our clothes budget. Sarah had to get a set of spiffy suits for her Manager position at a local hotel; no two ways about it. A consultant at an employment agency who moved from London told her that not even London was up to Ireland’s standard here. But from what we’ve seen, being employed is not necessarily a precondition for haute couture in female fashion. It’s a long way from Vermont in this regard.


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