Heming the Drapes

October 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

Remember in 1999 when Kari Russell cut off all her hair after Felicity’s break-up with Ben? Yes, it was hard on all of us. Her pretty little face nested in all that hair… then she shrewdly butchered it with a hack saw, I’d imagine. It looked like she was about to start “experimenting” with a softball player and we’d have to watch her wear Birkenstocks for the next three seasons until she graduated.

It’s argued that the decline in ratings was due to the show’s move to Sunday night, and not the hair cut. And this bit of information comforted me as I selected a salon to chop over a foot off my hair.

My hair had been Mermaid long for about 11 years. I would constantly threaten to cut it all off every six months, then chicken out four inches before my shoulders. Years of this. I’d wait until it was long enough to get caught in my armpits aka “the hair-bra.” I’d then take my trash talk to the stylist to only muster the courage to cut a mere two inches (or just the split ends whatever came first).

This even lasted through my dressing-like-a-lesbian faze when I first got out of college. I was all about gender equality. I thought that to be “taken seriously” meant putting on a t-shirt, cargo pants, and hiking boots. Although none of us will deny, cargo pants are more comfortable than flannel pajama’s just because they are acceptable for a grown woman to wear in public. Still, I would tie the blonde locks tight in a bun, as if it were the only thing I had left of my femininity.

I really was only a year before I came to my senses and resumed my normal classy business casual. I missed cute shoes too much. I’d have dreams of ankle boots and platform heals. But even after I redeemed my figure revealing outfits, I still clutched onto the hair.

I was really close once, even visualizing it through a photoshop mock-up, but my boyfriend at the time told me not to. He was very stern about it too. It wasn’t just a good-natured giggle, “No-no, I love your hair long and I’m going to be cute and playful until you forget why you even wanted to cut it to begin with.” It was more of a demonic, “Do not cut your hair, if you do I will leave you and slit the throat of your kitten.” No kittens were ever harmed as a result of a haircut.

I took this in later years to mean that I should never consider short hair because I would be hideous and have to hide out with several cats, eating canned tuna and hotdogs until it grew back. I like sushi and social events so I grew it, and kept growing until I looked like that person we once knew as Jennifer Aniston, peaking from behind golden ropes that may strangle her if she sleeps wrong, or finds out Bradgelina is a real thing.

Even ol’ Jen has since done some weeding. More than Felicity, she may have a head of  locks further celebrated than any other. I had the Rachel just like the rest of you in the 90s. And it looked awful on all of us.

11 years after the Rachel, I was finally ready, this time more of Barbra Streisand. Like a post transformation Mirror Has Two Faces. That’s when Jeff Bridges was hunky. The 90s are coming back, I was going to go for the angled bob. So I saved the picture on my phone, told the ex-boyfriend’s voice inside my head to go jerk off somewhere to funny cats 2, then I made an appointment.

I made Mister Red aware of my intentions. He seemed impervious to the situation, but generally liked the idea. About as much as he likes country music: he’ll listen to it and sing it when he’s drunk, all the while respecting that you can’t take the country out of the girl, but you can make fun of her for it. If that’s how this hair cut was going to be, I could live with that.

To be honest, it was a very cathartic experience. I was shedding the old me, renewing my spirit, changing my thinking cap. That’s really all Felicity wanted to do, she just picked the wrong haircut. My stylist was nervous I was going to start crying, after all we really didn’t know each other and not many people bring in a picture of Barbra Streisand. But there were no tears. In fact I was giggling, which might have made me come off even more crazy. I’m really pleased with the transformation. I’m glad I did it. I feel like I have a secret that no one with long hair knows. I’ve seen life from both sides now.

Aside from the dramatics, it turns out, Mister Red has been secretly hoping I’d cut my hair this whole time. He’s got a thing for short haired girls, but as a true gentleman he didn’t want his tastes to influence my decisions. I’m the one who has to wear the hair on my head. And I have to wear this head out in public. The face? Well, the face is a different story all together.


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