“Wow! That’s extreme. But it’ll grow back.”
“Do you like my haircut?” I asked Joan, a usually outspoken co-worker at the library where I work, after a shift in which she’d been oddly silent.
“I wasn’t going to say anything…,” she said. “But it’s TERRIBLE! What the hell happened?”
And although both his parents assured me that it looked “very nice,“ the terrific 5-year-old I babysat for took one look at me and said, with refreshing honesty, “That’s ugly.”
Having a bad haircut has given me new insight into the people in my life. Some, I’ve learned, are blunt but honest: “Holy shit! What happened to you?” Others are considerate, bold-faced liars: “Great haircut! You look terrific!” The rest fall somewhere in between: “Fabulous cut! Gee, I hope you’re one of those people whose hair grows quickly.”
When he saw my new cut, Mark, the man in my life, said, “You’re gorgeous.”
That’s why he’s the man in my life.
It was my friend Deb whose response was the most instructive. She didn’t say a thing. When I finally prompted, “So how do you like my hair?” she looked at me for a moment, then said, “It looks nice. Is it different?“
I’d assumed that my appearance had been so transformed that just to look my way was a painful shock for my friends and family. And yet, it hadn’t even turned up on Deb’s radar.
So maybe my awful haircut wasn’t such a big deal after all?
When I returned home, I took a good look in the mirror and thought, “Get over yourself, Roz. It’s only a haircut. It‘ll grow back.”
Then I took another look and put my cap back on.