Sunday, September 10, 2006

What the Hair Tortoise (Taught Us)

First: A quick note to all - Please, please, please go over to The Naked Ovary and wish Karen, and her husband and their new daughter a wonderful day: Today they got to meet their daughter, Maya, in China. This day has been five years in the making. Think about that. What have you waited for, sought desperately after, dreamt about, worked to make happen....without getting it for five years? That deserves a comment, methinks. Even if it is just, "Hi, Maya said to stop by here, congratulations on your new daughter..."

On a completely superficial, trivial and non-important level: I've gotten mixed reviews on my new hair (See: Previous Entry or my new profile picture) - By "mixed reviews" I mean: Scott says he likes the colors (red, blond, brighter blond) but thinks it should be either shorter --- I wondered aloud, "As in, what, bald?" or longer, which he'd prefer - but I personally like it as it is right now. On the other hand, Everyone else has liked/loved/not seen it yet/mistaken me for someone else altogether. I got to thinking about a few things in light of these facts: a) I feel good about the change, it is, after all, is just MY hair - MY hair that will grow back like a Chia Pet, unless I keep chopping it off. Why so much ambivalance now, now that the deed has been done, I wonder - Why am I so concerned with what one person thinks about this small, impermanant detail?

The logical answer is: Because he and he alone, has to to see my pillowcase-creased face and tousled hair in the morning. Before I've brushed my teeth, toned, moisturized, put on a tinted concealer and lipbalm. Basically, he sees me at my worst. The real answer, however, is this : Six years later, I love him much more than I did; enough, not to change myself for him, per se*, but so that I want to improve myself in every way (personally, professionally, artistically) so that I feel good about myself, which in turn translates into a better relationship with him. This, naturally, is my aim. Note: Yes, that is my hand on my arrow in this picture. *(See: Exes I have had, Volume One.)
However: The irrational, embarassing answer is this: Between my father and his eternal love for long, 'natural' hair, and all the beach-bum, surfer types I grew up with, I've never really seen short hair as, well, sexy. Cute, gamine, precocious, dainty, fetching, practical (ugh!), modern, minimalist and the dreaded "wash n' wear" and "mom hair" ....but not sensual, not sexy in the sense that I'm accustomed to. In my world, a silky curtain of long hair has infinite possiblities. It can be pulled back, trail softly down your (or someone else's) spine in a perfumed haze, shaped into elaborate creations by a talented stylist or your own imagination, knotted into a thick braid for sport or bunches of tiny coils (for a night) or miniscule braids for a week of swingy fun. If you've got a meeting or need to look Extremely Serious, you can pull it into a chignon or an updated twist/bun for what we call the "Sexy Librarian" look. You can curl it, coil it, tie it in knots, tousle it, pull it into a sophisticated, flat-ironted ponytail, or hide it under a hat if all else fails. It spells youth, options, the ability to wear a ponytail that doesn't look like it's been electrocuted and set on fire.

I've actually been toying with the notion of whacking it all off for the last six or eight months, but have been summoning up the courage to do so. Of course, I've also been toying with the following notions for years on end: Trying to write something and attempting to submit it to a publisher, and that of projecting, tracing, and (attempting to paint) some work of art on my bedroom wall, or creating something (don't click here if you aren't prepared to spend the next half-hour going, 'aaaaaaaahhh!') much more permanant . However: Don't get your pants/panties in a bundle about this; the fact that the decision to become a Short-Hair Girl has taken this long (twenty-five years...the last time my hair was this short I was in diapers) should give you some idea of how long it would take for option c to actually transpire: By my calculations, at the bare minimum it would take thirty more which time it will be far to late, thankyouverymuch. Molly describes this intense ambivalance in her latest post: I wrote her a thank-you comment that really doesn't do justice to how I feel about the whole issue:

Surgically detached enough from the "Logic" and "Reason" and "Common Sense" portions of my brain to be able to torture myself with the tiny tots that run up and randomly hug and coo at me during weddings; yet not crazy enough to delude myself into thinking that a man who has just installed yet another guitar rack in my living room would be pleased to find spittle on a Stratocaster. Frighteningly aware of the fact that female fertility is, at best, a crapshoot (or, in other cases, a burden, if you're like my great-grandmother who bore fourteen live children and was rumoured to be pretty good with a knitting needle...ugh!) and at worst, a staggering dissapointment. Uncomfortable with the bare facts as follows: a) The only family who would be available/appropriate to watch kids live a staggering sixteen hours away b) they wouldn't be available, because...backpacking! c) all of our friends who have kids are between twenty and five or six years ahead of us, and would not be up for kid-swapping duties d) I hear that the the Missonary position is the only acceptable behavior after you pop one out. (Parents of kids: I'm kidding here).

What I'm saying is this: Like the tortoise who won the race, slow and steady is the best with regard to any drastic changes. Blond(ish) red-streaked hair is enough of a change for me.


desiree said...

Not sure which to address. I feel ya on the hair front, (see comment below) because even though I finally turned mine a color not found in nature I still couldn't bring myself to cut it. As for babies holding wee little ones is always difficult, God made them small and cute and squishy so that you'd want them, but whatever happens happens. That simple. Plus, with the big fetility crunch we always forget that we are, indeed, young. Even though fertility begins to decline in later years we can't all be panicing when we hit 35 that our eggs are dried up and the chance to procreate is gone forever. Plus, babies are cute, but a HUGE change, and hair? Hair is meant to be played with.

Meepers said...

Yes the whole time crunch thing actually quite freaks me out - technically female fertility starts to drop off around age 27 (first stage drop, followed by the next BIG drop off and significant spike in genetic mutations - ugh!) Not to mention that male factor fertility is significantly reduced after 35 (35 being but a hazy memory in this house) all just weighs on the mind, esp. when one is constantly harassed/bombarded with The Question.

But is changeable and will never, ever keep you up all night screaming and changing diapers.