137 Days left until the Zombie Apocalypse…
Okay. So I’ve admittedly been bad. I blame the Olympics. Gymnastics and swimming in particular are taking over my life. I hate that they don’t show them here until primetime. Since I don’t believe in cheating and getting the results online, this means I’m stuck waiting until 11PM each night to see the ones I care about. Oh well. C’est la vie. In any case, I figured I could try to catch up over the weekend. This doesn’t seem to be working out very well either. I HAD to go see The Watch though. That one was totally non-negotiable. Those end of the world things always suck me in–regardless of whether they’re about zombies or asteroids or–in this case–aliens. I’m addicted. Can’t help it. However, the extra time did give me plenty of time to think of the other things I wanted to reminesce about on here. I have to confess though that this particular one should already have been written. I’ve been thinking about it for days. Early last week, someone at work asked me how I manage to deal with the heat with hair as long as mine is. So for this edition of the “30 Things I’ve Done Before the Age of 30”, I figured I’d explain the reasons why I like to keep my hair long…
It started–as most things do–when I was really little. I had never really liked having my hair cut–it just seemed wrong somehow. Invasive maybe? I don’t know really. Whatever the case, when I was 11, that slight unease turned into an absolute hatred for hair salons. My mom had decided to cut my hair for school. While she is a very talented woman, it turned out that cutting hair was not one of her many talents. There really wasn’t a way to save my hair. When she took me into the salon, the stylist was appalled. She didn’t even know what to do. She ended up having to cut it off almost completely in order to even it out. I totally remember crying my eyes out over it. I looked like a boy. It was awful. I think I wore dresses or skirts each day to school that year because I didn’t want anyone to think that I really was a boy. I had a hard enough time that year–I’ve always been a little on the weird side to begin with. That was only worsened by the fact that we had just moved into a little country neighborhood where the kids were all really behind and I was a total nerd who had been in gifted classes. Adding in my new boyish hair style and I was totally out of my element.
It absolutely scarred me for a long, long time. I never wanted another hair cut again. I let my hair grow for years without so much as getting it trimmed. It became so long that it would take me over an hour each day just to brush it. I started tying it up in buns each day just so that I wouldn’t have it falling in my face every two seconds. It drove me insane, but there was no way that I was going to even think about cutting it.
Then one day my friend told me that she was thinking about cutting hers and donating it to Locks of Love. She wanted me to make an appointment to go with her to get it done. I had the perfect excuse ready for why I couldn’t do that though: It was a waste of money. Why would I pay someone to let me donate something of mine? That just didn’t make any sense to me, so it worked as a perfect reason to never cut my hair even had I wanted to…which I so didn’t.
So I was totally safe, right? Wrong! There was a health fair in our town that weekend. My mom and I went so that we could walk their 5K in support of women’s health. It was a lot of fun to walk with her that morning. I’d never done anything like that before either. Afterwards, we decided to look around at the booths that they had set up. They had all kinds of interesting things to look at, but the most significant one that they had set up was one where stylists were giving free haircuts to anyone who wanted to donate their hair to Locks of Love.
I still don’t know how it happened, but somehow my mother convinced me that it would be a great idea to donate some of my hair. The lady at the booth told me that she would only need to take 12 inches. When your hair comes down past your waist, that’s really not that big of a deal. I reluctantly conceded. So we called my friend and had her meet us there. When my turn came, the woman cutting my hair ended up convincing me that she could take more than just 12 inches. She kept measuring different lengths up so that I could see where they would be. For some reason, I eventually let her cut off more than just the 12 inches needed for a wig. I let her take 22 inches of my precious hair!!!
When she was done, she let me hold up the ponytail to take pictures with it. I don’t think I have ever been more shocked than I was at that moment. The really weird part was that I wasn’t even upset about it. I don’t know if it’s because it was for a good cause or if it was because I wasn’t a fragile 11-year-old kid anymore, but for whatever reason, I was completely okay with it.
I was so okay with it, that I decided to do it again two years later–and again a year after that. I’ve now donated a total of 51 inches of hair. I think it’s something I will keep doing too. Once every two years or so, I think I’ll be cutting off my hair to give it away. So that’s the reason I can cope with it in the heat and the humidity of Mississippi. It’s just not ready to be harvested again yet. 😉 When it is, I’ll be more than happy to lop it off once more. So, while Jim Morrison is absolutely correct that “Some of the worst mistakes in my life were haircuts,” some of the best decisions were as well…
The Butcher of the Bard