I have down-to-there hair. It has almost always been shoulder length or longer.
Once, as I was getting into my car, a guy driving by leaned out his window and shouted, “Don’t ever cut your hair!” It’s the first thing people notice about me and, if meeting me for the first time, almost always comment on.
I may be past my prime, but my hair doesn’t know it. The rest of me is typical for someone my age, which is 72 11/12. I wish I could just start at my knees…okay, my ankles and just squoosh myself up into a topknot.
Throughout my life I’ve been told I should cut my hair, that it’s too much for my face, because it’s not only long, it’s thick. True, I’d probably look better if it framed my face instead of just hanging there. It’s definitely not chic, and it may make me look older. And, sometimes I wear it in braids. I know I’m too old for braids, but I don’t care, I wear them anyway.
A hairdresser once told me if she had to blow out my hair every day she’d quit the profession.
My mop is even hazardous to my health. It’s been known to dangle in dishwater and I worry it’ll catch fire one of these days when I reach over the stove to stir something on a back burner. I’ve slammed it in the door getting out of a car…what if the driver had taken off…never mind, I can’t even think about it.
Sometimes I fantasize about jumping in the shower and washing my hair in five minutes, about having a carefree hairstyle that I can run my fingers through, give it a tousle, and I’m good to go. I have moments where I’m tempted to just have at it…but what if I change my mind halfway through, or go into shock once it’s done?
My hair is still healthy, and it makes me feel vital. But maybe I’m the female embodiment of Samson. Because what if, like Samson, I’m only as strong as my hair is long? What if I cut it and my age catches up with me? You know, as in hair today, gone tomorrow?
Artist, writer, storyteller, spy. Okay, not a spy…I was just going for the rhythm.
I call myself “an inveterate dabbler.” (And my husband calls me “an invertebrate babbler.”) I just love to create one way or another. My latest passion is telling true stories live, on stage. Because it scares the hell out of me.
As a memoirist, I focus on the undercurrents. Drawing from memory, diaries, notes, letters and photographs, I never ever lie, but I do claim creative license when fleshing out actual events in order to enhance the literary quality, i.e., what I might have been wearing, what might have been on the table, what season it might have been. By virtue of its genre, memoir also adds a patina of introspection and insight that most probably did not exist in real time.