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Hair shock

Posted by on February 22, 2006

It’s like an old lady who gets her pet hamster stuffed after his death and puts him on her nightstand. Nobody needs to see what she’s got in her bedroom, and if they did see it they probably would think it was hideous, but it gives her comfort to know he’s there.

This is roughly the way I felt about my long, crunchy, fried, horrible hair-ends. I almost invariably kept them swept back out of everyone’s sight, never wore my hair down except when very drunk, and basically might as well have been bald for all the good it ever did me. But I liked knowing it was there. It was a secret little thrill when I forced a brush through the angry massy web in the morning, a nice little tingle when I let the fluffy, frizzy, wretched mess down at night.

It’s like if whatever that gay decorator show is called came into the old lady’s home as an eightieth birthday present from her well-meaning great-nieces. They gave her a new thousand-dollar quilt, bright curtains, a Persian rug, and tossed Hamsty in the trash along with her tired old false teeth (which they replaced with solid gold dentures). The room looks great, it is airy and clean, also full of body and curl and shine and layers and glow as both hair and a room should be, but she misses her little hamster friend, hideous and smelly though he was. At night she looks around her fabulous and artistic room and sniffles a little.

As I sit typing this, my most fashionable and gorgeous co-worker comes striding in on her beautiful heron legs, effortlessly wearing some clingy thing from Anthropologie. “Your hair looks awesome!” she tells me, clearly sincere. I am wearing it down for the first time in many years, and it is floaty and curly and pretty and perfect. It does look awesome. “Thanks,” I say, and I give a sad little mental wave to Hamsty, lying sightless in the dumpster, before I bravely turn my back and walk forward into my attractive new world.

[Deep breath: thank you, Michele.]

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