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The Famous Old Hat: Short Hair Means What?

August 27, 2009

My oldest daughter, what was it that I decided to name her here, oh yeah, Fleur, my oldest daughter Fleur has been suffering all summer with the desire to cut off her hair. It has been a hot summer, long too. Usually I look forward to the fall, for the decorations mostly, but this year it seems that time is flying by too fast. Last week, one night, well past midnight, Fleur decided to go for it and cut off her hair. All of it. Now, she was rational about it.  None of this psycho woman staring in the mirror applying too much make-up and heavy lipstick painted on outside of her lips that Hollywood movies like to portray as the modi operandi of emotionally disturbed women.  No, the thought had been brewing all summer. She was waiting until she had extra cash for a hairdresser but could not wait any longer. With some scissors, she cut it all off, leaving barely an inch.  Initially she had no doubt.  She loved it.  Then she went out in the world.  The world breathlessly exclaimed, “What happened to your hair, all of your hair, your lovely hair.” As if it would never grow back.  As if her hair made her human. We are talking human at this point because as of then no one threw in her sex as a reason to mourn the lost hair.

However, word travels fast. My mother, her grandmamma had to see this nonsense for herself. Keep in mind that my daughter has a fetus/baby growing inside of her body right now. A baby, if all things go well she will be born on/around Edna St. Vincent Millay’s birthday. Everyone knows Fleur is having a baby.  Everyone knows that Fleur’s fetus/baby was conceived the conventional heterosexual way. There is no doubt that Fleur is a female and performs as heterosexual females are expected to in a patriarchy. Well, to a certain degree. There is hope for her yet. So imagine the child’s shock when her grandmamma started screaming at her, “YOUR HAIR, YOUR HAIR WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO TO YOUR HAIR!” There was a feeble attempt at defending herself met with the screaming grandmamma’s final retort, “BUT YOU ARE A GIRLLLLLLLL!”  As if the child betrayed all of humankind by chopping off her hair. And it is not as if she hasn’t cut her hair off before.  It is not as if I haven’t cut all of my hair off before, actually many times before. Seriously. “BUT YOU ARE A GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLL!”

  1. August 27, 2009 6:29 pm

    Really it’s a sign of insanity, INSANITY I TELL YOU, for a woman who is ever witnessed having long hair, to cut or shave it off. It really is taken as a personal assault by some people. You must be full of SOME kind of hatred, if you weren’t naturally and rightly filled with LOVE for your BEAUTIFUL LONG GIRLY HAIR.

    And may I remind people that hair is actually a bunch of dead cells? Hence the no-pain-involved-when-it-gets-cut thing? Dead cells somehow = feminine pride and accomplishment.

    When I shaved my head years ago, I actually had male strangers who had male pattern baldness seem ANGRY with me about it. They would go out of their way to say snarky things in elevators.

    • August 28, 2009 12:49 am

      Yes, definitely a sign of insanity. I had a doctor, a female medical doctor, use my having buzz cut hair as a reason I needed to be hospitalized (I was over 18 and refused). A few months later she declared I was “doing better” because my hair was longer.

    • August 28, 2009 12:50 am

      I also remember, a few years after that, how everyone freaked out when Britney Spears shaved her head. Everyone was like, “It [Her erratic behavior] was funny before, but now it is just sad.”

  2. atheistwoman permalink
    August 27, 2009 6:45 pm

    And it doesn’t even have to be very much hair. I cut my hair in increments, but everyone was so damn shocked the first time you would have thought I did buzz off all my hair (which I gotta say is really tempting). Noooooo not your lovely blonde hair! Seriously.

    “A baby, if all things go well she will be born on/around Edna St. Vincent Millay’s birthday. ”

    Ha, sounds great. I have no idea who Edna St. Vincent Millay is, or if that person is male or female because its one of those names like Evelyn that you can never really know, can you. But don’t worry yourself, wikipedia is my friend.

    • Another Edna permalink
      August 27, 2009 7:18 pm

      Run, do not walk, to wikipedia and educate yourself. You have a treat ahead of you.

    • atheistwoman permalink
      August 27, 2009 7:20 pm

      Ah, and now I know. And I had known before but forgotten because that’s how I roll.

    • atheistwoman permalink
      August 27, 2009 7:45 pm

      Yes, I was pleased to rediscover her. A few weeks ago I read some of her translation of Baudelaire which IMO, are the best I have read. She was a treat, and kept the poetry in his words.

  3. August 27, 2009 9:10 pm

    Yeah, my mother has a fit every time I cut my hair back down to the fade. Then she gets false hope when I fail to maintain the haircut, thinking I’m doing it out of feminine duty (“Now all you need is a bra and some earrings, Margie!”) instead of laziness, and we start the whole crazy cycle again when I finally go back to the barbershop.

    This latest time has been the worst because, in addition to getting the haircut, I also went and fell in love with a woman.

    • atheistwoman permalink
      August 27, 2009 9:26 pm

      Go for the hair, come back for the love :-).

    • atheistwoman permalink
      August 27, 2009 9:27 pm

      Although, I can also see how that could be not such a great thing…

    • August 27, 2009 9:32 pm

      Oh, no, AW, not only is it a great thing, it’s the best thing – the best thing that’s ever happened to me. If I were the carefree type, I’d be skipping everywhere I went, dancing in the streets.

      Sorry to derail, Kitty!

    • August 28, 2009 12:52 am

      Would love to hear you post on this!

    • August 28, 2009 12:57 am

      Yeah, I’m waiting for that post as well. 🙂

    • atheistwoman permalink
      August 28, 2009 1:15 am

      Awwwweeeee. :-).

  4. August 30, 2009 12:37 am

    My wife shaves her head, has for most of the past 15 years, and one reason she likes it is that it helps her identify who she can trust and who she can’t. I can definitely understand that. Years ago, I was unpleasantly surprised to see that she’d shaved her beautiful long hair completely O-F-F off, but we were in a long-distance relationship and she hadn’t bothered to mention it on the phone before my visit. I got over it quite fast, though–for one thing, her scalp’s awfully fun to kiss. I don’t understand the reasons for other peoples’ reactions.

    I have long, wavy, amber-colored hair, almost to my waist. My wife helped me twist it all up in knots, very close to my head, on a hot day a couple weeks back. Then I threw a baseball cap over that. Oh, wow, how people in the neighborhood reacted when they saw that I did not have my usual long ponytail peeking out of my cap…I almost wished I really had cut it off.

    Congratulations on the new arrival!

    (Came via Daisy’s Dead Air, will probably be back.)

    • August 30, 2009 6:20 pm

      Congratulations on the new arrival!
      (Came via Daisy’s Dead Air, will probably be back.)

      Thanks, we are looking forward to our little bundle. I even had a dream about her last night.

      I am glad you put probably in your statement. It shows that you will proceed with caution. Something that is necessary in internet land.

    • August 30, 2009 9:49 pm

      Actually, it was more a reflection of my own spaciness, but I’ll let you think it’s just caution. 😉

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