“What’s in the bag?” I asked my mother as she got into the car. She had just come out of the hair salon and apparently had been talked into buying some high-end hair products.

“New shampoo,” she said with some excitement. “My old shampoo was terrible. It really dried out my hair.”

“What brand were you using?” I asked. She thought for a moment. She seemed unable to come up with the name.

“Um … Freaken shampoo,” she finally said.

I snorted. I knew she meant a different shampoo, but had mangled the name. My mother was notorious for this but she denied it vehemently, so I decided to have a little fun with her.

“So that freakin’ shampoo dried out your hair?” I asked her.

“Yes,” she said.

“Did you try using some freakin’ conditioner,” I asked.

“Yes, but it’s too heavy,” she said. “It weighs down my hair.”

“You know, Mom,” I said smiling, “if the freakin’ shampoo you’re using dries out your hair, you can try another freakin’ shampoo. Maybe some other freakin’ shampoo would work better for you. There’s a whole line of freakin’ shampoos out there you can get.”

“That’s true,” she said.

“And you might want to try some freakin’ conditioner, too.” I suggested. “Just ‘cause one freakin’ conditioner doesn’t work for you, doesn’t mean there isn’t some other freakin’ conditioner that would help your hair.”

“I do use a Freaken hair gel, that is pretty good,” said my mother. “I don’t like the Freaken mousse, but the Freaken gel gives my hair lots of body.”

“What about the freakin’ hair spray,” I asked.

“I don’t really like the smell,” she responded.”

“But all the freakin’ products have the same freakin’ smell,” I said. “The freakin’ hairspray smells like the freakin’ shampoo.”

“Really?” she said. “I like the smell of the Freaken shampoo.”

I laughed out loud.

“What’s so funny?” she asked.

“This whole freakin’ conversation!” I shouted. She stared at me as though I’d lost my mind.

“We’re just talking about shampoo,” she said.
“Freakin’ shampoo,” I clarified.

“Right,” she said.

“Freakin’ shampoo and freakin’ conditioner and freakin’ hair gel and freakin’ hair spray.”

“Yeah…?” she wondered.

“There is no FREAKEN shampoo,” I said. “You combined John FRIEDA and REDKEN to make Freaken!”

I saw understanding creep across her face and I cracked up. She looked at me and raised one eyebrow.

“You know what, Tray?” she said.

“What, Mom?”

“You’re a freakin’ pain in the neck.”

— For more Lost in Suburbia, follow Tracy on Facebook at facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage or on Twitter at @TracyBeckerman.