Saturday, January 26

Saturday's Musings

(note: I started this yesterday, and just finished it today, so I'm keeping the title of Saturday's Musings, even though it's Sunday)

Well, Evelyn is starting to accept her hair a little more. (See previous post) But still, every now and then, she'll just break down into tears. When asked what her malfunction is what's wrong, she just breaks down in tears and sobs that her hair is ugly. It's been a little strange, her reaction to short hair, for several reasons. For one, John and I have always worked on not putting much emphasis on physical appearance. We think she's the most beautiful little girl in the world, but we know that we're a tad biased, and that there really are more important things. (Like great shoes. I kid. Mostly.)

Also, she was the one who cut her hair and said she wanted short hair! Silly little monkey. As soon as we went into the bathroom after the initial cut, and I told her we were going to have to cut the rest of it, she went ballistic about how she didn't want short hair and that she was going to be ugly, and her hair was going to be awful, and Dad wouldn't think she was pretty any more. Oy!! It was very hard for me to not laugh (yes, I struggle with inappropriate responses from time to time. Laughter seems to be the most common response, especially if my kids are freaking-out upset. Sue me.) and to try and calm her down, but then I started thinking about hair.

My hair is long. It grows rather slowly, and I take decent care of it. I don't blow-dry it (well, I actually don't own a hair dryer. This infuriates my mother when she comes to visit, because she either has to bring her own, or not blow-dry her hair. Sorry, Mom!!), I don't put any chemicals on it, other than hairspray once every two weeks or so, I don't brush it when it's wet, and I use shampoo that makes my hair happy. I don't wear it down on very windy ways, because of all the knots, and I let my mom trim my split ends at least once a year. She derives great pleasure from this, cause she's been trying to get me to cut it for years. I will not. I love my hair. More importantly, my sexy husband loves my hair, and for that reason alone, I would keep it long.

I tried to imagine how I would feel if I was suddenly told that my lovely (albeit fairly thin and sometimes stringy) hair would suddenly be cut short. Really, really short. I'm pretty sure I would be devastated. Now, yes, I know it's just hair. That's what I tried to tell Evelyn. But let's be honest; it's more than that. For most women, and a lot of men, too, our hair is a huge part of who we are. When people donate to Locks of Love, it's a big deal. It'd be much easier to just write a check for $30 than donate a foot of hair. And if you did just write that check, you probably wouldn't go around telling people what you had done. But when you're growing your hair out for L of L, you tell people. You tell everyone you know, and probably a few strangers, too. (Note: I'm not saying that L of L is a bad thing. I think it's wonderful!! If you do it, good for you!!!)

If you get a new haircut and your hubby or kids or whoever don't notice, it really ticks you off! And if you do something really drastic, like make a big color change, or go to a totally different style, it's kind of devastating if no one comments on it. Even the color of your hair can be an identity thing. Picture the blondest blonde you know, and imagine dyeing her hair black. Or imagine dying your hair black. Or blond, if your hair is already dark. It'll change the way you feel about yourself. How happy do you get right now when you just have a flat-out Good Hair Day? Man, it makes me so excited!! And because I feel prettier, I act different. I've been known to flirt more (with my husband, people!) when my hair looks great and my makeup just works and I have on my cute jeans, than when I'm not showered and haven't shaved in a week and haven't had my morning coffee. I'm just saying.

My mom had cancer when I was in junior high. She's fine now, completely in remission, but she had to go through a bunch of chemo and then six weeks (I think?) or radiation. Of course she was upset about having cancer, and all the things that go along with that (hey, I have cancer! I might die! Crap!), but there was something a lot of people didn't understand: why she was so upset about losing her hair. Now, my mom isn't a vain person, any more than the average person is. She can rock the color pink and knows it, but she doesn't spend too much time focusing on outward appearance. But to be told that 'you have the Big C, and your life is going to be turned upside down, and you're going to be pumped full of all kinds of toxic chemicals, and that there could be all these awful side effects, and oh, by the way, that lovely long hair of yours? You can kiss that goodbye, too' is a Big Deal.

So all that to say, I think I should probably be a little more sympathetic to Evie about her short hair. No, it's not something we're going to dwell on, and yes, the new rule is still that she can't say anything negative about her hair, lest she start a downward spiral into inconsolable tears, but I think I'm going to be a little more patient from here on out.

Unless she cuts it again. Then I'm just going to shave her head and paint her scalp blue.

What?? No, I wouldn't really do that. Probably.

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