"As odd as this may sound, some of my very favorite Lindsay stories just happen to be connected by a common thread: namely, her hair…or lack thereof…or the unexpected guests found therin…
It all started with a hairy situation in Durham--the licecapade, as it came to be known. Twas the fall of our senior year, and a particularly peculiar predicament had befallen the typically flawless Miss Rawot: her perfectly poofed mane had been suddenly invaded by a brigade of…that’s right…lice. (Full disclosure: I am still unconvinced that these critters were not a gift from one Emily Roesing. Nothin like a roommate’s love.) I will always remember the strange, giddy evening Lindsay and I spent watching the sunset from her porch at the Belmont as I combed her hair in hot, murderous pursuit of those little guys. Maybe someday I will even forgive Roesing and Rubino for the ruse they pulled when they left on that quick “Rite Aid run,” leaving us stranded as they made multiple recreational pit stops…
Lindsay, of course, made the wait fly by. Throughout the whole business she was beyond nonchalant--like she was just in for her monthly Mani/Pedi/Lice Check. Her attitude in that moment was exactly what I loved and admired so much about her, the spirit that made her the kind of girl you’d want to sit on any porch with, for any amount of time, no matter what the reason. Out there, sitting with her long legs dangling off her plastic picnic table and waving to spectators in the parking lot below, she radiated confidence and optimism at its purest: Whatever. Nit happens.
The great irony, of course, was that the nasty Nix was soon replaced by nastier chemo that stole away Lindsay’s flaxen locks, rendering the possibility of lice impossible. True to form, Lindsay was the first to point out the humor in this. Oh, what we wouldn’t have given, we joked, for her scalp to become a louse house once more.
After treatment, Lindsay began rocking faux fringe: a beautiful brunette wig with bangs that left her looking as stunning as ever. (See: image below, a recreation of a napkin drawn for her in a King Street bar on spring break 2K9.) These luscious locks presented many new ‘do options, but also logistical queries. Whatever would Emily Post do with a wig at a slumber party? How does one go about whipping one’s wig back and forth?
I wasn’t around to see the best of these coif capers unfold, but I love the way Lindsay told it. There she was, in the ickiest of Duke spots--the Shooter’s II bathroom. (For those of you unfamiliar with this particular locale, imagine yourself taking a sauna break from a trip to Satan’s armpit.) Enter: an anonymous undergrad, unknown and over-served.
This young lady took one look at Linds and was totally infuriated. How, she demanded, was Lindsay’s hair SOOOO PERFECT?!?!?! Exasperated with her own frizz, she had to know--how on EARTH did Lindsay manage to keep her locks so sleek and beautiful in such a disgusting environment? How? How? How?
Despite Lindsay’s ladylike insistence that it was far to long a story to divulge, the questioner remained aghast. She simply had to know Lindsay’s secret. So, Lindsay obliged.
“I guess I’m just lucky.”
To me this response was just perfect. After everything she had been through---from lice to lymphoma--she was still glowing and effervescent, still garnering complements from complete strangers, still taking them with the grace expected of a debutante and Blossom Queen, and, most impressively, still considering herself utterly lucky.
I feel beyond lucky to have known her.
Thank you, John and Billie for bringing Lindsay into this world.
Thank you, Lindsay for reminding me to smile through all the nit. Porches everywhere are missing you greatly today."