Women are complicated.
I once referred to myself as being one great big ball of self confliction. I can be simultaneously nervous and confident; I can simultaneously experience both excitement and trepidation; and I can be both joyful and sad at the same time. What makes me laugh today might only cause me to raise a questioning eyebrow tomorrow.
Put simply, my behavioral patterns will hold true – until they don’t.
But I think I share one thing in common with most women who have ever existed: I hate to go get my hair cut.
I know it doesn’t hurt. Physically, that is. But there is some emotional pain involved. First, we have to psych ourselves up for the trip because we have yet to find that hair stylist who won’t have us rushing home to re-do the new ‘do’ as soon as we’ve been dismissed from the chair. Then we have to spend no less than an hour and a half re-washing, re-blowing, re-styling what the hair dresser thought was her very own personal work of art.
And then we have to spend the next two weeks, maybe three, making a conscious effort to hold our heads high as we trek off to wherever it is we go every day, telling ourselves the whole time, in a repeated and willful mantra-like affirmation, “It’ll grow; it’ll grow back; justhurryupandgrow already!”
Now, no woman has ever looked into a mirror and whispered to herself with pure adoration, “I wouldn’t change a thing.” But there is that day, about two or three weeks into a new cut, where everything falls into place just as we’d hoped, and it’s a good hair day. No, not just good, it’s blissful. We try to remember the order of things because we’ve tried every combination of shampoo, lather, and rinse over the last two or three weeks. We’ve added gel, mousse, or both, and in different orders of completion. We’ve towel dried, air dried, and blown dry – head up and bent over. We’ve alternately brushed, picked, and combed. We’ve curled and straightened.
We’ve rushed out to buy an expensive brand of shampoo with full and unwavering knowledge that it is the solution to our problem.
And then when it happens, when the good hair day finally arrives, when every hair falls magically into a pleasant place, when we rush to hurry up and spray before our tresses mess up, then and only then is everything right with the world.
It puts a positive spin on our attitude, and the whole day is perfection. It’s as though we’re walking around with a visible protective aura. Nothing gets us down on those days. No snarky comments, bad attitudes, or childish behavior allowed. We are in our prime. During those days we can wear any color, make all the right decisions, lose a few pounds, and every meal we make is delicious and fat free. Our children respect us, our significant others are more attentive, and traffic is less cumbersome. During those days the dog won’t poop on the living room floor, the grocery stores are less crowded, and the world has found peace.
And so for the next seven days after we’ve reached euphoric perfection, we daringly mix it up, change the order of events, or don’t shampoo at all – and it still looks good. It’s the best it’s ever been; we start praising our stylist and vow to return to her for the next cut because of every cut we’ve ever had in our entire lifetime, this is the one we admire the most.
We spend a few quiet moments regretting that we didn’t tip her more.
We purchase a new top because we know that anything will go well with the new ‘do’. We’re happier, more compassionate, more confident, more mindful of the misfortune of others, and more appreciative of what we have. We love more, do more, and give more.
And then it happens. Day 8 wakes us up with an angry slap in the face. The bed-head hair will not wash out, curl out, or straighten out. We struggle to remember what we did to make it happen just that way that had us feeling so marvelous. Yet no amount of gel, mousse, or combination of both will restore the lustrous locks of just yesterday. We just know, with absolute certainty, that if only this little bit right here were trimmed off, just a little, perfection would be restored.
The scissors are right there.
The memory of what happened last time comes flooding back, and we vow to make another appointment tomorrow. But what do we say when we get there? “I only want you to cut the last 5 days’ worth of growth. Can you do that for me? Please? Hmmm?”
We know with that one thought that we are insane. Our otherwise decent cognitive abilities have just been put into severe question just as soon as that thought crosses our mind. And so we spend the next three or four weeks on edge, waiting, nervously anticipating, with sheer delight and simultaneous trepidation, an appropriate amount of time before the next visit to the person who had given us such joy. That same person we alternately hate and adore. That person to whom we have bestowed the absolute power to make us or break us.
That person we will spend three extra weeks dreading to go see, because we’ve never been happy with what she’s done to us. We’ve never had a cut that worked, or suited, or laid right. It’ll just be too short, too curly, or too straight. Or she’ll take too much off and we’ll have to spend forever waiting for it to grow back.
How did she get her job, anyway? She’s certainly no good at it.