autohairography: chapter one.

Below is a snippet of my hope-to-be-published memoir, Autohairography. If you know of a publisher that’s nice and likes quirky girls, please email me!


[image credit: jackie luo]

chapter one.
1983-1987. the good, the bald and the ugly.

I was supposed to be a boy. In fact, my parents were ecstatic with the realization that they wouldn’t be raising three girls, just two. And a boy. A lovely little boy.

Until I emerged from the womb with one less rather prominent attachment than previously expected. I believe my mother wept, because what else does one do in such situations? Indeed, they would raise three girls. Three lovely little girls.

I was carried from the hospital in a baby blue velour sleeper. It was all my parents had packed, thinking they’d be toting a miniature Michael in the car seat. Instead, I was named Erin, but I sort of felt that ‘Erin’ was always a half-boy name anyway, so. You know. Total cop-out.

It just so happened that under that blue velour sleeper that quite resembled Missy Eliot’s daily attire was indeed, the head of a boy. In that it was bald. No hair. Nada. Not even some peach fuzz. Strictly and utterly bald.

My parents were not sympathetic. In fact, my baldness fit perfectly into their tiny baby box, complete with two footprints and an embroidered ‘Michael’ on the top.

It was a clear omen. My hair [or lack thereof] would continue to define me for the next twenty-six years.

  • the same exact thing happened to my parents! i was going to be named joseph and i had a blue nursery decorated with sail boats until my mom had time to whip up some floral curtains! i still have the picture of my parents leaving the hospital with my in a blue baby blanket and little knit cap. :) (oh, and i was bald until i turned THREE!!!)

  • Love this excerpt, Erin! You’ve got mad writing skills and I hope you find a publisher soon and very soon because I want to own your book and put in on my coffee table. :)

  • Love it. Of course.

    (I could TOTALLY do an autohairography. I was also bald, and I highly suspect we had a few of the same ‘dos throughout the years.)

  • Yay! I am so glad you’re publishing this! I was just thinking I knew a literary agent back in the day (a long while ago). I will send her this post right now!

  • love this! but- am i reading it wrong when it says “one more prominent attachment” that it should be one LESS instead? Ummmm, awkward thing to comment on, and I’ll feel really dumb if I read that totally wrong, but just had to ask. I am, after all, a copy editor/proofreader…and so, I comment on things that this at the risk of making myself a fool. :)

  • this is hysterical.

    I have two older brothers and on the day I was born my family was shocked that I was a girl. First girl in 3 generations on my dad’s side of the family. I too came home with a blue outfit…was raised tough like a boy but had to do girly chores. Sigh… It took my parents 3 days to name me since they couldn’t use Paul Jr. Tracy was the name my brother picked. He was 5 and had a little crush on a girl in his kindergarten named Tracy.

    I don’t know why I’m telling you this- but your post cracked me up. Hysterical. I hope to read more!

  • love this! but- am i reading it wrong when it says “one more prominent attachment” that it should be one LESS instead? Ummmm, awkward thing to comment on, and I’ll feel really dumb if I read that totally wrong, but just had to ask. I am, after all, a copy editor/proofreader…and as such, I comment on things like this at the risk of making myself a fool for the greater good of content and grammar clarity. :) love your blog!

  • Ha ha! I was supposed to be a baby boy named Adam. Whoops.

    Baby girls who were thought to be boys unite!

    You are adorable, and a sweet storyteller. Looking forward to more! xox

  • oops- accidentally posted before I was done, hence the duplicate. go with the latter comment. sorry!

  • Too funny and well written. Yes, I am another child that was supposed to be a boy and guess what? A Michael as well but no embroidered blanky for me… My mother named me after the nurse attending to her, I suppose in shock and desperation! I’d like to meet Nurse Marcia someday…

  • Love this Erin – what a fun take on an autobiography! I was supposed to be a boy too – Matthew to be exact. But thanks to Barry Manilow I was given the name Mandy. :) Can’t wait to read more!

  • so, I too, was incorrectly proclaimed to be a boy. Lucas Jeremiah.
    Instead, my darling mother had a c-section and I was convinced for years that she was still on medication when she spelled my middle name. Rae. Now, I realize this is a much more common name than I though, I should probably apologize to my mother for thinking the worst. We should start a club.

  • omg you guys — thanks for the prominent attachment copy editing. see? this community is VITAL.

    and thank you for your sweet words. chapter 2 snippet will be on its way tomorrow!

    THANK YOU! you’re all so kind! :)

  • I wish I had some kind of pull at my publishing co, because this is EXACTLY the kind of book I would LOVE to work on. I would totally buy this book in a second, too.

    My personal dream book is a coffee table collection of photos of goth teens in the ’80s/early ’90s hanging out in cemeteries.

  • i love it already. if i knew a publisher i’d totally hook you up but alas i don’t know anyone. Though if you want you can just send me the whole file via email ;) haha

  • I reckon that there are millions of us girlies out there that could relate to the constant hair woes! TRULY my daughter just exclaimed to me last night..OMG mum…you looked like a boy ( referring to a pic of me at the age of 13 with a shocking short back and sides cut which I thought was cool and suited the sporty me UGHHHHH). looking forward to the next update! cheers kari

  • thank you guys for your sweet encouragement. this project was such fun to write, and even more fun to share! :)

  • Oh, you are too funny!
    I never actually asked what I was thought to be, but I do know that there were so many names my parents liked, so I was given…three!
    And Marcia, my mom is nurse Marica! She was named after the snoopy comic!

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