the long and short of it.

I am hoping that I will know when it's time to cut my hair. I was hoping that there would be a gong when I fell in love, so that I would know for sure about that, too. There wasn't. But maybe hair is unimportant enough that the universe will feel it's okay to give me a sure sign. I'm a slow learner.

See, my hair is tremendously long. Sooooo long. I have a love/hate relationship with it. It gets a lot of attention, which I like sometimes and others not. Also, I have learned that in terms of hair, quantity can overcome poor quality. I don't have especially pretty or striking hair, but there is a lot of it, which seems to count for something.

But long hair also requires a lot of maintenance, and to be honest, I don't even maintain the very short hairs on my legs anymore. Get this: with long hair, you have to brush it at least two times a day. Frankly, that's just too much for me. It takes forever and a day to dry and gets in the way all the time, and the only thing that I ever do with it is put it up. I have vivid dreams of cutting it off.

The weirdest thing about all this hair is that I don't believe it's mine. People who have seen it several times still act surprised to see it all coming from my head. I roll my eyes at them, but to be honest, I'm sort of surprised whenever I see it, too. I had short hair for ten years. Sometimes it was short enough that I would get mistaken for a boy with big hips. And I still think of myself that way, as I guess all the people who knew me then think of me. In my heart, I have short hair. There are people who have only known me with long hair, and they have no idea about the short hair in my heart.

Someday, I will cut it off, all of it in one fell swoop. I will send it to a little kid with cancer, and they will be much more grateful than I was about it. They will not complain about how it's the mousiest brown ever. But...not yet. Even as I hate it and battle with it and whine every time I have to tame it into brushability, I am not ready to go back to being a boy with big hips. It took so darn long to get to this point. I didn't do anything but not cut it off, but I did that for four years. And I think that once I do take the plunge, I'll never bother to grow it all back.

Having long hair has really been the only time I've had interesting hair, and that's where my reluctance lies. I know that interesting hair is only a phone call to my stylist away, but I shy away from that because it would make me feel even less like me. I would want to shout out "I have straight, mousy brown hair!" to anyone I met, lest they think I was trying to fool them with that lovely head of burnt auburn #17. I'm not against chemical hair alterations in general, but it's not for me. That might be a stupid way to feel, but there you go.

I am hoping it will be a haircut dream that will tell me when I'm ready to make the big hack. So far, I've always been sad that I cut my hair in the dream. And then I wake up, surrounded by a tangled mass that I was supposed to brush before I went to bed, and I am relieved. But one night, I won't be sad. I'll be glad that what's on my head again matches what's in my heart.

1 comment:

Carla said...

It's OK, Noogie, I understand. I've had both, and while I like it short (and certain people not including my husband REALLY let me know how much better they like it short), I think I prefer long. Just because there are more options for styling IF you do want to attempt something other than throwing it in a ponytail. It makes me look more like a girl from behind, AND the kicker: Doug greatly prefers it that way. Every time I had made a drastic change in length I am sorry, and I have those haircut nightmares too.

I had always wondered what I would like w/ "boy short" hair, so I finally did it in college. I was at work at the UNC computer science building one day when a person came up behind me and said, "Sir?" And I turned around and he said, "Oh, you're a girl." That right there did it. I will NEVER go that short again.