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Headache Weekend (and a head-related poem)

My almost-a-migraine experience is happening again today. It’s one that Doug and I have noticed mostly occurs weekends, and often during those for which I’ve made no specific plans, but for which I have many expectations. Sometimes I will think to myself, “I must clean my house!”, or “I need to help Jo organize her room!” or “I have to prep for a meeting!” or “What am I going to do about finding my calling and having some kind of lucrative and soul-enriching career!?” And then, the headache comes, causing my thoughts to transform into, “I can’t think with this kind of pain, so I might as well watch TV,” or “I don’t want to throw up,” or simply, “Ow.”

Fortunately, there are medicines in the world, and I took one of them about half an hour ago. It must be kicking in, because my shoulder/neck/behind-the-left-eye pain has dissipated to the point where it’s hardly there now. What a difference! I’ve gone from feeling nauseous and achey and lethargic to actually feeling like maybe doing something. Though I also feel like taking a nap.

These headaches might be caused by stress, menstruation, a general need to take it easy – but it could be that last night’s dinner of pizza and cheesy bread contributed, too.

On to the topic of writing: my Mom requested that I put this poem on my website, and I thought that I had, but I hadn’t. So here it is.

Rita Hayworth’s Forehead

A little background to help understand the poem:

Rita Hayworth began her life with the name Margarita Carmen Cansino. Her Spanish father and Irish mother were both dancers, and she grew up dancing, too. Not too many people know that Rita’s hair was naturally black, and that her hairline was originally much lower than the one we are used to seeing on her in movies. The Hollywood machine at that time required that she make herself look more “white”.

When I first saw pictures of Margarita Cansino, I had no idea why they had come up, since I had googled “Rita Hayworth”. The transformation is significant. And it made me sad that her original form of beauty was not acceptable for successful movie-making – at least not enough for her to be a star. She obviously had the talent and the acting skills and the drive to be a leading actress. But Hollywood’s and greater society’s prejudices would not allow her to get there without changing her appearance.

I had known that I wanted to write something entitled “Rita Hayworth’s Forehead” for years, but nothing congealed in my mind until I heard an author promoting her Rita Hayworth biography on NPR. The information in that interview gave me what I needed, and Rita’s eponymous forehead poem was born.

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