Do Me, Do My Roots

 

It's about family.

 

It's about healing.

 

It's about never letting them see your gray.

 

Three sisters. Three paths through life. Three ships trying to stay afloat in the treacherous and often absurd waters of life as they are buffeted about by the currents of fate and bad dates. Three heads trying to make sure their gray roots never show, at least not to the rest of the world.


Every six weeks or less, the Simon sisters get together to eat, talk, and dye each other's roots. Through the eyes of the youngest sister Emily, we meet Leah, eldest and most professionally successful of the sisters, and middle child Claudia, a divorced mother of two and an Emergency Room nurse.

AWARDS

 

Double Finalist, Rita Award
Finalist, National Readers Choice Award

 

REVIEWS

 

"... sweet, heartwarming and hilarious, and the characters jump off the page."
- Romantic Times

 

"Hilarious, with snappy dialog, a fantastic cast of characters, great relationships and a terrific plot..."
- Old Book Barn Gazette

 

"... a heartwarming, sentimental (but not in a bad way) book about the love between sisters and how you can get through anything of you have people to support you."
- Chick Lit Books

 

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EXCERPT

 

Daddy looked so tiny in the hospital bed. I

remember when I thought he was the biggest,

strongest man on earth, when he’d lift me up

in the air and I’d feel like I was flying. Part of me

still wanted to think that, still wanted him to lift me over his head while I squealed and giggled. He can’t even do that to Abby anymore.

Sometimes reality just sucks.

 

There’s a home movie I love of my two sisters and me with our dad. I’m maybe three or so. I’ve still got that ridiculous pixie cut that my mother was so fond of for little girls. I have on a little checked pinafore with little matching bloomers. Honestly, I look precious although it was precisely my mother’s insistence that I wear this kind of outfit that would clearly mark me as a complete loser by the fourth grade. 

 

Anyway, if I was three, Claudia would have been about five.  Her hair is pulled back in glossy black pigtails so tight that she looks Asian. Leah would have been close to seven.  Her hair is in one long reddish-brown braid straight down her back.  The braid is so thick it must have weighed a ton.  It’s nearly as thick as her skinny little arms that stick out of her starched white blouse, the one with the little blue and pink flowers embroidered on the collar. 

 

I must not have been willing to stand in line the way Leah wanted me to that day. I keep wandering in front of her and Claudia and waving to my mother who must have been wielding the camera. Leah keeps grabbing me by the arm and pulling me back in line. At one point, she even shakes a finger at me. I give her a big hug and then wait until her back is turned and wander back in front of her to wave at Mama. I told you that I was darling.

 

Much of my perceptions of when and where things happened seem tied inextricably to the length of our hair and hemlines. A particular hair style or a particular blouse can slam me back into a memory like a door banging open in my head. Other people say that it’s the sense of smell that is most evocative. For me, it’s the length of my bangs and the height of my heels. 

 

All three of us are a little obsessed with our hair. At least it’s something we can all agree on. 

 

I actually have a vague memory of the day the movie was taken. Maybe it’s the pixie cut, but more likely it’s those damn bloomers. They had elastic at the legs so tight it threatened to cut off circulation. I’d still have red rings around my thighs the day after I wore them. It was one of those rare sunny warm summer days that nobody thinks Seattle ever has. We were all so happy that my parents had taken out the movie camera even though it wasn’t anyone’s birthday.

 

In the movie, we’re all hopping around Daddy. He looks so young and strong. His hair is still dark and he still has most of it, too.  He’s wearing a plain white T-shirt and khaki pants. The belt has already started its upward creep, but you wouldn’t even notice it if you didn’t know how high it would go in later years. One at a time, he’s picking us up and swinging us through the air.

 

You can see our mouths moving, but we’re old enough that movies of us at that age didn’t have any sound. I know what we were saying though.

 

We were chanting over and over again:  Do me! Do me next, Daddy! Daddy, Daddy, do me!

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