May 09

Life-Lesson learned

Apologies right off the top, yes, this is another post about my hair. Hopefully this is the last one, but this is a deep, feelings-processing post for me.

I don’t have body issues. I have been EVERY size from a 4 to a 24 (I know some of you will find that hard to believe, but I promise you, it’s true). I have worked through my stuff and I am very content at 8/10. Sometimes I still take out those size 6 skinny cargos from J Crew that I wore in a picture with Kelly Ripa and we were almost the same size (she had just had a baby!) and wish they would fit. But I spend ZERO time worrying about it. I don’t diet, I exercise because it’s good for my health, not because I’m trying to fit into things.

I am also pretty confident in my own style. Quirky, off-beat, original, Indie, slightly-hippie. The clothes in my closet have changed very little over the last 15 years: tons of garden-party dresses, vintage-looking cardigans and more 3/4 sleeve swing jackets than a person could ever want (which reminds me of a shopping trip in Paris with L. years ago: ‘Dude, that is the 3rd swing jacket you buy today!’). I own my style, I really do.

So this reaction to my hair cut has been a major learning experience for me. I thought I was totally ok with loosing my hair. I offered to shave it off when my mom lost hers years ago. She wouldn’t let me. (She went with my aunt because she was afraid if I went with her, I would cut mine and she didn’t want me to. I didn’t understand why at the time.) My hair has pretty much been my calling-card. The thing that set the tone for the rest of ‘ME’. For the last 48 hours, I have felt very ordinary. Boring. Main-stream. If you asked me to describe my look right now, I would say Patrica Heaton in Everybody Loves Raymond. Get it? Is there anything worse?

A few select people have seen the hair and assure me it’s cute. Things I have heard is: ‘It’s summer, it’s fun, you can play with it!’. Let me tell you something: when you tell me this and your hair is down past your shoulders and YOUR idea of playing with it is putting it up in a ponytail, don’t tell me this. Because I don’t believe you for one second.

Now, I don’t want to rag on short hair. It looks FABULOUS on some people. First one that comes to mind in my friend Fluid Pudding. She can rock the pixie cut!¬†Interestingly, our fashion likes are so similar that the 2 of us + facebook + a sale on Modcloth = mutual charges on our credit cards. But I feel confident in saying that she would never want my shaggy-bangs.

Why am I still going on about this? Why am I devoting a thesis to my hair? Like I said, this has been a big learning experience. After the mastectomy, it took me weeks to look at my scars. I even hired a home-care assistant to come help me bathe and deal with the wounds because I simply could not look down. I didn’t have to though. I could choose not look and I certainly didn’t have to show anyone. It’s not possible to not look at my hair. And there is only so much time I can spend inside the house.

I will be fine. I will get over it. I will wear hats and scarves and I know that I will feel better about it once I am bald (odd, I know). I have an appointment with a wig person today. I hope to find something affordable that can cheer me up. (FYI, good wigs are SEVERAL thousand dollars. multiple. urgh.)

Let’s hope this is the last thing I write about hair.

PS: a special thank you to Perrin for the very insightful comments on the last post. My feelings are very raw these days and well-wishes from people who understand what it’s really like help more than I could ever explain.