Flower In My Hair 13

Pink Think: “Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” – Hans Christian Andersen

Today, I’m going to do it.

It’s Sunday and I’m getting dressed for church. I will be wearing a bright (I kid you not) pink dress I bought last year from the Philippines. Whenever I wear it, I feel like I am back in the tropics again.

It needs just one little accessory: a flower tucked behind my ear.

But I can’t work up the courage to do it. I worry I’m going to look silly.


A few years ago, I was lucky enough to get to tag along to Puerto Rico when my husband attended a veterinary conference. For nearly a week, we stayed at this very nice resort. As I recall, it was in the middle of the winter in Utah, and Puerto Rico thawed me out to the core.

You stay a while in the tropics, one begins to lose one’s inhibitions. Something to do with the hotter temperature, I guess. I stopped blow drying my hair and let it go frizzy. I stopped for coconut impulsively outside the resort. I found a pretty pink flower clip and tucked it behind my ear, as I sipped the coconut juice.

On the plane ride home, my tropic high began to fade. I felt silly, wearing a flower in my hair. I cried as the plane descended, because I felt the magic of the tropics wearing off. Worse, I discovered I lost the clip somewhere between the plane and baggage claim.

It was okay. Somehow, wearing an accessory like a tropical flower behind your ear feels out of place in the desert landscape of Utah.


I found this hibiscus (‘gumamela’ in the Philippines) flower at a party store called Zurcher’s. It’s actually a napkin holder. I cut the long stem that you’d wrap around a napkin and hold it up to my hair. The flower matches my dress perfectly.

It’s time to go. With trembling fingers, I attach the flower on my hair with a hairpin.

There. Very tropical. Very me. I tell myself it’s okay. Most people will see the half of my head without the flower and it won’t be very noticeable. As we are getting out of the car at the church parking lot, my son (who had shopped at Zurcher’s with me) asks, “Mom, is that a napkin holder?”

“Er, yes,” I reply, red-faced.

I feel that somehow I am committing a sin by wearing something unorthodox to church. I resist the urge to take it off. I make it through two meetings. A couple of ladies compliment me.

My friend Debbie taps me on the shoulder just before sacrament meeting starts. “The flower in your hair,” she says, “how beautiful.”

I want to tell her it makes me feel more tropical, that it makes me happy, that it brings me back to the Philippines. I want to tell her that whenever I see women do it, I never think they are silly, that I think they are brave and are having more fun than the rest of us. That I think about doing it all the time, but I never work up the courage to do it. Until today.

But there is no time to chat, the meeting is starting.

I touch the flower in my hair and reply, simply, “Thanks.”

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13 thoughts on “Flower In My Hair

  • Shari

    A flower in your hair is perfectly you, Jewel. I wish I would have seen you yesterday. You are so beautiful you could wear alfalfa in your hair and look good. I say GOOD FOR YOU!

  • Don

    You go, Jewel! Wear that flower over and over. It looks great!

    I’ve decided fitting in is over rated. When I look at my closet, 4 our to 5 shirts are Hawaiian print. I like them, and I wear them. Even if this is Texas.

    My daughter had her face painted at a party we went to on Saturday night. She got a cute little floral garland painted across her forehead, and she wanted to keep it like that for church.

    After a brief internal struggle, I agreed to let her. It looked nice – an unconventional but (I think) appropriate accessory.

  • Laurel

    I like the flower! Very pretty. Like Shari said, I think the flower in your hair is you 🙂

    One of the new shirts I got for school last year is a really pretty blue, and I just so happened to have a blue flower clip to go with it. At first I felt silly wearing it too, but I soon begin to love it and wear it all the time. I wore the flower in my hair for pictures too, so in my school ID picture I am wearing my flower. 🙂

  • Pink Ink

    Q: Everyone needs a flower in their hair 🙂

    Shari: *Alfalfa* LOL Some days, I really have alfalfa in my hair!

    Don: Cool for your daughter. What an awesome dad. A family in my ward is from Florida and I love it when they attend ward parties in their floral shirts.

    Laurel: That’s great…bet you look so pretty!

  • ~paulette

    i’m glad you wore it. 🙂 I use to wear a red/yellow plumeria flower on my mission (in australia) all the time. My comp (from samoa) got me started, but it’s so much easier to find pretty flowers over there. I admire people who can be expressive.

  • Pink Ink

    Paulette: At the July 24th parade in Salt Lake, I got to watch a Samoan band get ready. They are very expressive people! How fun that on your mission, you put a flower in your hair.

  • Queen of Chaos

    Great post! You’re not a writer by chance? haha

    I love that you found the courage to be YOU again! Good job!
    This is one step closer to realizing we are all individuals with different tasts, wants, needs and desires.

    And for the record- I really like it when women wear flowers in their hair. It’s so beautiful!