THIS MORNING I have an appointment for a haircut and possibly some new color. I go through this pointless ritual periodically, for reasons that remain unclear to me, especially since I find the whole thing rather unpleasant.
If I were living back in caveman days, my hair would just grow any which way and nobody would care, as long as it was long enough for my mate to grab a hank and drag me around by it, seeing as cars had not yet been invented. Looks didn’t matter; everyone kept busy just staying alive. But today, with survival pretty much in the bag, hair is a big deal and has been for my entire life, causing me to spend untold thousands on how it looks.
Naturally this lapse in judgment is directly attributable to my mother, since everything we do as adults is traceable to what we saw our parents doing during our formative years. My mother went to the “beauty parlor” every Friday where a pudgy stylist named Harvey shaped her hair into a red helmet and sprayed it liberally with that gluey stuff called “hairspray.” She then didn’t touch it all week, and neither did anyone else, and was judicious in keeping it from getting wet in the shower and at the beach.
I rejected almost all of that behavior, except for the coloring part. My hair has been black, blond, red, streaked, striped, brown, auburn and whatever since I was about 13. This seems normal to me. And of course now it’s boring, seeing as how it could be orange, green, purple, blue, magenta, yellow or any combination of those. (Kids today hop on the hair-changing wagon early.)
Somehow new hair helps me feel good, or at the very least different, if only for about a day or two. And who among us doesn’t yearn to be different?
Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid.