Monica Holmes had the prettiest hair of any girl in the fifth grade. Her chestnut locks flowed effortlessly down her back, while my delicate, thin hair broke off around my shoulders. Even so, I didn’t envy her hair; I begrudged her braggadocio. No matter the context—recess, lunch, or a bathroom break—Monica couldn’t say enough about her hair to anyone who would listen. “I just love my dark-brown, beautiful hair. Don’t you too?”
By Christmas, I’d had enough. In the seat behind Monica during the annual showing of A Charlie Brown Christmas, in the darkened multi-purpose room, I stealthily stuck a big wad of pink Bubble-Yum gum in a wide swath of Monica Holmes’s dark-brown, beautiful hair.