Every couple of months I get my hair cut. It is the one indulgence I have allowed myself. Maybe it’s only me, but it seems expensive-$65.00 for the cut-and it is in the city; it feels as though I am being extravagant with money for something frivolous.
My stylist’s name is Mark. He rides a Harley, has long curly hair, just turned 40, and got married again a year ago. He is not necessarily the kind of guy you’d peg as a hairdresser. I’ve known him for about two years, just before I represented his mom in her divorce. He and I have a good relationship.
For some unknown reason, the Department of Transportation decided that all major highways into the city must be closed for construction this weekend. I got caught in a 45-minute traffic jam, and was quite late for my appointment. I was frazzled when I got there. He had been willing to wait for me when I called and told him I would be late, but I felt horrible. I plopped into the chair with a huge sigh of relief. He looked at my windblown hair and asked the routine question “What do we want to do today?”
“Cut it off!”
My daughter-in-law recently shaved her head. Her beautiful head of naturally curly, easy-to-manage hair shaved to a 1/8 in. length (my son did the honors). My hairdresser has cut her hair, so I told him about this.
I also explained that just a few weeks ago, I saw an episode of the show “What Not to Wear” where the young Asian woman ended up with bright pink hair.
My joke was that I was tempted to have him shave my head, but he couldn’t dye it pink. The hairdresser who does not look like a hairdresser then told me that a shaved head and/or bright pink hair just don’t match my personality.
Yes, he is right. I am not someone who would do that.
But as I sat there while he washed and cut my hair just a bit shorter than usual, I realized that in a deep part of me, I desperately want to be the kind of person who could have pink hair. I wish I could be the type of woman who could pull off a shaved head-with panache!
Why can’t I? What is it about me that not only restrains me from doing such a thing, but which radiates that hesitancy to others? Everyone who knows me realizes that I would never have pink hair or a shaved head.
Perhaps it is simply my age. A middle-aged woman with pink hair probably looks a bit pathetic, like a bent paper cone of cotton candy whose bottom half has melted into blobs of sugar. And a woman of my age with a shaved head would likely be expected to be wearing a cancer-survivor pin.
But even at 20, I was not someone who would have had a shaved head or pink hair. I have always taken my hair too seriously.
That is what it must be. I am a serious person.
It is difficult for me to let go, to laugh spontaneously, to yell in anger. I am reserved, never wanting to be the center of attention.
I have always been the person in the back row.
But I wish I could pull off being a pink-haired grandma, leaving a wake of onlookers whispering and pointing at me while I just happily went on my way.
I would love to be the cool old lady.
The rocking old lady lawyer with a shaved head! (does a shaved chin detract from that image?)
But I’m not.
Even my hairdresser knows that for sure.