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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Something Looks Different About You...

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 hair styles that have included streaks, highlights, lowlights, frostings, layers, braids and a brief foray into the much-maligned mullet.

That’s right. I had a mullet.

I was young. I was crazy. I was reckless in my choice of hairdressers.

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 the taking of my first-grade picture, five minutes before I left for school, with two other children to feed and see off, I cut my own bangs.

The result was 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 bother me, but now it’s like having a cow look at you: you don't put a lot of stock into what the cow may or may not be thinking.

This time, however, he actually seems to be both looking at me and seeing me.

“Pat?”

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.”

Hmm. Yeah. I got that you thought it looked different.

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

I fight the urge to tell him they are new. 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?

And that’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?”

35 comments:

You've Got to Be Kidding Me said...

Yeah. Anyone who asks "What'd you do to your hair" is not running on all cylinders. *LAUGH*

Miss Footloose said...

Thanks for the laugh!

Long ago I worked in a hospital and kept wondering why there was always a new, strange nurse every day, although I often did think I had seen them somewhere else, but couldn't remember where. I used to see them in passing, so didn't spend time with them.

After a while it was starting to freak me out until I realized I wasn't seeing multiple strangers, but one nurse who had a whole collection of very different wigs.

One day she was a long-haired blonde, the next a curly haired redhead. A very schizo experience for me, but actually a relief because it wasn't me who was nuts ;)

Roses said...

Funnily enough, I had my haircut yesterday. It's short all over, with a fringe.

But damn, your post made me laugh.

The fearless threader said...

You should try working with people who work in operating rooms, and then see then out and about outside work. YOu walk straight past them completely oblivious despite being really good mates in work!

Boom Boom Larew said...

So, where's the new profile picture showing your new do? (And the freckles!)

white rabbit said...

the brain cell deficit/entertainment choices bit had me grinning from ear to ear...

Damn, you're good! :D

Kevin Musgrove said...

Some of us will be strangely untroubled by the worry we'll carry our teenage hair styles into old age.

And I think you were being terribly evasive: have you always had those freckles?

Douglas said...

I have never had freckles... or bangs... or multi-colored hair. I did have a pony tail once. People did notice when it was cut off. They asked... Have you gained weight?

mare said...

i want to have bangs again.. but i am terrified of hairdressers. Is that normal? :D

Eva Gallant said...

I have bangs out of necessity; I have a crater in my forehead that demands to be shielded from the public eye!

Jhon Baker said...

I too once had a mullet - tell anyone and I'll visit you in the dead of night with my clippers. I recently cut about seven inches off my beard - now closer to the face and I was saddened that nearly no-one noticed - I decided that I would never trim it again (except the split ends) and ZZ Top my self.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

I had bangs my whole childhood and for years after that. Every time I'd grow them out I'd hate it and cut them again, even after months of nasty awkward in-between phases. Then the last two years I've had no bangs but I look weird. I admit it, weird. I have a widow's peak which I hate and an odd hair line and my face just didn't suit it no matter what way I had the front. Plus every time I'd go to a hairdresser they'd be all "Hmmm. have you ever thought about bangs?" Damn. Now I have caved in and have bangs again and they do look better on me. Stupid hair.

I'm sure yours look stunning!

WrathofDawn said...

Pictures or it didn't happen!

I always get the "new glasses?" question if I change my hair and "new hairdo?" when I change my glasses.

I did both rather drastically not long ago. Went from dark-framed glasses and really short, really blond hair to frameless glasses and shoulder-length reddish brown. People walk by me in the street and if I greet them, they look totally puzzled.

It's like being in the witness protection program.

Dan Baker said...

Hi, Thanks so much for dropping by my blog and commenting on one of my poems! :) It's monday morning and I'm trying to get into work (my day job) for the week, this put a great smile on my face! I love the bit "but now it’s like having a cow look at you"... I think I got a few strange looks in the office here when I chuckled aloud at that one! :)

Molly Potter said...

Where does 'Bangs' come from...that's a step away from the British 'fringe' that I cannot see a logical route to. Educate me Pearl.

I bet you look good - despite your new freckles
xxx

a Broad said...

