I didn’t tell the whole story yesterday. About meeting the work people. There’s more. The story doesn’t end with the painting, as happy as I am about the painting. It ends with me in the bathroom, cutting off the rest of my hair.
People keep telling me I’m so bold, for cutting off as much as I did, last time. For having short hair in the first place. But what I’d really wanted was something much shorter. Except the first time, I couldn’t go all the way. I was brave, but not quite that brave yet.
Now I am braver. Or more reckless.
I think it had something to do with the work dinner. With the other women and their long, glossy hair that fell in perfect waves. The kind of waves that a salon does for you, but that only work with a certain kind of hair. I liked the other women, just as I almost always like the women I meet through Bear’s work, and basically anywhere in this city, but the more of them I meet, the more obvious it becomes to me that I am not like them. Which is fine. Actually, it is so fine, that I decided to go all the way different. To be all the way myself.
Sitting there, in my borrowed silky dress and strapless bra and glittering earrings, I suddenly felt very comfortable being nothing like the other women in the restaurant. It suddenly occurred to me that I was not going to impede Bear’s career by being the weird one. So I went home and picked up my scissors. It’s thrilling every time.
Here are the reasons why I shouldn’t have cut all my hair off:
1. I don’t have the “right” face for it. The right face has sexy cheekbones and a smaller nose and a wide mouth, probably. Mine is the kind of face that women’s magazines advise to “soften” with long hair.
2. No one has hair this short, unless they’re a man. Even men mostly have longer hair than me, now. Even in Manhattan, where women are daring and at the cutting edge of fashion and wear ridiculously creative outfits, they almost all have long hair. Long hair also seems to be in.
3. People will think things about me. Like that I might be gay. Or that I am strange. Or that I am trying to prove something. I might not look very professional, when I go to meetings with important people occasionally.
4. I can’t fit in with the women who marry the guys Bear works with and knows. Not even close.
5. It takes a long time to grow back.
6. I don’t have the body for it. People who cut off all their hair should be slender and long-necked and thin-armed. I am not.
Here is why I cut it all off anyway:
Because I wanted to.
Bear came home from the gym, and I was standing in the bathroom in a white tee-shirt and shorts, with barely any hair left. The scissor was on the side of the sink.
He said, “Your hair looks different.” He studied me briefly. He said, “You’re gorgeous.”
Here are the reasons why I love having barely any hair:
1. It makes me put my shoulders back
2. It makes me feel cool (literally, too)
3. It makes me bolder. I look bold, so I begin to act more confident.
4. I think I look like someone awesome.
5. It’s fun to wear really feminine clothes with incredibly short hair.
On my way to meet Bear for lunch yesterday, a man on the street said to me, “You are really beautiful.” His tone was sincere. I said, “Thank you.”
People turned to look at Bear and I– the guy in tucked-in work clothes, the woman in the coral dress and heels, with the giant earrings and barely any hair.
“Who said you could be so sexy?” Bear teased.
“Me,” I said. “I did.” Which really is exactly how it went.
* * *
Unroast: Today I love my hair. It’s really my absolute favorite thing about myself right now.
P.S. It looks longer in the pictures than in real life. I don’t know why. It also looks lighter. In real life there’s a baldish patch in the back, where I clearly couldn’t see what I was doing
P.P.S I’m totally fine with people thinking I’m gay.