Some time ago I heard this song and for some reason it spoke to me.
My Mom has an expression for explaining why people do things totally out of character...that they "had a wild hair up their ass". I'm not really sure if that's an expression used in other households but I sure use it often to explain things I do!
Every once in a while I get the urge to do something with my hair. Cut it, color it, style it...something to this mop of hair! I've had a love hate relationship with my hair since the 7th grade. I know what you're thinking...good grief chic that was like 100 years ago. AND??? That was during the time of the Farrah Fawcett hairdo, the perfect wings. Any contemporary of mine knows this iconic hair-do!
EVERY young girl I know wanted that hair! My BFF "Y" and I made appointments at the salon to have our tresses snipped and shaped to make us Farrah. It didn't work out so well. Y's curly dark hair adapted kinda good to the new look and since she was a girly girl and took the time to wash, dry, curl and spray that coiffure into submission every day it worked out pretty good...for her. My bone straight thin blond hair...not so much. Over the next 25 years I permed, moussed, gelled, conditioned, cut, dyed and made myself miserable over all the styles I couldn't make my hair do.
Sometime over that 25 years and two kids my hair has changed. I went from a toe-headed blonde, fine, straight head of hair to a course curly unmanageable thin head of mess. I kinda prefer the wash and wear kinda hair so I've just made it work. I've been known to go to a salon and just give the stylist creative license to do something with my mop. I had several horrible hair cuts and even had a few great ones that include something like this Farrah do. It requires upkeep though...and...well...I'm lazy I suppose and didn't do it so I just let it grow.
The desire for a change has been sparked by several recent events and the realization that I'll be 50 soon...I can't go into the next half century still feeling that that defeated 7th grader with my hair. The build up of hair in my brush nightly, the constant rogue hairs that fall out EVERYWHERE and the fact that it felt like straw at times were my motivation for change. My childhood friend Cindy (inserts shameless plug for her fabulous retro and vintage inspired aprons, shower caps and other goodies) recently blogged about her hair dilemma and recent cut and it motivated me.
The other night the timing worked out and my daughter was home while I was still awake so we decided to do a little trim job on my hair. Oy-vey I won't go into the gory details but lets just say that wild hair got the best of me. Needless to say my hair doesn't match the image in my head, not by a long shot. I cried. I made her cry and feel like crap because she cut it, although I reassured her it was at my urging that she did so. I looked at myself in the mirror and mourned the loss of my long blond curly hair and wondered what in the world possessed me to do it.
I cried myself to sleep that night. I tried to anticipate SF's reaction to my new do since I know he clearly has a preference for long-ish hair on women. I threw myself the biggest internal pity party that I have for quite some time but what could I do, the deed was done.
I woke up the next morning and took one last look at my short bobbed hair and decided that I just have to make the best of it. There was nowhere to hide anymore, no long curls to twirl, no excuses about my unruly hair. I never cared about my hair before so why was I making such a fuss over it now. I was holding onto an image in my head that wasn't real, it wasn't the real me behind the masks I wear. My hair didn't define me, cause I'm really a long way off from that carefree, beach-bum, sunshine in my face Pollyanna I thought I was projecting.
My friend and co-worker Angel then came to my mind. Angel is bravely battling breast cancer and has dealt with this disease with such grace and beauty. She lost all her hair during her first round of chemo as was expected so we designated Tuesdays as scarf day and all wore a scarf on our heads or in some fashion to support her in some small way. I'm unique I think in that during my 49 years on this earth I have no close personal friends or relatives I've had to watch suffer with this horrid disease so her diagnosis hit real close for me. I had always thought that I'd be 'that' friend who would shave my head for a friend in support. Kelly Pickler is THAT kind of friend as she recently did that very thing for her childhood best-friend I'd like to think I would do that for Y if she ever faced this but honestly now I don't know.
Looking in the mirror that morning through my heavy, swollen and bloodshot eyes, the guilt over my vanity and shallowness hit me like a ton of bricks. How could I be so vain? How could I be so shallow to believe that somehow my hair influenced who or what I was? I know better. I remembered the India Arie song as I looked in the mirror...I am not my hair. I thought about Angel, who doesn't have hair to cry about through no fault of her own. I just need to get over myself, so I did what I know how to do...run my fingers through my short curly blond hair to ruffle it a bit and walked out the door to face the day.
It's only hair right?