ROCKLAND, DE—Local resident Heather Telford's entire Friday was ruined by a set of uncooperative bangs that refused to set correctly, the 26-year-old benefits coordinator told reporters.
According to Telford, the trouble began "right away" as she got ready for work, when she discovered that the three inches of forehead-skirting hair was unable to sit flat, despite the application of numerous gels, sprays, and pomades. A tuft on either side would not integrate with the central grouping, leaving three-quarter-inch gaps, while other wispy strands strayed from her temples, creating a highly undesirable "wing" effect. A last-ditch effort to wet and restyle the bangs only worsened their state, adding several more small kinks and increasing their overall dishevelment.
"It was so awful," Telford said. "I should've just called in sick after I found out that my straightening iron was broken, because the whole day went downhill from there. I can't imagine a worse thing happening to me."
The bangs went on to adversely affect every element of Telford's day, including her commute, her interactions with coworkers, the way food tasted, and even the sound of her voice.
"I kept feeling these awful little wayward pieces brushing against my face, and I couldn't think about anything else," Telford said. "I could just sense people's eyes burning holes into my forehead as I passed by the water cooler. I can't blame them. I looked like a complete freak."
Telford spent most of her hour-long lunch break locked in her office, trying unsuccessfully to pin back the bangs with a barrette she found in her desk drawer.
In the early afternoon, she was forced to present a new employee-wellness initiative at a meeting with company executives that she was unable to cancel.
Telford said her bosses were polite throughout her presentation, but were also "clearly trying not to burst out laughing" at her bangs.
"I'm not surprised they passed on the proposal—I just can't believe they didn't fire me on the spot," said Telford, who delivered her entire presentation while compulsively smoothing down the left portion of her bangs.
"How could they take me seriously with the state my hair was in?" Telford said. "Months of work down the drain all because my stupid, stupid bangs are so stupid."
The bangs, which Telford acquired five years ago in an attempt to frame her face and convince her ex-boyfriend he had made a big mistake by leaving her, have ruined an estimated 47 workdays, three vacations, and countless photos.
Blaming her errant bangs on a combination of genetics and routinely "sleeping on them funny," Telford said that their fine, flyaway nature and penchant for being either too long or too short exceed even the two-inch-wide port-wine birthmark on her hip as her most bothersome physical shortcoming.
"I'm about this close to cutting the damn things off myself, I swear to God," Telford said.
Though she has considered transitioning to a less stressful hairstyle, she said the process of growing the bangs out would be "10,000 times worse."
"I'd have to go through this awful period where they'd be at this odd, floppy length, and it would just suck," Telford said. "So I can either grow them out and look like a Yorkshire terrier, or keep them short and look like a mental patient. Those are my basic hair options right now."
Following a "humiliating" but unavoidable visit to the supermarket, Telford's plans to return home, shower, and go to bed were foiled by a surprise birthday party organized by her roommates in her honor. The party, attended by Telford's close friends, parents, and people not seen since high school, included presents, lots of champagne drinking, and photos, and was the absolute worst conceivable thing that could have ever happened to her.