Last March, I started growing my hair out, a process I generally despise. It’s awkward, messy, annoying, and, come summer, hot. Too short to put up but too long to be on the neck when the temperature soars. Yuck.
Why bother? When, in her mid-thirties, my mother cut her hair, , she explained that she was too old for long hair, that long hair was for younger women. I digested this bit of adult-lore, grew mine out (painfully) only to cut it off a few years later, tired of all that, well, hair. I repeated the process in college, this time after a socially crippling perm– think brunette Bozo.
After the birth of my older son, each haircut found me with less and less of the stuff. It reached its shortest at the start of 2008, right before I started the growing process for a third time. Why’d I bother if it’s such a pain? Partially, it was a last-ditch attempt to save my marriage. “Grow out your hair,” and, “Dress up more often,” were the only concrete ideas I brought out of marriage counseling. Despite knowing neither would save the day, I tried both. And I liked the results. Sure, the hair was hot on my neck last summer, and barrettes did little to tame growing out layers that threatened to turn me part Yeti, but I liked messing with the stuff and the progress visible in the mirror. Besides, between growing hair, encouraging the holes in my ears to once again accept earrings, and trying some more feminine duds, I felt, well, attractive.
There. I said it. I’m enjoying some of the societal trappings of femininity. Skirts, dangly earrings, long hair, clothes that suggest a woman is wearing them. Girl stuff, or, more correctly, women stuff. No high heels or make-up, mind you. Comfort trumps fashion for me, and it likely always will. But the hair? I like it!