When Your Do is a Don’t


When you have short hair, it is inevitable that you will spend an inordinate amount of time growing your hair out, and then getting fed up and cutting it again. I have been down this hair-brained road several dozen times before, complaining for months until I am convinced my husband is going to cut it all off while I sleep just so he doesn’t have to listen to me whine about it one more day.

The last time I decided to torture myself with this hair thing, I made it about six months before my husband told me to either cut it or get a weave. Of course it wasn’t the only thing I’d talked about for six months, but it was definitely in the top five along with 1) my thighs, 2) my wrinkles, 3) my butt, and 4) my kids (I had to throw that last one in there so I didn’t sound completely self-involved).

I actually really liked my former, short spiky “do”, but various people who offered opinions I didn’t ask for convinced me that my short haircut was making me look older, and when you’re over 40, being told something makes you look older goes over about as big as a prescription for a colonoscopy.

This time around, I managed to get past the dreaded “growing it out over my ears” stage, and the “looks a little like a Billy Ray Cyrus Mullet” stage, without running screaming to the hair salon. It helped that whenever I had a hair attack, my stylist seemed to be out of town or all booked up. It also helped that my husband hid all the scissors in the house, except the kids’ plastic school scissors. I did actually try to use them in desperation one day, but they only cut one hair at a time.

Eventually, the day came when my hair was officially “grown out,” and even though I was getting lots of positive feedback, I still wasn’t sure if it was the right “do” for me.

“So what do you think of my new hair style?” I asked my daughter one day.

She contemplated my do for several seconds.

“You look like someone who could be the president of the PTA,” she finally responded. I’m sure she meant this in the most positive, mundane, suburban-mom kind of way.

Scraping up what was left of my good self-image, I pulled my presidential hair back in a ponytail and then drove directly to the hair salon.

That night, my husband walked in and noticed my new short hair cut.

“Lost the battle?” he observed.

“Yes,” I said. “By a hair.”

©2011, Beckerman. All rights reserved.
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