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Monday, November 9, 2009

No, I’m Just Saying You Look Different, That’s All

People say to me, Pearl? What are you afraid of?

And I say, you know? One of my current fears is that as an old woman I will have the same hair style that I did in high school.

It’s a silly fear, and one without a foundation. I’ve run the gamut of “natural” hair colors (as opposed to “unnatural”, i.e., blue or green) and hairy styles that have included streaks, highlights, lowlights, frostings, layers, braids and a brief foray into the much-aligned mullet.

That’s right. I had a mullet.

I was young. I was crazy. I’d wear any hairstyle.

Recently, I’ve paid for my hair to be dyed a dark reddish brown; and, for the first time in several hundred years, I’ve got bangs.

My mother cut our hair when we were children. When she could not find the time the morning of first-grade pictures, five minutes before I left for school, with two other children to feed and see off, I cut my own bangs.

They were what my mother referred to as “experimental”.

These are the first bangs I’ve had since that fateful day

You’d be amazed at how many people can look at you and not notice that you now have a fringe of hair curtaining your forehead. Do it sometime – get bangs, if only to have someone look you straight in the eye and say, “What’s different about you? You get new glasses?”

I had this experience at work the other day.

The guy from the mailroom was staring at me.

This is not entirely unusual. This guy gives the Fish Eye to a number of people. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything. It used to really bother me, but now it’s like having a cow look at you.

But this time, he actually seems to be both looking at me and seeing me.


He focuses. “Oh,” he says.

“What’s up?” I say.

“Wudja dooter yer hair?” he says.

What’d I do to my hair? What’d I DO to it? What do you mean, what did I do to it?

“I had it done,” I said. “Different color. Bangs. Slight trim.”

“No, I mean,” he said. “I just noticed it looks different.”

Yeah. I got that you thought it looked different.

“Hey,” he says. “Have you always had those freckles?”

Granted, I think Pat is working with a brain-cell deficit here, possibly from some poor entertainment choices in the 80s, but still, I find this brief exchange unsatisfying. What just went on here? I think we could have skipped the last 30 seconds, don’t you?

And there’s another thing I’m afraid of.

That someday I will be the one to stare at the face of someone I’ve known for six years and say “Have you always had freckles?”

And just as soon as I have a decent picture of me and my new bangs, I'll post it.


Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

LOL! I get you on that one!

Carol said...

Sounds like those bangs must really set-off your freckles :)

Funny, I think I have met a similar fellow in a corporate mail room before....

Pearl said...

Lee, :-)

Carol, :-) Having worked in the mail room myself, I can tell you it's a safe haven for folks that move at their own speed. It's not ALWAYS the case, of course, and I know some really great people in shipping, but there's always a couple weirdos in there!

Christine Gram said...

I like changing my hair, but a couple of years ago my eyes turned from brownish hazel to blue. That really threw them off.

powdergirl said...

I can't even move my part a quarter inch without someone asking whats different.

Sometimes I feel over scrutinized.

And I've never worked in a mail room, but I've done shipping and receiving. Oy vey.

Love the cow comparison : )

Venom said...

No matter how things change, they always seems to stay the same. At least, in the case of my hair it is so. Damn it, I TRY to bust loose, but it always ends up looking like that wavy mop sort of but not really with bangs because I keep pushing them out of my eyes....

I've pretty much given up.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

A picture of Pearl with red hair could be a brief glimpse into Heaven.

I changed my hair recently. Got it buzzed down. The Indian guy at work teased me about it for about three days.

kimber p said...

omg, can I empathize with this post. Every single time I plop down into my stylist's chair, I sigh, ever-so-dramatically- "I am SO sick of my hair!"

I've tried everything from really short to growing it to my shoulders long, yet nothing satisfies me about it. So, I just go with something similar and familiar and resign myself to never really liking what I see.

and Pearl, if he's noticing your freckles, maybe it's time to switch foundation makeup..lol

ellen abbott said...

Oh yes, I remember the time I cut my own bangs. Trouble is, my hair is curly, especially when it is short. Not a pretty picture. Never had bangs since.

When I cut my hair from down to the small of my back to just a bit longer than my chin, all the women commented. All the men who know me and I encountered? One noticed and said something. One.

Jayne Martin said...

"Did you always have those freckles?" LOL! Oh, he sounds like someone who'd be sooooo much fun to screw with on a daily basis.

Mandy's Kidding said...

Maybe he's got a crush on you and your freckles...

Douglas said...

Your mail room sounds a bit like the entire company I worked for for 34 years. With the exception of myself and a handful of others, it seemed more like a halfway house for the mentally off-kiltered.

@eloh said...

