A couple things.
I’m writing a column for The Frisky now. It launched yesterday. This is my first piece for it. It took me around four hours to write, because I was so nervous. I have never written a column before. I started to write a column for Home Education Magazine and then the whole magazine fell briefly apart. I think it’s starting up again soon. So really, this is my first time writing a column. I read some other columns, and they were really funny and clever and involved lists of things. Instead of being especially clever and writing lists, I decided to be myself and write some more about body image. I did that. I hope it’s OK.
Tomorrow I am leaving for the Virgin Islands with my family, because my parents won a week-long trip. I wrote a post about being scared to wear a bikini during this trip. Then I went to H&M and bought a gold one. It doesn’t have a terrifying face on it, like the really cool one in my post. I didn’t have time to get that one. In preparation for the trip, I decided to get my hair buzzed again (it’s really obvious how fast it grows when it’s so short). Last time, I went with Bear to a fancy salon, where I paid somewhere around $60 (holy shit) for a stylist to unwillingly and disapprovingly buzz my hair. This time I went to a barber. A burly Russian guy was happy to cut my hair off for $15. He did it even shorter than before. I am almost bald. It is a little scary.
The whole time he was talking and talking, and I told him about the trip and he said he wished his synagogue had contests for trips like that. So it turned out he was Jewish, too! I felt at home. And then my head was really naked and these guys stopped in the street and gestured at me, grinning and talking to each other. I was wearing the dress from this post. I felt like an alien. And this person who I couldn’t tell if they were a woman or a man said, “I love your hair!” Which made me feel a little better.
And I am about to meet up with my brother-in-law, who is back from a year in Australia, and who is very cool and very confident and who all my friends are like “Oh my god, he’s so incredibly hot!” about, and who I have only been around like five times. And I think there’s a chance he’s going to think to himself, “Who is this weird girl my brother married? She is totally bald and crazy!”
I realize that there is basically no way for me to look normal at this point.
“What do you do?” the Russian Jewish guy cutting my hair asked.
“I’m a writer.”
“What do you write about?”
I thought about it. I still don’t know what to say. “Body image, mostly,” I said.
He was silent for a long time, thoughtful. Then he said, “Interesting.”
“I think so,” I said lamely. But really, I didn’t feel that lame.
“What does your husband think about your hair?” he asked.
“I think he likes it better long,” I said. “But he likes it short, too.”
“But it’s my hair anyway.”
“You should be happy.”
I wasn’t sure I was happy after. Maybe I’d gone too far this time. I looked like I was trying to prove something.
Am I trying to prove something? I wondered.
People were staring at me everywhere I went. I couldn’t tell if it was good or bad, but since I was nervous I leaned towards guessing bad.
I am about to hang out with my brother-in-law, and it’s clear that I have to be really, really awesome, to make up for having no hair. But he’s definitely cooler than me, and he will definitely see through my awesome act. So maybe I will have to resort to just being me. Like with the column. Mostly because I suck at pretty much everything else.
I hope he likes me.
I married his brother. We’re family now. Family is a funny thing. It’s funny how you might not even really know people in your own family.
It’s funny how you can be willing to look really bold but also feel secretly really shy.
Secretly, sometimes I just want to look totally normal. After all of my hair was gone this time, I felt this sinking sense of dread. It was too late! Now I would have to stand out even more! No turning back! I don’t even know where to find a good wig!
Shit. I’m going to just have to be myself. Totally exposed. I’ll just have to figure it out.
I think that’s a big part of why I keep doing this, anyway.
(this is how i take photos. with a laptop)
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Do you ever finding yourself forcing yourself to be more like you? Is that too philosophical a question?
Unroast: Today I love the way my lips look with just a touch of vaseline. Does anyone else put vaseline on their lips all the time?
Speaking of cutting off hair (which I always seem to be these days), this reader sent me a photo of herself after she cut off TEN inches of her hair and dyed it platinum. She said she read my posts about hair for courage before she did it. (Yay!!) The first thing I thought when I saw this was “elfyn queen.” Which is pretty much the biggest compliment ever, as far as I’m concerned. Had to share.
AND another fabulous reader cake pic for the gallery!! I wish I wasn’t hungry as I was posting this…Also, that is my favorite expression, on both of their faces.
Send me yours!