Monday, July 19, 2010

An uneasy truce

So. It's one of those "one step up and two steps back" situations, or is it the other way around?

I have an uneasy peace with the bald, which exists because I try not to look at it or think about it very much.

I got used to being in the wig. In part, because it kind of looked like my hair. It fooled a lot if people.

When I look at photos of the day I shaved my head, I look - to me - a little bit shell shocked. But the photos of the wig looked enough like I really did still have hair.

It sank in as time went by. I would catch sight of myself in the mirror at home and remember that my hair was gone. I wore the wig one or two times when it was HOT because I couldn't stand to have certain sets of people see me in bandannas.

Then I started with bandannas during my daily Starbucks stops ; getting used to people noticing. I worked up to going in there bareheaded. Trying not to look down immediately after catching someone's eye. Adults notice, blink, and look the other way to give you space. Kids don't. It makes me a little sad when I can see that I kind of scare a kid. Because unusual and different can be scary: the big eyes give it away. Then they reach for Mom's hand and the fault line through my heart splits a little bit wider. Only the earth doesn't swallow me up, and I stand there, waiting my turn in line.

If I am having good day and I say a cheerful "hi" with a smile, about half of the time a woman will say hi back. The ones that don't, I figure are distracted / bitches / or lost someone or I remind them of sadness or something they fear. So I know it's not personal. It's kind of unavoidable. And for the record, Starbucks barristas are pretty cool, usually. Very kind. And a venti iced classic black tea with a splash of lemonade gets me through the tiring drive down one highway, over another, and then back home.

But it still sucks when I see that awkward glance. Today the bitchy little miss perfect who sits near me sort of sniffed down her nose at me in the bathroom. Kind of a thought cloud over her head that "I would never be caught dead in public with hair like that". She of the long, shiny fabulous hair that makes my heart ache. But apparently she HAS NO HEART because common compassion would dictate that when a chick who is obviously sick says hello to you in a ladies room when you walk in and stare at her, FUCKING SAY HELLO.
Again, she's bitchy, so I don't give her much weight, most days.

But I went to lunch today and this woman that I really do like was there. I havent seen her since I stopped wearing bandannas to work last week She's sweet, and I know it came from kindness, but she went overboard telling me how cute it is (my fuzzy head) and how much she likes it and I should keep it short and not color it.

The thing is, I don't want it to be lunch conversation. It's an elephant in the room for me all the time now. It made me really blue. I don't WANT it this short and everyone is sweet but I would still MUCH rather have it my old color and old cut. I guess that's why it stung. Don't praise it as a style choice because I really had no choice, and I am really just tired of wearing the wig and it's 90 degrees every day.

Don't try to convince me it's cute, because I will really never believe. I just want my own hair back, but I have to wait.

Fortunately, I seem to have the luxury of having time to plan on growing it back.