Thursday, December 5, 2013

Say Hello to My Hair

This is a multi-media presentation. Listen to this song while you read, if you please.
This post is also dedicated to Marie, who among many other things, understands the power of a really good head of hair.

A few years ago, I broke up with L'Oreal.
Because I'm worth it.

In a fit of birthday madness, I decided that I would officially be all done with covering up my gray. I'd been at it for 15 years. I am quite vain. I was terrified of looking like a tired, old hippie, so I cut all of my hair off. I sometimes have to remind myself to not grow too attached to dead cells that sprout out of my head.

Here's my hair a year ago:

I spent several months looking exactly like Dan Zanes:
Dan Zanes
photo credit
He's the one who's singing the song you're listening to if you followed directions. He's telling you "open any door and say 'hello, hello,hello!'" There are worse people to look like.

I'm writing a blog post about my hair. 
It's not just about my hair. 
It's about saying hello and not no.

Like the song says, every day brings more.
It brings more gray hairs, I can say quite authoritatively. 
Many more:
This is my hair today.
Every day brings more.
It brings more pain, more annoyance, more things I gotta do, more things that make me contemplate the purchase of a large flame thrower.
It brings more absurdity, more gracious gifts, more laughter, more things that make me remember that flame throwers are awesome, but not as awesome as a hug or a nap or maybe a cup of coffee.

Open any door and say hello, hello, hello...
Here's why I'm thinking about my hair: it's out of control, really.
So is yours.
Oh sure, we have our pastes and creams and treatments and stuff to try to make it do and look the way we want it to. And you know, all that's all right. It helps us get through the day, it makes us feel a little better about life for a while. It's like a happy little scented patch we put on things as they are. (I purchased off-brand organic shampoo that promised an "invigorating citrus scent" but it kind of smells like bathroom cleaner. Sometimes these patches don't work out in the ways we expect them to.) But it still just keeps growing out of your head however it feels like it.

It's the same bright sun that shines on everyone, and though clouds may come, just say "hello, hello, hello".
It's all out of control, isn't it? I can't make the sun rise. I can't do anything at all about this Arctic front that has come through and frozen everything solid. I can't even really make my hair behave.
Sometimes life is a song that you want to dance to, sometimes it's a crotchety old lady who smacks you with her cane. Sometimes our complaints are about our hair or the latte we didn't get to drink. Sometimes they are far more encompassing than that. Sometimes very real and heavy rain clouds pelt us with heartbreak, loss, fear, brokenness. I do not dismiss these with the wave of a breezy hand. It's all out of control, though, so say hello, hello, hello.

Back to my hair. I have spent a lot of time and money trying to tell it no and then a few years ago, I told it hello. It's a sign of other things, you know. The slowly letting go of an artificial image of myself, of my life. What I think things should be, how I think things should look. It is a small and ridiculous thing, but I am nothing if not small and ridiculous.

I'm tired of NO. I'm tired of resisting things that are out of my control anyway. Somewhere along the line - was it our Puritan forebears? Let's blame them. They wore silly hats. They did not accept their hair - we gathered to ourselves the subtle and false knowledge that life should be all good, all pleasant, all positive, and if it's not, we must be doing something wrong. We have the empirical evidence every day that this is not so, but we still kind of believe it anyway. So we fight and we resist and we expend all this energy fighting the wind.
All it does is mess up your hair.

OK, I like silly hats, so I can't be too hard on the Puritans. But still... sometimes you just have to choke a turkey, you know?

Just say "hello, hello, hello"...

Say hello to real life. Sometimes it sucks, sometimes it soars. Sometimes it's boring, sometimes it's so stimulating we want to fall over and cry. It is uncertain, it is out of control. It is unwieldy and it sometimes smells like bathroom cleaner when we'd rather it didn't. Pick a door, throw it open, shout HELLO. Welcome it all and give it some hot cocoa or a biscuit, ask it what it came to teach you and then send it on its way because another guest will inevitably come a-knocking. And probably the nasty ones will come around again because they felt they didn't teach you enough the first time or because you were bored or because they really liked the biscuits and wanted your recipe. Tell them hello again.

Lather, rinse, repeat. Say hello.

And one more hello.
Hello Kitty. Because it's absurd and because the day this was taken, I was having the worst day ever and it delighted me to my toes to photo bomb a children's birthday party. And because my hair was atrocious that day.
And because... well... hello!


  1. I am still too vain to let go of L'Oreal. But, I am trying to embrace the 'realities' of life as they are, absurd and out of control.

    1. Color away, baby! My choice had to do with my own twisted sense of self and all that. Like I said, small and ridiculous. :)
      You are one of the best I know at embracing the realities of life as they are!

  2. I would save some money by buying a smaLL flame thrower. You just have to stand a little bit closer to the object of your desires, Ooops, I meant De Fires, and stand there a little bit longer. My wife has made a good income for more than a dozen years hiding gray hair. We are hopefully moving on to printing, which she definitely enjoys more than doing hair. Hope you have a wonderful holiday season, I get to spend a few days somewhere warm after the New Year.

    1. We own two cosmetology salons but I rarely ever comb or brush my hair, or care about shaving. I just goto my little factory and crank out pretty things and pretend I'm Santa Claus.

    2. This sounds like a sound lifestyle choice.

    3. I think I would enjoy printing much more than doing hair as well. Thanks for the tip on the small flame thrower. You're probably right about that. Enjoy your warm vacation. Wait! Warmer than Texas? Happy holiday season to you, too. It's great to see your comments here.


Thanks for reading and taking the time to say hello!