Tuesday, November 29, 2005

It Grows Back

WIth me a haircut is a sort of spasm. It has to be done now once I decide to do it. This occasionally leads to rash decisions and tearful regret. I had Leanne take eight inches off last Wednesday (she wouldn't do any more than that. "You'll spaz out! You'll blame me!"), and it took me almost a full week (and around fifty testimonials) to decide that I like it. I got to thinking, and I believe that this is the shortest my hair has been since I was around six years old, when I begged Mom to let me grow it long. She kept my impish face framed by a chin-length pageboy for my first few years; that was the only way my hair didn't look permanently snarled. So for the next few years, until it became coarse enough to lay stick straight if stringy, she called me Ragamuffin whenever we met on the street. (I wandered the windy sidewalks of Kemmerer nonstop, looking like an urchin, until we moved to California the fall after I turned twelve, where the lovely climate and pounding surf converted my mop to streaky beach bunny waves.) What's funny is that I think of myself as a long-hair-type person. We develop an image of ourselves, you know, and that's part of mine. But I can still distractedly tie knots in it, which is very important, and Jo called Leanne's handiwork "sex kitten meets tomboy." I can live with that. I am nothing if not contradictory: tough and soft, smart but irrational, kind but selfish. A liberal conservative, an uninspired artist, a good friend with bad habits. But I think this picture (though it doesn't show the cut very well; you'll see dozens that do, don't fret) confirms something I have long feared: I will always, no matter what I do to my hair, look like a little girl.

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