It turns out that when one becomes seriously ill for a spell (or has a baby) one of the after effects can be having your hair fall out. (Bummer, I say!) For a few weeks now, I’ve been shedding worse than our old Norwegian used to shed in springtime. When the weather warmed up, and she could no longer find a little patch of snow to lie upon, we would go out and pluck the dog. My daughter has become a ‘mother plucker’ as she keeps my hair from landing in our dinners night after night. Birds nests around my mother’s condo are being woven by the bread bags full of hair I bring to put near her feeders. All this while I become closer and closer to being bald. Turns out, I’ve been a prisoner of my hairdo all these years.
Back in the ’80s, I chopped off my long hair and got short mullet-ish thing with hair shaved close on the sides, spiky on top, and a bit shaggy in back. Hideous, really. After being sheared and styled, my glass blowing partner (whom I had worked with day after day in the studio) stopped me to ask if he could help me, as if I were a stranger. When I told him who I was he had to look carefully to recognize me. Apparently, Christine Lavin was right about us prisoners – if we cut our hair, no one will recognize us anywhere.
Today, being a prisoner of my hairdo is much less about fearing I won’t be recognized. As my hair falls out strand-by-strand, my ego… my vanity… my Leo the lion’s mane… (more…)