I was out to dinner with a friend, and he told me my hair looked like shit. "Do you ever read Dilbert?" he asks me. Yeah, I’ve seen it. I know who he means. "At least you don’t have bangs." He tries to be nice, knowing I always appreciate that, but it is already a little late for that. The scary part is that I thought it looked pretty good. He reminds me that I thought my hair looked good when I shaved it all off. "You have to have more than a good shaped head to pull that off." I knew he was right, but there was something about no hair that made me feel great. As long as I didn’t look in the mirror. Even I could tell then that I looked like a cancer patient. So I tried not to look in one, and enjoyed, for a while, the fact that strangers were just a little bit kinder to me. And it felt great, so light. It gave me another obsessive thing to do, too, rubbing it when I hoped nobody was looking. But, as that hardly seemed fair to real cancer patients, I let it grow out. Plus the fact that my boyfriend, who happened to be a little younger than me, threatened to leave me, or at the least, stop having sex with me. Which was the best part of our relationship. He thought I was trying to prove some point. But that was hardly the case. I was just sick of dealing with my hair. I was sick of the parts that waved inward when I wanted them to wave outward. I was sick of getting it cut, and then coming home and having to recut it. Sick of the mess that it made and sick of clogging up the sink and mad that I was paying for nothing. I always left the beauty parlor when it was still wet, not because I was cheap, which I am, but because I am too impatient and just wanted to get the hell out of there. And what did it matter anyway, as I never was going to blow dry, style, or really do anything to it at home. So I’d get home, and it would dry, and the wavy parts went the way they wanted, and the straight parts just lay there, and I’d have to fix it up just about every time. It wasn’t the hair cutter’s fault; I never went to the same one and so the cutter couldn’t get to know me or my hair. And really, I have a hard enough time being intimate with people, so that’s ok with me. I’m impulsive like that; when I want my hair cut, I want it cut right now, and so I’d just go to the mall, and pick a place with no wait, and wish for the best.
I kept it shaved for a while. Haircuts were cheap; you could just go the barber and say "do a number three’ and be done with it. Actually it wasn’t that simple, because first I had to convince him that I really wanted it, and put up with the sad and knowing looks he would always give me. Eventually I let it grow again. I cut it myself nowadays. Which is why it looks like it does. Like that woman in Dilbert.
I covered the gray during my thirties, when I was still having hopes of meeting someone. After I met someone, wrong as he was, I let it go back gray, but my boyfriend really hated it. He was actually a lot younger than me, so I could understand. But after a while, I felt confident that he was going to stick around, so back to gray. He did leave me. Well, actually I broke it off, but silly me, I didn’t actually move out or anything. He didn’t either. But he did find a more appropriate woman and oh my god, time to dye it again. Maybe he’ll come back. Well, he was still here, so I mean, come back to me. And then, when he didn’t, I thought I’d better try to look as best as I could, so I might possibly find someone else. I dye it myself, you could probably figure that out, and after a while, my hair started to look and feel like straw, and "like shit" as I mentioned before. So, once again, I decided to stop dyeing it; I was pretty sick of doing it anyway. At this point, the guy hardly cares, and I figure nobody seemed interested when I wasn’t gray, so it’s not going to make that big a difference.