Haircuts and other acts of bravery

My ridiculous hair.

I need to cut my hair off. It’s long and heavy and ridiculous.

But I don’t want to. Maybe long hair reminds me of being young…

That’s the problem, see? I’m NOT young. I’m on the verge of forty, and the locks need to go before I “cross over.”

So today I went back to Megan, the awesome hair designer chick who did the stellar cut and blow-out on my cat pee day in April.

I brought my daughter along for moral support and tried to psyche myself up for the change.

But then I couldn’t do it. I only had the guts for a trim.

In my defense, I have a whole seven months before the big 4-0, and I need every second to work up my courage and figure out a reasonable style for the transformation.

God help me.

Even though I didn’t do the drastic chop today, I’m glad I went to see Megan. I needed it. My hair was a mess and so was I.

I blabbed the whole time about my last blog and about the anime Girlie from the busway mural and about my embarrassing bouts of self-loathing in my writing life.

Megan was awesome–she listened like a saint, suggested I find my own fearless anime avatar, AND gave me another kick-ass cut and blow-out. It IS easier to feel confident when your hair is rockin’.

Despite my own lack of courage in the barber chair (or perhaps because of my personal fail), my daughter and I spent the afternoon watching the movie Brave

I love animated people. They always do the right thing. They have all sorts of trials and tribulations. They face more dramatic and dangerous challenges than anything I ever experience, and yet life works out for them. And they manage to look beautifully disheveled while they set a better example of how to deal with adversity than us real people.

The theater was dark, so I let myself cry a little during the more sentimental moments. I felt better afterward.

Once again, a vicarious heroine experience saves my day.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie. It fits my current genre-focus on “girl coming-of-age stories.” (I guess that’s a genre.)

Plus, the girl (Princess Merida) had red hair and a nice mom. I could identify with that.

Sometimes I need to be reminded that stories can be engaging, even if they don’t contain rape, chemical addiction, or self-mutilation. Although the dad DID have a wooden leg.

The movie’s basically about growing up, facing the expectations of your family, and finding your own way. I care about those things. Much of my own writing grapples with those challenges.

Unlike Princess Merida, I didn’t do anything brave today. In fact, one could argue that I committed acts of cowardice.

But at least now I feel braver. And the feeling reminds me of courage and courage can make a person braver and there’s always a chance that I’ll do something brave today. Or tomorrow.

And in case you’re wondering, I DID tip Megan appropriately this time.

So at least karma’s back on my side.

6 thoughts on “Haircuts and other acts of bravery

  1. OMG don’t cut the HAIR.You say it looks bad but from that photo your hair looks to be a beautiful color and in good health.. And long hair is kool.
    I strumbled over here from another blog ( I don’t remember who – I’m so bad at that) who follows you and I HAD to leave a comment. after all , by our Blog names we are Cousins or something, don’t you think?

    Nice Stuff HPU. signed Nuff Said, aka Air Cooled Underware…………. GRIN.

    • Thanks Air Cooled Underware for the comment! I still haven’t cut the hair, but I’m SO on the verge. It’s healthy, but it’s thick and heavy and a pain in the neck (literally). And yes, we are definitely blog cousins. Great to meet you.

  2. First thought: my son Lincoln’s favorite movie/character is Merida from Brave. He and Norah play with his barbie of her every time they’re together (usually along with his Batman one, because in their world those two are married).

    But mostly: it’s your hair and you do whatever you want. I had very (very!) long hair growing up. It was part of my identity. When I cut it all off and went pixie about eight years ago, for some reason this was a huge deal to people. My mom and childhood best friend have spent the last eight years begging me to grow it back out, insisting that I’m not me without long hair. Somehow it has become this issue wrapped up in guilt. I think going in there and doing what I want, and not what they want, was definitely an act of courage. And laziness, because it’s exponentially easier to care for/style super short hair. Now, as my hair has grown out to my shoulders, I wonder if I’m doing it because I want to, or because I’m tired of fighting what other people want, or if I can’t tell the difference anymore. Have you read this: http://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/engl494/bernicebobs.pdf

    • Hi Jess!! *waves* I hope you get this response, even though I’m woefully behind in my blog attentiveness and embarrassingly tardy in responding to you. That said, THANK YOU for your thoughts on hair and identity and social reactions to both. And I applaud your courage to cut. I really want my hair short short, and so far, I’ve only made it to just-above-shoulders. I don’t know what’s holding me back–it’s like you say: it’s hard to tell the difference between what you want and what others want from you. Because they’re linked. Our opinions about hair trace back to the larger female beauty narratives by which we’ve all been influenced. Thanks again for the insightful comments AND the Fitzgerald story!!
      Meagan

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