I got a haircut on Saturday. I went to a new guy. Here’s how it went.
“Do you think I can pull off the Anne Hathaway pixie look?” I ask. “No,” he replies. “I hate you but I appreciate your honesty,” I think to myself.
I share my desire to go short, despite the limitations of my thick, frizzy, wavy, hair. He assures me that it’s possible if he stops at the chin. “Let’s do this,” I say. I want to give him a high-five, but I hold back.
I immerse myself in an issue of People Magazine. Hot damn it feels good to be free of my parenting responsibilities, even if just for 40 minutes.
When I’m done, I text my husband to come get me. I’m feeling spunky and rejuvenated with my new shorter ‘do. No hesitations whatsoever. Hey world – look at me!
I sit outside to wait for my ride. Five minutes later my husband pulls up. He takes one look at me, then floors it and speeds away down the street without me.
I know he’s joking and I laugh, but I also know he is genuinely shocked. Little do I know that this haircut is about to send my family into an emotional tailspin.
The moment I open the car door, my 5-year-old screams, “I HATE YOUR HAIR! WHY DID YOU CUT IT SO SHORT?!” She then starts to cry and throw a fit.
My husband doesn’t fare much better. He glances at me briefly with his eyes open wide, but the rest of the ride he is unable to look at me. It’s clear that he is intentionally avoiding any eye-to-hair contact.
When I try to engage, he tells me that he “isn’t ready” to look at my hair. He claims that I “didn’t really prepare” them for the change. He then puts his hand over his heart and says he is feeling pain “right here,” and then I hear him say in a hushed voice, “Your hair was my favorite thing about you.” He is using humor in an attempt to mask his disappointment, but it’s not really working.
We go to the grocery store. My husband, still unable to make eye contact, requests that we divide the shopping list and split up, which will also give him time “to process” the reality of my hair. Sure, dear – whatever you need.
My daughter protests and whines the entire time. In every aisle she moans, “WHY did you cut it so short?! WHEN will it grow back???” She tries to get me to buy her popsicles as compensation for the pain I’ve caused. I do not comply.
As I am unloading the groceries at home, she comes around the corner and asks, “Did your hair grow back yet??” She is truly disappointed that it hasn’t. She sulks into the corner and whimpers like an injured animal.
After a lunch filled with awkward glances from my husband and more disparaging words from my daughter, I seek refuge in the only comforting place I can find – the arms of my non-verbal, non-judgmental toddler. She smiles and hugs me, so I shower her with extra kisses and whisper in her ear, “I love you the most today.”
I then take my older daughter to see a play being put on by the local elementary school. They are performing the musical “Annie.” The tone-deaf, out-of-key voices are a welcome reprieve from the wail of my child’s complaints. I look at the young girl playing Annie, with her Richard Simmons-like wig, and wonder, Is that what I look like? Is this some kind of metaphor?
Later that evening the signs of my family’s PTSD appear to be waning. My husband says he has some complimentary things to say about my hair, but then he gets distracted and never says them. My daughter informs me that she is “starting to like” my haircut. “Well, actually,” she then backtracks. “I don’t really like it, but I don’t totally hate it either.”
You are so good to me, family. What have I done to deserve such love and adoration.
As I prepare myself for bed, I fear the wrath that may come in the morning when my daughter sees my new bedhead, which I can already tell is going to be…puffy…and short.
It then occurs to me that convicted murderer Jodi Arias likely has more support from her family than I do for committing the heinous crime known as A Haircut. Don’t ever cut your hair, Jodi Arias. If that jury is anything like my family, they’ll sentence you to death for it.
Here is a drawing my daughter made of my haircut. I do not wear bows in my hair, but I imagine she added it in a desperate attempt to make me look more feminine.
I felt this drawing was a tad extreme – it’s not THAT short – so I requested another. She then made this one, in which it appears she has given me a case of pink eye – probably to punish me.
Little does she know that if she doesn’t stop complaining, I am going to return to that hairdresser and request the Anne Hathaway just to spite her.