Katie, Hilary and Milkmaid Braids

17 Apr


All right.  So.  This braid then.

I’ve been jonesing for a good milkmaid braid for a while now, but I’m one of those people who simultaneously likes pretty things and refuses to learn how to make pretty things on principle because I’m not crafty and I’m not domestic and DON’T EVEN TRY TO MAKE ME CHANGE, PINTEREST.

This post is feeling a lot more vehement than I thought it would, seeing as how the topic is milkmaid braids.

All right.  So.  This braid round two.

I don’t braid on principle, but luckily, I have myself a Hilary and Hilary loves to braid.  Hilary lives to braid.

When Hilary braids she adopts a “braiding voice” something along the lines of a mix between your second grade teacher talking about cookies and your mother showering you with kisses.  “Do you have a sensitive head, Jilly?”  “Now don’t you go and move, not one single drop.” “Oh my, your hair is just going to be so pretty today, all the other little girls will be jealous.”

Exaggeration: 2%.

Last weekend was the LA Times Festival of Books and I felt like such a momentous occasion called for braids. All of my friends really went all out—Katie theme dressing as herself/a YA dystopian heroine.  Hilary rocking the slightly-batty-second-grade-teacher look.  Me and the braids.

I had a realization recently about how often in friendships you become more like each other, but somehow in my friendship/writing groupship with Katie and Hilary we’ve become more fiercely like ourselves.

I kind of, sort of, really love that.

I’m now going to admit something that’s going to make me sound silly, so just know I am a self-aware silly person.

Over the weekend, my friends and I each had one twinkling moment that filled our souls with joy and redefined our life goals.

Katie’s was meeting Laurie Hals Anderson, who was just sitting under a tree during a panel, knitting all fabulous-like.  We pushed Katie to talk to Laurie and Laurie was simply the greatest—calling Katie “baby” and giving her writing advice and generally taking over the world, with knitting needles in hand, no less.

Hilary’s moment came with a tearful introduction to Jennifer Holm, which she obviously wrote about with her usual Hilary charm.

My life moment came when a random man asked to take a picture of my hair because he loved it so much.

Hilary was like, “I didn’t know things like this happened” and I was like, “Me neither” and then I vowed to wear milkmaid braids until the day I die and told Hilary she should go into the professional braiding field.

And, look, I’m aware.  Their life moments were with award-winning authors and mine was with my hair.

I’m aware.

That’s why I prefaced this whole thing.

But, here’s the thing with my hair.  Practically my entire adult life I’ve been messing around with it, trying to figure out what was really me.

I’ve tried blonde and black.  Bronze and red.  Straight.  Curly.  Bangs.  No bangs.

I’ve tried it all and then tried it again.

And then had my heart broken and tried everything one more time, just in case.

But it wasn’t until this weekend, with a flower child braid wrapped around my head, that my hair really felt 100% me.

And maybe, just maybe, it’s possible that life moments happen with hair, too?  In fleeting instances where what you feel like matches what you look like?  When you’ve found something that makes you feel so you even other people can tell?

Or maybe it’s late and it’s finals week and I’m reading too much into the milkmaid braids.

I’ll let you know what I decide.

I plan on wearing them from now until the day I die.

I should have lots of data.

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8 Responses to “Katie, Hilary and Milkmaid Braids”

  1. Robyn April 17, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    I’ve been lurking on your blog for a few days now but I have to tell you how much I love it! You have such a cool writing voice and a perfect balance between serious and funny posts. Your opening line about the photo on your “about” page made me laugh out loud, and that was the moment I knew I was going to love your blog.

    Also, the milkmaid braids are so perfect. (I will just go ahead and add that to the list of things to love that I have included in this comment.)

    • jillianlorraine April 19, 2014 at 11:59 am #

      Aww, thank you!

  2. Rhonda April 18, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    I need a Hilary! I wish I had a friend who loved to braid hair, that would be THE BEST.

    Also, your hair looks lovely in that photograph, as do you 🙂

  3. lauren packer April 18, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

    i absolutely LOVE milkmaid braids. but i can’t do them on myself! it always looks so horribly awkward. teach me?

  4. Southern Roots Growing Tall April 20, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    I just discovered your blog, and I have to say it’s my favorite blog I’ve come across since entering the blogging realm a few weeks ago. Your voice is so unique, and I really feel like you’re talking to me. Count me in as a loyal follower now!

    Oh, and your milkmaid braids are perfection.

  5. Stephanie Faris April 20, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    That’s SO cute! I think braids are great in adults. They definitely give a whimsical look, showing your youthful, fun side.

    Visiting from the A to Z challenge signup page. Great to meet you!

    Stephanie Faris, author
    30 Days of No Gossip

  6. Cassie April 20, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

    Your braids + that dress = gorgeous! Love that style. I’ve been trying to find ways to play around with my hair and… failing. 🙂

    I wish I’d gone to the LA Times book festival. It was right on my freaking campus! Maybe next year.

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