HAIR

Today I got a free haircut.

If you know me, you know I like free things, but a free haircut is never a good sign.

It’s not that it’s a terrible haircut either. Really. It’s fine. It’s just nothing like we talked about before getting it cut. The hairstylist, let’s call her Ray, showed me a picture of something that would look “adorable” on me. It was all one length; a blunt bob. It was exactly what I wanted, and I wondered how she found a more perfect picture in five minutes than I had in several months.

You see, I had been hoping and waiting to get my haircut for the past 8 months.

I’ve grown out my pixie, but it should be really grown before I get it cut.

It’s longer, but I want there to be a little extra so there was something to trim.

There’s a little extra, but maybe I should wait until the front can be the longest.

And then, today, I decided it was time. After living off of self-trims for a year and a half, it was time to get things tidied up.

I wasn’t wearing my glasses, so I couldn’t tell what was happening above my smock until it was completely dry.

“Put on your glasses,” Ray said.

I slipped them on, and the layer above my ear was staring back at me, 3 (4?) inches shorter than it had been when I walked it. That stupid, stubborn spot is the worst to grow out. Anyone who’s grown out hair knows is the TOUGHEST. It takes the longest. You pull and yank and will it to grow, and mine did.

But now it’s sticking out, chopped off above my ear.

Like I said, it’s not an ugly haircut exactly. With time I might even like it, but in that chair, staring at something that I had waited for for over a year, I began to cry.

I tried to hold it in, and I did okay. But I couldn’t stop the guttural groan that left my throat.  Ray continued to flip it around as my hand slowly lifted up to feel. Yes, it was that short.

“It’s so short,” I said.

She assured me it wasn’t. “You didn’t lose any length off of the bottom.” She was right. The bottom layer stayed the same. Literally, the back of my hair–what I wanted cut–stayed the same.

I told her it didn’t look a thing like the picture. She got the picture out, assured me it did. I argued. She said it was her fault. I kept silent. She brought up the picture again and argued more. I kept silent.

I stayed silent as she hugged me. I stayed silent as she kissed me on the cheek, several times. This woman I had only known thirty minutes smooshed her cigarette mouth to my face over and over. “You’re gorgeous. You’re gorgeous!”

I think she did that because she knew. She knew not that it was not what I wanted (though that too). I think she did that because she knew that hair is so stupid for women.

The way we view hair is so stupid. It means so much. It means too much.

And that hit me on the way home. I was being ridiculous.

But you know what? It didn’t make me stop crying. I wish that thought had taught me something about how women shouldn’t use their looks for self worth. In this scenario, I’d wipe my tears, blast the music, and laugh about it over dinner. But just as I was on the verge of reaching for the radio dial, my short layer fell into my eyes and my little giggle at the ridiculousness of it all turned into a full-on sob…

which turned into full-on yelling in the car

which turned into laughing at how stupid I was being for getting this upset

which turned into crying at how stupid I was to go to a stylist I didn’t know

which turned into yelling again.

So it goes.

Is it completely inappropriate to pull out Vonnegut at a time like this? I think yes, but then I touch my hair and my soul screams no.

I cut my hair two years ago because I wanted a change, but I also wanted to not depend on it. I always had this long, thick hair that sort of overtook my look. And when I cut my hair, it was like I saw my face for the first time. I didn’t want my hair to be beautiful, I wanted to shine without it.

If you are lucky, there is a moment in your life when you have some say as to what your currency is going to be. I decided early on it was not going to be my looks. – Amy Poehler, Yes Please

In many ways, I was making a similar decision when I cut my hair. I learned that I was worth more than hair.

Flash forward, and I’m crying about a measly 3 (4?) inches.

And then I laugh at it, and I try to think good thoughts. I really, really try. I know caring this much about hair is stupid, and I’m letting it go.

Right now. Big breath. It’s only hair. Big breath. I’m more valuable than getting the exact haircut I want. And last big breath. I want to be the kind of beautiful that can pull off any hair or no hair at all.

I want to be pretty like this:

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. -Roald Dahl, The Twits

I want to be lovely, not because of my hair, but because of my thoughts. I’m making them prettier one. big. breath. at. a. time.

And now I’m also thinking that this entire blog post is so emotional about hair, which sends me into a fit of laughter. That might be the best thing to do, actually. Laugh and laugh and laugh and choose which hat to wear. Luckily, I did do a fashion show the other day.

Photo on 11-22-14 at 2.15 PMPhoto on 11-22-14 at 2.12 PM #2

Photo on 11-22-14 at 2.13 PMPhoto on 11-22-14 at 2.14 PM

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The Bachelor Party

Is it such a crime?

I mean, in a world where I could spend my Monday night ironically checking out the newest Gastropub renovated from a movie theater complete with a bronze mural of the Tenenbaums that serves some sort of imitation meat pie by a bearded man without a beard net, is my choice so bad?

