Okay. So I’ve made the final decision to grow my hair long.
Gentlemen, you can just skip the rest of this post because I know you are glazing over as we speak. The rest of you stay with me here because I swear I DO have a point that goes beyond le coiffure. Trust me!
Those of you who see me frequently know that I have been agonizing for weeks and months about what to do with my hair. You know this because I have interrupted otherwise interesting and enjoyable discussions to say, “Okay! On a totally different topic, what should I do with my hair??!!” The men, as expected, offer a blank look. The women, those loves, say something like, “you look great either way!” Sweet, but no help. That’s when I have to pull out the “No, really. Honestly. What do you think?”
I have found the responses to be the same across the board: “Not many women can have really short hair and look good, so you should be glad you can; you look really cute with a perky haircut.” And then, “but if you want to grow it out, you should.” AAARRGGHH! Sweet, but not helpful.
I have done hours of research into face shape, hair texture, lifestyle factors, you name it. I’ve downloaded celebrity photos, hairstyling website photos, random photos, all in my attempt to determine what I should do with my hair. This may sound excessive, but you have to understand: for my whole life, I have been a girl in search of a hairstyle. Baby fine, platinum blond hair has particular limitations unless you have a round-the-clock stylist on retainer, which I do not. I have therefore gone from one extreme (Sharon Stone/Anne Heche/Joan Allen in The Contender) to the other (Melanie Griffith and Joan Cusack in Working Girl) in my search for a workable, attractive and somewhat au courant hairstyle. Ironically, both looked pretty good in their own way and in their own era. But now it’s time for something new.
Why the focus on “something new”? Well, I realized on Monday that I am having a mid-life crisis associated with the prospect of becoming a mother. I’m wondering “do I have the stones for this gig? What if they find out I’m a fraud? Oh my lord, you mean they just GIVE YOU a human child person and wish you luck?! Don’t I need a license?!! Are they INSANE?! I am in for the ride of my life.”
Along with the momentary lapses in confidence in my parenting skills comes a corresponding fear of losing who *I* am as a woman and as a whole person in the joy and fun and craziness and challenge of being a mother. And, as these things do, the concern manifests itself in ridiculous ways. In my case, it appears to be happening in terms of how I define my femininity and personhood sans child. Therefore, all of a sudden I have become completely resolute that I will NOT become one of those moms who doesn’t care what she looks like, gets the nondescript bob haircut, starts wearing the “mom jeans” with the zipper up to the belly button and the ghastly front pleats, and has 30 pounds delivered directly to her hips and butt by the stork while he’s dropping off the bambina. Hear me now and believe me later: I WILL NOT LET MYSELF GO. I want to be what the cognoscenti call “a yummy mummy.” A woman who has a child but who is no less interested in her appearance and in taking care of herself.
I hear the moms out there snickering at me as I write this. That’s cool. I understand that there will be demands placed on me that I can only imagine and that will trump any and all desire to primp on a daily basis. That is why you will notice that I did not swear off velour sweatpants and ponytails. I’m totally reserving the right to look like a shlump; I’m just not interested in BEING a shlump. Big difference.
So. This mid-life crisis is both the origin of and the solution to my hair conundrum. Yeah, I look fine with short hair. But a truly yummy mummy knows the value of having a versatile look that can go from Spit-Up to Meet Up in 30 minutes flat. And THAT is why I have decided to grow my hair out, and why I have finally realized that the question I was asking all along was not, “what should I do with my hair?” but rather “do you promise to still think I’m hot even when someone calls me ‘Mom’?”