I have poker straight hair and always have.
My mom tortured it into perms as a kid and I suffered untold hours of agony from kids mocking me.
My cousin laughed when I got a "pixie" haircut, so I pushed him, so he pushed me and made me fall Off the porch and cut my leg ... all because of that hair cut.
Since I escaped that place I lived in and the parents, I have had the same long, straight hair style with fringe ( bangs) ... forever ... no one laughs at me anymore.. I am fine with that.
* I know what you mean about cows looking at you but Pup actually has opinions ! god save me*

24 Corners said...

I'm a bang girl myself, except for a short period in my teens when I was trying to be a surf chick with "long blonde hair" via Sun-In! I ended up with long orange hair...I have to say, it did go with my fake orange tan nicely!
Bangs make you look ten years younger so be prepared for ID checks...that's not a bad thing is it!?

Happy Halloween and please don't scare yourself with old lady hair thoughts anymore...as long as it's not colored a pale pink, mauve or lavender in the attempts to hide the shock of white hair we're all bound to get...you'll be OK! ;)
xo J~

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Pearl! I usually notice, even if I'm not sure what has changed. I open with a "Well hey, you look different!" with a chirpy tone and wait for them to tell me what they did. And when they do, I say "Well yeah, and it looks great!". Hi, my name is Indigo, and I'm 41. I've just about learned how to make polite smalltalk. Indigo

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Hahaha, I think I'll try Indigo's gambit. Don't know why, but I believe I squint at people when I say, "I'm trying to figure out what's different about you." They figure my eyesight is going (it may be) and usually cop to whatever changes they've made.

Wynn said...

LOL. I'm gonna do that too. "Hey, you've always had those ears?"

Gigi said...

I'm with the others - waiting to see the photo that shows of those freckles or that new 'do.

I've currently got bangs (trimmed 'em myself) - I always try to grow them out and then see pictures of my giant forehead and then cut them off. It's a never ending cycle.

Joanna Jenkins said...

I have a pact with my gal pals that we won't ever let each other have crazy hair when we're really old. I just hope when we're that old we still remember we made the pact.
Happy halloween, jj

Kay Dennison said...

Hair! I have always hated mine -- baby fine and fly away. Hairdressers hate me and complain about it so I stopped going to them and became addicted to buying any products that advertise: adds body, volume, or whatever. That said, at 63, I give up! I think I'm going to have put on my tombstone: Now I can quit worrying about my hair! LOL

Kal said...

I can always be worse. He could have asked you if you had that mole checked recently or see him looking in your window from the street at night. I think you got off easy.

Donna Hole said...

LOL; I liked this.

So nice to meet you Pearl.

.......dhole

Ugich Konitari said...

Here in India we dont call things by ordinary names like bangs. Anyone who wanted bangs always asked for a Sadhana Cut, named after Sadhana, an actress in those days, who immortatised "fringes". This never got any disparaging comments.

28 years ago, I just had a trim, and then attended a family social event. I was asked by a cousin's cousin (by marriage) , a highly qualified academic then, why i looked "haggard".

At first I thought that was the name of a new TV sitcom I never saw. Then I realized, that maybe i should have just got a fringe cut....or bangs..:-).....

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

Those experiments in the 80's sure did some damage.

I have gone back to bangs recently too, and I love it 'cuz it hides my forehead wrinkles. Of course, those are new.
xoRobyn

Tempo said...

Youre way stronger than me Pearl, I wouldnt have been able to resist telling him that the freckles were painted on..or spatter from the hair dye..

Rock Chef said...

I just let my hair do its own thing. My wife gives it a chop if I start to look like Einstein...

Symdaddy said...

Hair!


I had some once!


*SIGH*

RW said...

so didja tell him?

Gaston Studio said...

Yep, another example of how we don't really look at or listen to other humans. Sad.

Bass said...

Mock the male race, with your "will you - won't you" have retro-schoolgirl hairstyle in old age when several of the male species can hardly say pattern and baldness without wiping a tear from an eye.

I unite in Sighing

River said...

I remember when I had my ten inch long ponytail cut off and went to work the next morning with collar length hair. My supervisor said "you look different but I can't pick what it is. What did you change?"
She was so surprised to see no ponytail when I turned my head.

Eric said...

Can somebody explain why women are so obsessed with bangs? Every woman I've ever dated, present company not excluded, have from time to time stood at the mirror wistfully dreaming out loud about having bangs as if they were a fool's dream. Why just last week my lady brushed her long beautiful hair back behind her ear and then folded over the bunch hanging down her forehead saying "Look. This is what it would look like if I had bangs." I would like to be five inches taller, but I can't just go to a place and have that done. So I applaud you, Pearl, for taking this huge step on behalf of all the women I've ever known. Surely it was a Herculean effort picking up that phone and climbing into that car, sitting in that chair for a tortuous hour to get the bangs all women dream of. All kidding aside I bet they look great. Post a picture...