Some people have a rabbit's foot they carry for good luck, others have four leaf clovers. My high school soccer team had a good luck braid. That had once belonged to me.
Growing up, I always had long hair. Like to my waist. Very long hair. That tangled very easily and caused shouting matches between my mom and I whenever she had to comb it out for me. Looking back, it's hard to imagine that I carried that much hair around and I can only guess at how many hours were spent trying to keep it under control.
Anyway, in high school, I wore it in a French braid a lot, especially when playing soccer. My soccer coach, who was also a teacher at the school, would often pick up a pair of scissors, grab my braid and threaten to cut it off. Which hatched a plan...
The day before the first game of my senior year, I went to the hair salon with one of the other team captains and had my hair cut from my waist to above my shoulders. But first we had the hairdresser braid the hair into one long braid and cut it off. We tied ribbons to it, each with the name of someone on the team. Then we wrapped it up.
The day of the game, I kept a sweatshirt hood on until we presented the coach with our gift. Somewhere there is a photo of him holding up the braid and laughing once he realized what it was (imagine being presented with a box of hair... it does take a minute to figure out what it is).
I'm not sure what I expected to happen to the braid, but someone had the idea that we should all touch it before the game for good luck. Then we won and it became the tradition for the season. Seriously... for each game, we brought a bag of soccer balls, a container of water and a box with the braid in it.
When it wasn't called into service on the soccer field, the braid hung in the coach's classroom. I don't know how anyone else felt about it, but I was always weirded out that something that had been on my head was now hanging on the wall. And it was a little strange to touch before the games.
This story popped into my head this morning for no reason at all. Although I do have to admit that over the years, I have wondered what the coach did with the braid. I know he's retired now, so did he throw it out? Donate it to Locks of Love? Take it home and hang it on his wall? I guess some things are best not to think about.
So many books...
2 years ago