After walking the beach, I got the largest knot in my hair. And while I was painstakingly combing it out, witnessing strands upon strands hit the floor, I was reminded of an adolescent characteristic of my younger sister.

When she was a wee girl, my sister always got chewing gum stuck in her hair. One minute she'd be chewing it; the next, she'd be wearing it. I don't know what the problem was -- aerodynamic troubles maybe -- but my mom would have to constantly snip away at her locks.

One summer, my mom had to snip away so much hair, that my sister was left with the most fascinating hairdo. See, she had these long strands of blond hair, alternated with several patches of... well.. crew cuts. Kind of a rock-star-meets-U.S.-Marine effect.

Alas, my mom rid the house of chewing gum but, being the trouper that she is, elected to keep my sister. My mom can be quite sentimental and we're the better off for it.