Wednesday, February 6, 2013

From Hair to There

January 2013

For as long as I can remember
my hair has always been 
a prized possession
and an indicator 
of my emotional state.

When I was little 
it hung down to my waist
and my Grandma Maggie would
sit me down every afternoon 
to comb and curl 
and fasten with giant elastic ponytail holders.

The unwieldy holders 
with the big colorful balls
that would regularly snap from around my hair,
hit her knuckles 
and squeeze an "Ay!!!!"
from under her breath.

I'd sit with my drying curls in my hands
and watch "Facts of Life"
before going to play GI Joe
with my cousin Kevin.

My mom kept my hair long
and treated it with 
the most expensive shampoos and conditioners.
A luxury I didn't truly appreciate
until decades later 
when I lived on my own
and could only afford Suave.

The first time my dad took me to get a haircut
I told the girl I wanted it to my shoulders.
My dad begrudgingly gave in
wholly regretting it later 
when my mom met us at the door
with tears and shrieks
"Oh my god you're HAIR!!!!!"

I was 11
and it was my first rebellion.

At 14 I dyed it burgundy
with an ancient box of Clairol
and she grounded me for a month,
and when I was a senior in high school
and the cheer coach quit
at the beginning of the year,
I felt angry and abandoned
and like I needed a new identity.

So I cut off a foot and a half of hair
and said goodbye to my cheer ponytail

The summer before college,
in love with Paul but feeling
like my skin didn't fit,
I left the Newport beach house
my friend's parents rented every summer,
walked to a local salon
and paid $100 to cut it all off.

My poor boyfriend
wondered what had happened to me.

As the years have worn on
it's been every length
and every color.

Long and short and in between.

Dec. 2009 - My favorite 3 year old girl is also in this picture

Jet black and sassy.

February 2006 - mine and my BFF's best hair day ever

A reddish Louis Brooks interpretation.

Summer 2011 - Ugh with the cigs

I am secretly addicted
to cutting my own bangs in the mirror
at midnight 
with fabric scissors
and having to get them fixed 
by a professional
when the sun rises
the next day.

With both babies
the mixture of hormones and prenatals
made for long luxurious locks,
but without fail I would come 
to take shears out on myself
when months later
I couldn't make sense of anything
let alone what to do with long hair.

The last time I dramatically cut my hair
James was 10 months old
and my relationship with his father
was a mess of knots.

I wanted to cut away the past,
the energy,
the memories of some pretty tough years.

For months I had pleaded with my girlfriend Renee to chop it,
but believing it only to be a case of the baby insanity,
she refused.

Finally after months of my relentless insistence,
she caved and cut my bra band length hair into a pixie.

March 2009 - That baby face is killig me

It's been growing for almost 4 years
and I can't remember the last time I dyed it.

I'm sprouting grays
and sometimes I fantasize
about doing something crazy
with the cut and color,
but truly the desire is not there.

Sometimes I think it's because now I'm boring
(which I kind of am)
but also I think it may be because I'm content.

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