15.7.07

The things I get myself into.

I want to chop off my hair. It keeps sticking to my neck when I sleep, I get a head ache during the day from having it tied up so it's not hot on the back of my neck, and I just keep thinking that it would be so much more comfortable if I cut it short at the nape of my neck. So why, you are asking, don't I just cut it instead of whining to the internet?

Well, I'm a little afraid, and therein lies a story that I have yet to tell.

When I was 19 I shaved my head. I cut off a long pony tale and proceeded to go GI Jane with the clippers. I was bald! This led to many things, like my great-grandmother at a Christmas gathering asking in her too loud hearing impaired voice, "Who is that man? Or is that, [gasp] that's Carrien!"

She later confided to me, "When I first saw you without your hair, I thought you were a man. But then I saw your chest and I knew you had to be a woman." And then she told me all about the time when she was young when she had shaved her head as well. That was fun.

Because of my temporary baldness I have had my hair at every possible length, besides long enough to sit on. And strange things start to happen to me when my hair gets too short, or did back when I was younger.

There was the time when my hair was still extremely short that I went with two guy friends from college to a little dance bar in a tiny rural Alberta town. (It was Canada people, the legal drinking age is 18.) It was such a tiny town that there were only 4 bars, and only one of them wasn't country. That's the one we were in. I don't even remember why we went, we'd never been there before. I had just gotten back from a trip to San Fransisco and we thought it would be fun to just go dancing for a while after a day of hanging out and catching up. There were about 10 people in the bar, everyone else in this tiny little hick town liked country apparently, or didn't go dancing on a Tuesday night.

Only one couple was on the raised dance floor when we walked in. The female half had decidedly goth leanings when it came to her personal style. She had dark hair, was wearing all black, with tattoos on her shoulders, and dark, dark lipstick. She stood out in this country hick sort of town especially because she was dancing in that really slutty pelvis grinding on her partner sort of way while throwing her body and hair around, but she looked like she was bored. I mention in my side bar that I people watch, which sometimes gets me into trouble. This would be one of those times. Obviously I was watching her as she danced, her being the only person dancing and all and being so obviously "look at me" about it, but I guess she must of have noticed me watching because she came over and asked if I wanted to dance with her.

Okay don't laugh, I was/am somewhat naive. All I could think was that she maybe wanted to dance with a girl to get more guys to look at her like I'd seen a lot of girls do. Or maybe her boyfriend was tired of dancing and she wanted to keep dancing but she was too shy (hah!) to dance by herself and she didn't want to dance with a different guy because her boy friend would be jealous. Any way, I was surprised by her request but stammered, "Okay." without really thinking about it.

"Not to this song though," she answered back, "let's wait for a good song."

She walked away and I sipped at my drink and talked to my friends and really didn't think anymore about it after reflecting that she was a little bit strange. Well, a "good" song started playing and she returned to claim her promised dance so I followed her onto the dance floor and we started dancing. Imagine my total discomfort when she started slutty dancing with me, including the pelvis grinding thing. I couldn't even figure out what was going on then and sort of stood there for a moment without knowing what to do. Enter my friend who was a great guy, noticed my distress and became my hero for the evening. He ran over to me and inserted himself between me and this strange girl and declared tersely, "I'm cutting in."

Finally it dawned on me. The girl was gay, or at least bi, and she thought I was too. This lead to me having to explain to her, I don't know why I felt compelled to explain anything to her but I did, that I was decidedly not gay and no offense, but I didn't want to dance with her any more. I kept thinking that if I was in her shoes I would feel embarrassed and I was trying to help her save face. Then she started asking me if my friend was my boyfriend and I pretended like he was even though I didn't have a boyfriend at the time because I just wanted her to leave me alone. And then she asked if he treated me right so I told her he did. I thought she would just leave after that but instead she turned to me one last time and pleaded, "Are you sure you're not, even a little bit?"

I was sure and so she left, and my friends and I sort of had a laugh about it but then we left pretty soon after and I don't think we ever went back there again. But she was only the first of about a dozen women who hit on me in the 2 or three years it took me to grow my hair back though I was never taken by surprise quite so completely as I had been that first time. And so, while it's not likely to happen again now that I'm married and always in the company of several small children, and I have had many pleasant and friendly conversations since that time with lesbian friends and acquaintances none of whom have made me uncomfortable, I can't help feeling just a little bit of extra nervousness at the thought of cutting my hair really short again because that girl made me feel really really creepy.

2 comments:

  1. having cut my hair to army length twice now, I know exactly what you mean, especially now that i am a mom. The LOOKS I would get in the mall, while I went shopping with the kids, you could almost see it plastered all over their faces that they were certain I was one of "THOSE" gay women who adopted or did the sperm bank thing. Makes a person feel VERY defensive and, well, rebellious. :)
    People who know me loved me with short hair, but i'm totally growing it super long this time. No more short hair if i can help it (and God willing, I hope never to HAVE to be bald or fuzzy)

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  2. How brave to shave your head! Why did you do it?

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