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  • But it's all right now, I've learned my lesson well
    You see, you can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself.


    Rick Nelson, Garden Party

    *

    I've never understood the whole female thing of shopping, getting ones nails done, getting one's hair done, and so on. Maybe it has to do with those prominent brow ridges I have. Besides being Neanderthal-ish, they are also male-ish. Too much testosterone in my body for a woman, perhaps. Or I am missing a vital gene that makes me fully human in the female sense?

    I like myself the way I am. I don't want to get my hair done and get make up and get nails and high heels and fluffy stupid dresses. UGH. As a kid, I was always a tomboy and I never fully outgrew that.

    But this is about hair, not nails or heels. My hair is naturally STRAIGHT and left to itself, it grows long. Why would I want to change what nature and the goddess gave me? It is also naturally grey. I do not intend to color it.

    If your hair is curly, I don't expect you to straighten it. If you love wearing madras shorts, I will not criticize your choice. If you want to have purple toe polish, that's your prerogative, and I won't criticize you for it. I do not intend to make you over--I like you as you are. Your uniqueness makes you special to me. And I do not want to be made over. (Not even in the past!) I am willing to change for good health or emotional growth, but not to be "cute." Especially since everyone defines cute differently. My husband thinks I'm cute just as I am! Or he's very good at pretending. (And I think he's cute, too!)
  • My first traumatic haircut came at the end of 8th grade. All through elementary school middle school and Jr. High, I wore my hair in braids. Or down, straight and loose. My friends told me that I couldn't go to high school in braids. (At that time, where I lived, high school started with the 9th grade.) They harped and prodded and pushed and nagged* until I went to the hairdresser at the end of eighth grade and had my hair cut off. I absolutely hated it. What a pain in the neck! All that wasted time and effort that could have been put to useful pursuits like walking in the woods, writing poetry and doing art. Sitting in a chair at the hairdresser's? Succulous in the nth degree. I tried for a year or two, tried a pixie haircut, a slightly longer softer look, and then gave up and let it grow. I figured anyone who didn't like me AS I WAS wasn't worth of my friendship. I still believe that, fifty years later. If you want me to be "cute" and cut my hair, you don't know me. You may never know me.

    ~

    (*This is one of the MANY reasons I hate advice. It's so often totally wrong for me. My friends seemed incapable of understanding that.)
  • However, many years later, I forgot this lesson. My husband at the time, let's call him Farley, was having an affair. His mistress, we'll call her Alison, had short, curled and coiffed hair. I rushed out to the hairdresser and had my hair done just like Al's. Exactly. But I didn't look like Al. I looked totally stupid. And I felt totally stupid. I couldn't believe I'd done that to myself. And it didn't help. Farley moved out of our house and in with Al. I grew my hair back. Never again.
  • If you ever see me with short hair, it means I've lost my marbles and am no longer me. Or I have cancer. Take me out back and shoot me.
  • Images:


    1. My father and mother shucking corn in 1945. My mother is pregnant with me. She was always very slender when she was young.

    2. Me, age 13, at the Catskill Game Farm--check out those snazzy safari shorts! This was one year before I got my hair cut off at age 14.

    3. Miget Weber's mom drew this picture of me when I was 13, but I was almost 14 and it was only about a month and a half before I cut my hair off.

    4. Me, my mother pouring orange juice and my father at the NY State Fair. This was after I finally grew my hair back.

    5. At Beaver Lake Nature Center--I'm on the far right. We are all holding snakes. This was around the time I cut my hair off in a vain attempt to get my husband to love me. The children are my daughters. You may not be able to tell, but they both have braids. (Those snakes, by the way, I raised from eggs.)

    6. The last one (coming up -->) was taken in the AV room in 1963 with Hal Phillips (my boyfriend). I may have been trying to look like a normal kid, but normal kids didn't join AV Club. I was huge nerd and pretending otherwise was pointless.

    7. Somewhere I have picture of myself with my short, curly hair right before my husband left me for Alison, but I never felt inclined to scan it.
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