The day before picture day my sophomore year I was following my mother around the house, insisting that I needed to get my hair cut. Annoyed at my pestering, she snapped, "A haircut is not going to change your life." I, of course, insisted that it wasn't my life I was trying to change - just my hair.
Like everything else my mother said to me during that time, her words were true. Many years later an occasionally wise man once remarked, upon noticing that I had whacked about ten inches off my locks, "When a woman wants to change her life, she always starts with her hair." I've found those words to be true, as well.
I have had a love/hate relationship with my hair my whole life. When I was very young, my hair was very long - down to my waist. I remember it getting twined so tightly in the chain of the swingset that I couldn't move my head. I remember my grandmother rolling it on rags to make what we called "banana curls". I remember the day I swallowed a chunk of it that had gotten somehow stuck in the peanut butter of my sandwich, and my mother wrapping it around her finger to pull it back out of my throat. And I remember how, the next day, we first visited a photo studio, where the photographer posed me looking over my shoulder, the curls streaming down my back, and next visited a beauty salon, where after the hairdresser carefully clipped my curls and handed them to my mother, she gave me what was then known as a "pixie cut". It was the last time in my life I had what could be described as a popular, trendy haircut.
When straight hair was in style, I had curls. When short hair was in style, mine was long. When big hair was in style, mine clung to my head.
But, it wasn't all bad. When I was too skinny and gangly, all buck teeth and freckles and squinty eyes, old ladies still stopped me in the grocery store to comment on my hair. I once had a classmate sneak up behind me and yank it hard, convinced that I must be wearing a fall. I found, as I got older, that a certain percentage of the male population had a "thing" for redheads. Which was not a bad thing.
I'm bringing all this up now, because I cut my hair again this evening. Not because I want to change my life, but because my hair was bugging me. As you may recall, I recently gave myself poodlehead. Since then, I've cut it two more times, and for a while it was behaving rather nicely. But my hair grows quickly, and unevenly, and was annoying me, so tonight I took the scissors to it. In bits and pieces, during the American Idol commercial breaks.
Probably not the best idea in the world. According to Middle Daughter, I now have "Mom Hair".