Thursday, April 3, 2014

Scissors snip away self-esteem

       No word. Nada. Not from friends, family, and yikes, not even my own husband.
     For two weeks I haven’t received any feedback, and I am getting a little freaky. What is going on? Have I changed that drastically?
     “Alright. Tell me. Just say it,” I query my husband.
     “I love asymmetrical artistically, and you know that, but this hairdo is not working for you. There. I’ve said it,” he replied.
     Ah ha. I get it. Here is the first truthful statement in days, and how I do appreciate my husband’s candor.
    I have been coming in contact with people and they are not giving me false praise, nor are they making up frivolous niceties. They simply are not saying anything I presume, rather than hurting my feelings. I can’t imagine what they are whispering behind my back. I won’t go there in my mind.
     “So, what do you think of my new hairstyle?”
      Not once have I asked anyone his or her thoughts.
     I am beginning to have second thoughts about my radical haircut, and that is so unlike me. Believe me, it is a mega bad hair day personified!
     With a change in season I don’t give it a second thought letting my hairstylist re-do my locks. She has known me for a while, and she has formed opinions about my lifestyle. She envisions me as someone confident enough to pull-off a more daring “do.” It will be uneven with a brush over to one side, and way shorter on the other. Perfect.
     I tell her to go for it. She is competent, and I have full faith in her talent. I will work my way through learning how to manage a curling iron again,  a little more styling mousse on my fingertips and allowing for  precious extra minutes in the bathroom.
     Why, I have everything else under control, so why would hair be a problem?
     The outcome is not what I am expecting from the new hairstyle.
      When I leave the salon I am certain that I am going to have fun with a different look. For years I have kept my hair on the short side, but lately, I have let it stay naturally curly and a bit longer. But like anything else in a woman’s life, a little change once in a while tosses things up.
     I can’t wait for people to comment. That’s when I start having self-esteem issues about my appearance.
     Every day when I look into the mirror — and after awhile I get to the point where I can’t even glance at myself — I dislike my appearance and hope that I won’t have an important appointment that day.
     One night I wake up in a cold sweat dreaming of a time during childhood when I remembered my parents having an argument which was rare for them, and it was about my hair.
     When I was in third grade I had golden brown hair down my shoulders. It looked so beautiful around my face, but no one knew the hours it took of my mother’s brushing to keep out the tangles. Fine hair knots so easily, and I didn’t like to sit still long.
    My mother gave up on me and took me to the stylist to get it cut-off up to my ears. Since we were close by my dad’s store, we stopped in to show him.
     That was the first time I saw my father really cry, although he was truly a sentimental man all his life. He was shocked that my mother had done that to my gorgeous hair. Well, in that case I was right in the middle of it with no control of the outcome.
     I shed tears myself as a teacher when the dreaded lice bug invaded the classroom requiring those who had to get sent home a terrible feeling in the pit of their stomachs. Fortunately, I made it through many years without ever having that problem, but I know that it shattered some preteens egos temporarily.
      I loved to laugh along with a child who came into the room with a completely radical Mohawk or a purple streak down the side for effect. It was so much fun watching how they could handle themselves as part of their growing up.
     Which brings me back to what I decide to do. I call my hair salon, and return for a change in plans. There is no blame game here, and I assure my stylist she is not at fault. I love her thoughtful approach to each client. 
     I leave the salon walking a bit faster. My head held higher.
     “Looks great,” says my husband glancing up from his iPad.
     “Love your hair,” my friend remarks at a meeting.
     I smile and think  how miserable I have felt for two weeks. Serves me right. And by the way, I have recovered to poke a little fun at myself.