15 October 2003

Hair. I told Rowena I was composing something about hair, on the occasion (slightly after the occasion, now) of cutting all mine off.

Long hair is supposed to equal power. The Biblical Samson had superhuman strength, but once Delilah cut his hair off, he was weak. In some stories, mermaids are said to die if their hair dries (or is that nixes?). There are probably other legends along these lines in other cultures, but I can't think of any right now (ugh, I should not attempt to write deep, meaningful things when I have a phlegmy, snotty cold; this was going to be a fabulous piece of creative non-fiction).

I used to have very long hair.

Although the continual comments like, "Your hair is sooo long," and "It must have taken you forever to grow your hair" sometimes got annoying, I always liked having long hair. And it was long. I could sit on it (making it difficult, sometimes, to get up from a chair). It would get stuck under me in bed now and then, so I couldn't move my head. But then I dicovered that hanging it over the pillow got it out of the way. It was nice to brush.

Then I decided to cut it. People keep asking me why, and I can't really say. I just felt like it. I could never really do anything with it, besides put it in a braid, or put it in a pony tail, or maybe two braids or two ponytails for a change. Loose is nice, but have you ever tried to brush three feet of hair after you've stood out on a breakwater for an hour? Think high winds and salt air. I ended up with a rather disreputable-looking nest attached to my head. Some slovenly bird would have loved it. I very patiently brushed it out and though how lucky I was to be able to grow my hair so long. And then I decided to cut it.

So the braid the stylist took off measures about 27 inches (meaning that, unbraided, it'd be longer). Then, of course, she cut more off as she was styling. Everyone in the salon was worried that such a sudden change would be a shock. I felt fine. The hair is going to do good. It's all packed up to mail because I kept finding it. It's a weird thing to find a superlong braid of your hair lying around the house. Kind of like stumbling on your own severed limb, I imagine. But not as gross.

So now I have short, kind of saucy hair and I really like it. Can't say why, exactly, though when I was looking for haircut pictures online, I came across an article that said a lot of women get their hair cut short right after they get divorced or end a long-term relationship. It's a power thing. Short hair gives them power. A little different than the Samson and Delilah story.

I don't think that's why I did it, though. For power (haven't ended a relationship recently). I can't tell you why, but that wasn't it.

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