I part my hair a little differently than high school, it's white instead of black... um and it is a lot thinner...

I think I just got sorta depressed.

Anonymous said...

Oh Pearl...didn't you see that scary movie...'Attack of the Freckles'?
It was awful. Porcelain skinned, fair-haired maidens through out the Land of Olay were horror stricken by the sudden appearance of freckles. It was an idependent film of course...
(I've always enjoyed my freckles)

Not The Rockefellers said...

He sounds like one of my in-laws...

They just can't give you a compliment without self destructing somewhere along the line...

"Rene, I didn't recognize you...you finally did something with your hair...it's flattering, nice, if that's what you like"...


Peace - Rene

Sarah said...

Haha! If it's any consolation, I worry I'll have the same hair style I did in high school too. ;)

Poor Pat. At least he's making the effort to keep up, right?

Nicolasa said...

haha, this is funny! I hope that never happens where you are asking someone if they have always had freckles!

Red Squirrel said...

You had a mullet?


lisleman said...

"It used to really bother me, but now it’s like having a cow look at you. "
Now that's a great line.
You know some cows are scary when they stare you down. Also, (I should look up the number because you never know) X number of people are serious injured every year by cows.
Oh one more thing - did you every see the video clip "cows with guns"

Oh did you get bangs?

Courtney said...

I have noticed your bangs, and I think they look chic! No brain-cell deficit here.

The Retired One said...

So funny Pearl!!
I bet you look adorable with bangs.
It always makes people look younger (this I have them). ha

Not that you needed to look younger, you always are beautiful and very young looking....!!
But did I say yet that I bet you look adorable with bangs???

Daffy said...

The Fish Eye can be creepy but I think its even more freakish when you get the Fish Eye out of one eye and the Spacing off - what the heckareyoulooking at - out of the other eye.

Would love to see these new sexified bangs!

Pearl said...

Christine, from hazel to blue? Are you messing with me?!

Powdergirl, I kinda liked my days in the warehouse/shipping and receiving. The dress is casual and most of the jokes are filthy. Easy.

Venom, just wait 15 minutes. The “mop” will be back and everyone will be trying to copy your ‘do!

Mjenks, you are too kind. :-)

Kimber, foundation?! I never wear make-up! Ha ha just kidding. I wear the full face and love it.

Ellen, Women generally notice, that’s true. My favorite is when you get something like new glasses. That throws a kink into things.

Jayne, you’d think so, but he’s pretty morose most of the time. It’s like messing with Eeyore.

Mandy, you have no idea how disturbing that is. :-D

Douglas, I work with some very bright people – with some very distinctive quirks. They’re smart but they’re weird…

@eloh, my fear is that I’ll still have the Farah bangs in my 50s. You don’t have Farah bangs, do you?

Sweet Cheeks, I rather like my freckles as well!

Rene, oh, don’t you hate those?! “Yeah, looks good. If you’re into that sort of thing…”

Sarah, Pat gets extra credit for any sentence that does not end with him complaining.

Nicolasa, I know! What did he think I was going to say? That I just got them?

Red Squirrel, I most certainly did. For about three months. It was 1981 and I had too much time on my hands…

Lisleman, what, this little fringe here?! Why yes, I got bangs last week! (Oh, and every year absolute SCORES of people are injured in cow-staring incidences!)

Courtney, thank you! I’ve noticed that you are a force to be reckoned with during the lunch quizzes!!

Retired One, do you know, I think people DO look younger with bangs! Look at the two of us! Like a couple of high schoolers!

Daffy, oh, yes, well there’s the Fish Eye and then there’s the Wall Eye. When that happens, you just stare at the end of his nose and hope for the best!

Douglas said...

A couple of last thoughts:

I never said they weren't smart (well, some of them anyway).

I met and almost fell for a girl with bangs. A raven-haired beauty from Massachusetts whose bangs stopped just above her eyelids. Very Cleopatra-like. Her father didn't trust bellboys around his daughter, however, and our stolen glances went for naught.

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Pearl! Thanks for commenting on my blog so I could find yours. You're adorable!

I know what you mean about those pre-picture bangs. My mother used to cut ours the night before picture day--so not pretty.

My son had my old second grade teacher, and when I told her on Parent's Night that she taught me, too, she said (with a perfectly straight face), "Oh, you changed your hair."

Great blog!

Kavi said...

Bangs ! Thats an addition to the vocabulary...

Anonymous said...

LOL! I have a fringe (that's British for bangs) to hide my wrinkles and bring out my freckles too!

Kurt said...

Now I'm afraid I haven't noticed freckles on anyone. I'll have to do inventory on my friends for a few weeks.