A Change of Pace

"Oh, Jo, how could you? Your one beauty."
— Amy March in Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Me (back), my dad, my sister, Carrie, and my Grandma Haskell of the pin-curls 1980
I've always had pretty hair.  I've worn it long most of my life.  Long is easy, and cheap.  And pretty.  Then, more a decade ago, I decided there was nothing sadder than a fat old lady with stringy hair hanging down her back, clinging to the last vestiges of a glory long past—rather like the wisps of hair still clinging to her head.

So, I cut it.  My stylist, Melanie Knapke, suggested a bob.  Long hair and short both at once.  Melanie is very good.  She's also very expensive, so the length of my hair has waxed and waned with my finances.  For a while it was very long again.  I was content.

The other day, Dallas and I went shopping because I had a job interview and my clothes no longer fit.  I knew I have lost quite a bit of weight over the past year or so, but I hadn't gone down a dress size.  I had gone down two.  And, I got into a skirt a size that I haven't been able to wear for nearly 30 years.  I tried it on by mistake, but I even got it buttoned and zipped.  I didn't buy it, but I felt like one of those Progresso soup commercials.  It fits!  It fits!! [happy dance].  I didn't call Progresso.  I just told Desireé.

I needed change!   I had changed, and wanted my hair to change as well.  I guess I felt a bit of spring fever.  I have also had an aversion to becoming one of those middle-aged matrons with helmet hair.  I did not want to be a bobble-head.  I had been toying with the idea of shorter for a while, so I took Melanie this picture of my beautiful (and very stylin') sister, Carrie (the one on the right).

The conversation went like this as I sat in the chair before the mirror and Melanie tugged at my shaggy hair with her fingers:

" What do you think of short?"
"Do you have a picture?"  Melanie stares a few moments at Carrie's picture I lifted from Facebook.  ". . . umm, I could cut your hair like that, but you wouldn't like it."
[me making a squiggy face]  "I would look terrible, huh?"
"No, I could do it and make it look good, but you couldn't.  You couldn't make your hair look like this, and you would go home and hate it."

I sat there disappointed as Melanie explained to me about the curl in my hair and the fine wispies around my face that are such a pain to deal with.  These things I know, of course.  They're the biggest reason I've worn my hair long for so many years.  Carrie's hair is straight as a stick (which she hates, of course).   At least she can change it.

I inherited my grandmother's hair.  For as long as I knew her, she wore her hair short with two pin-curls plastered down right at the corners of her forehead.  Growing up, I thought she was just stuck in the 1930's and refused to change her hairstyle.  After years of sad experience, I realized she found something her hair would actually do and stuck to it.  Fortunately, I have more than bobby pins and Dippity Do to work with.

The long and the short (very short) of it?  Melanie gave me a great cut that works for my hair.  Desireé and Ariane really like it.  Desireé's mom, Leslie, was effusive.  Adam was properly appreciative.  Melanie said I reminded her of Natalie Portman.  I love Melanie.

Dallas hates it, of course.  With a purple passion.  He likes long hair.  But, darlin', I'm not seventeen any longer.  I had thought you noticed.

It's just a pic off my cellphone at Chuck E. Cheese's, but it's what I've got.  It looks a la monde in real life.  What do you think?

—A Chaotic Mind

8 comments:

Donna K. Weaver said...

I'm always cutting my hair. Variety is the spice of life, I say. Drives my hubby nuts.

Carrie said...

I LOVE it Frister! You are so sweet. My straight iron is my best friend! Have you ever tried one? I use mine to put body into my hair. That and a lot of product. I'm kind of schizo with my hair right now!

Lucy Stern said...

I like it Penny... Nothing wrong with a change... I need to get my hair cut again, I'm starting to look like Jane Jetson, with it curling up in the wrong places....lol

Joan Sowards said...

You look cute! A new hair cut gives a lift to life.

Lewis Family said...

I think it's beautiful! And you look happy with it, too, so it was a good choice. It'll grow back by the time you get sick of the short, if you do... It does remind me of Natalie Portman, too!

Lewis Family said...

I think it's beautiful! And you look happy with it, too, so it was a good choice. It'll grow back by the time you get sick of the short, if you do... It does remind me of Natalie Portman, too!

Ryan and Tawnee said...

It's darling....I LOVE short hair and you make it look good!

Penny Freeman said...

Thanks, all y'all! You are too kind. April, you're funny. I do like it, however; especially because it looks pretty good without blow-drying it---with a lot of product, though, Carrie. When Melanie was fixing it, she was very specific about the stuff I should use. Works great! I'm just worried that in a month or so, Dallas' hair will be longer than mine. :)