At first, my hair wasn’t long enough. So I decided I would let it grow. Then, my hair was long enough, and I was scared to cut it all off. So I waited. And I waited. And my split ends were starting to take on a life of their own, since, by this point, it had been months and months since I had any sort of hair cut. Yet, I couldn’t bring myself to call and make an appointment to get my hair cut because then I felt like I’d be going back on a promise. A promise I’d made to myself, but still. Every morning, I found myself looking at my hair, thinking that it really, really needed to be cut. But I didn't do anything about it.
Last night, I blew my hair out straight and measured it again. And yes, it was more than long enough. I bundled it in a ponytail at the nape of my neck and asked my husband to cut the ponytail off. Just cut straight, I told him. He insisted that he could not cut straight, that he was afraid of messing it up. Just do it. I told him, handing him the scissors. Just cut straight.
He was right. He could not cut straight. A few minutes later, he handed me the most crooked lopped off ponytail ever. I imagine the people at Pantene may even start laughing when they see it, trying to imagine what I look like on the other end.
One side of my hair was about two inches shorter than the other. I told you I couldn’t do it, my husband was insisting. Yes, in his defense, he had. You should’ve let me cut it, my kindergartner said. Yes, I should have. Next time, I told him.
So I took the scissors and straightened it out the best I could. My hair is curly anyway, so it’s fine. It’s just that now, it’s really really short, just below my ears.
After this whole debacle we went out last night to a concert. I kept wondering if people were staring at my slightly crooked hair, or if people who knew me where silently critiquing my way-too-short cut. I woke up this morning, searching through my drawers for cute barrettes, and when I couldn’t find any, made a promise to myself that this will be my first errand of the day. Maybe with a headband it wouldn’t be so bad, I tried to convince myself.
I packaged up my ponytail and addressed the envelope. I thought about the woman who will get this crooked ponytail, eventually. (The Pantene site says it takes six of them to make a wig, so that will mean five other people like me will also need to do this to help one woman.) I thought about her, and how maybe all her hair has fallen out from cancer treatment. How her problems cannot be solved by cute barrettes or headbands. How she has much bigger things to worry about than crooked ends.
I showed my kids the ponytail and told them I was going to send it to help someone who was sick get a wig. Cool, my kindergartener said. Then he added, Mom, you look so beautiful with your new hair.
So it’s almost summer and my hair is really short. So what?
I will grow it back, and then I’ll do this again, I promise myself.
Only next time, I will ask someone else to cut!