I don’t think so, and yet… I am embarrassed. If I had gone to something like that Gastropub (most likely named “The Sweaty-Toothed Madman”), I could feel free to brag right now. I could boast in my most recent foodie/hipster/unique conquest.

But this I keep to myself. I hide it within. I keep my mouth shut and my ears open. In the lunch room at work, my head shoots toward the whispers.

“Farmer Chris.”

“Rosebud.”

My hope is shot down when I realize they’re discussing a distant relative and also Citizen Kane. (For the record, I would actually not be that disappointed if this were the topics of discussion during lunch.)

I, like what seems to be very few self-respecting women, can’t help myself. I like The Bachelor and not in an ironic way.

In fact, one of the highlights of my week is The Bachelor Party hosted by Jill.

(Are they hosted by Jill? I mean, they’re at Jill and Rachelle’s place, but Rob’s the one cooking. Rachelle is the one baking. Jill’s the one telling Rob to make a dirty diet coke after I whisper in her ear. Really, they’re all the hosts, and I’m the ultimate consumer.)

I think, quite possibly, we have the best The Bachelor Party in the world.

I sit there, as we all do, sprawled out on the couches, cocooned in blankets, with homemade buffalo chicken dip an arm’s reach away. I sigh when Chris Harrison enters the room in his navy suit. The sigh says, “I wonder if life can get sweeter.”

When drama happens–basically the whole show!–the entire party gets restless.

Arms start flailing! The buffalo dip is forgotten! Voices rise! (One of these three is not true.)

“She’s insane! How can he not see?!”

But it’s not all tearing these women down. I promise. Sometimes we find ourselves getting too involved: pulled in 25 different directions.

“Poor thing. She’s the Anne Hathaway of the group.” “Yeah. Trying too hard.”

And then, when they go home, things get rough for us all.

“I hate this part. I want to be the person who’s there to hold them and tell them that this was not the love of their life.”

I don’t know. Maybe I am crazy to be this involved. Maybe I’m one of those silly girls I always never wanted to be.

But I don’t think so.  I mean, yes, I’m silly. I know this, but I like who I am: this silly, Bachelor-watching, fails-to-blog-regularly, talks-to-much, watches-old-60-minutes-episodes-and-also-tennis-matches-when-she-can’t-sleep girl. I know where I’ll be on my Monday night, surrounded by friends and food and watching a huge group of people search for love. I even hope two people find it. Maybe that makes me silly and the worst kind of viewer, but I also think it makes me silly and the best kind of viewer. Besides, I’d rather be there than at the Sweaty-Toothed Madman, choking down a home brew (obviously called “Barbaric Yawp”).

(I have to say, I kind of want to go to this restaurant. Excuse me: “eatery experience.”)

Anger & How I’m Done With It

Can I tell you something honest? I was really angry yesterday.

You know those days when your heart just feels heavy? It was like I was anxious without being crazy active. I felt tired and sluggish and bleh without actually being sleep-deprived or hungry or any of the easy fixes. I was just mad at the world, and to be honest, I think it’s been building up for a while.

You see, I was supposed to come out to California and immediately shoot up in the world of screenwriting. The whole reason I chose to go for an MFA in Screenwriting and not a JD (shivers), was because I’m supposed to be really good and very successful at this. I’m one of the ones who is supposed to make it.

Yesterday, I was mad that I haven’t shot up. I haven’t made it as a writer yet. Heck. I was just mad about not having any time for writing, let alone not writing that stellar thing that’s going to change it all yet. I was mad about finances and being homesick and my job and everything that doesn’t seem to be the way I want it to be. And then. And then! I got really mad. I was mad at myself for being mad about things like finances. I was mad at myself for not having an inner joy. The cycle!

So I tried to work through this on my way home, and I got a bit better. I sort of turned the volume down on my anger.

But it wasn’t until this morning that I told anger to leave me the f— alone. The thing is, whether it’s for one day or years, I don’t want to be mad. Anger is exhausting. Guilt is crippling. That exhausted, bleh, muddled person? She’s not who I am.

This morning, I did something a little silly. I took the dog walking just before sunrise (during that great time of day where everything’s blue), and I picked up a rock. I imagined that all of my anger pooled down my arm and into that rock. I filled it up with anxiety and hate and guilt, so much guilt. And when I felt like those things weren’t in me anymore, but were instead heavy in my hand, I threw it. Hard.

And I said a prayer. (Multiple prayers were involved in this whole thing.) I reminded myself of who God is. I reminded myself of who I am.

I am vibrant. I am full of energy (and usually have a knee-tapping problem because of it). I am determined and persistent. I am fun and joyful. I am confident.

Most of all, I’m right where I need to be. I’ll get to where I want to be. I’m not worried about that now. I’m done with being angry at myself, for creating a cage of impossibilities. I’m me. I’m a laugher and a writer and a bad dancer and a talker. It’s time for those things. Now. Not when I’ve sold a screenplay. Now. It’s time to live the life I want before I get it.