January 5, 2011

Goldilocks and the Three Hairs

Rapunzel and I have something in common.  Neither one of us spends a lot of time getting her hair cut.

Rapunzel and I also have something in common with Goldilocks.  We all have blond hair.  Or at least, we used to.  I'll get to that in a second.

Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I take fashion ignorance to unprecedented levels.

I wear blue jeans if at all possible.

I am not really sure what a pump is.  (The kind for your feet, not the thing that gets water out of the basement when it floods.)

I have never, in my entire life (which according to some began during the stone age) had a manicure or a pedicure.  (No, I am not making this up.  Get your jaw off the floor.)

I have never worn make-up, unless you count the time in 9th grade when, for a bit part in Wild Oats, I had to wear mascara.  It made my eyes itch, so henceforth I have avoided the stage.  And make-up.

Hairstyles?  Handbags?  Haute coutour?  Forget it.

Fashion.  Ignorance.

So when I tell you that yesterday I had my annual haircut you will understand that it was a Big Deal.  My concession to fashion, such as it is.

Really, once a year is enough.  I can't be bothered to go any more often.  I have too many other things to do.  And anyone can trim their own bangs.  (Although I read somewhere that trimming your own bangs was a sign of self-loathing....  hmmm....)

I used to get my hair cut every 18 months or so, but that all changed when the three hairs showed up.  (This is the part I was getting to.  You can stop holding your breath in anticipation.)  Allow me to explain...

Locks of Love is an organization that accepts donations of hair to make hairpieces for financially disadvantaged children who suffer long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.  The minimum length requirement is 10 inches, and I found that if I grew my hair for about 18 months I could donate that without shaving my head completely.  Then, one fine day, the three hairs showed up.  Unmistakeable.  Impossible to hide.  Three gray hairs, front and center.

The ladies at the place where I used to get my hair cut (which has since gone out of business... coincidence?) informed me that Locks of Love would not accept hair with gray in it because it didn't hold dye evenly.  Foolish me.  I believed them.

Here's how I discovered my mistake yesterday:

I seated myself before the lovely Veronica, whose unenviable job it was to hack off my golden tresses.

"What would you like?" she chirped.

Before I could respond, she began flinging around terms like, "layers," "highlights," and "side bangs" with reckless abandon.  I was forced to throw cold water on her blaze of enthusiasm.

"Hold it," I said.  "Let me explain.  I wash my hair.  And comb it.  That's it.  There will be no styling.  No blow drying.  No mousse, no gel, no spray.  Nada."

Her face fell.  "So, just a simple cut?" she clarified, no doubt hoping against hope that she had misunderstood and there was still time to talk me into a devilock, a pixie cut, or anything with a name.  Even a mullet.

"Just a simple cut," I confirmed.  "The simplest."

With a sigh she set to work.  Snip, snip, snip.  I could almost hear her thinking, "Bor-ing!"

"You know," she said conversationally, "another three inches and you could donate to Locks of Love."

"No," I responded, secure in my superior knowledge.  "I have three gray hairs.  Locks of Love won't take it."

"Yes they will," she chirped, once again enthusiastic.

What???  Could this be true???  Had I really been so completely hoodwinked???

I refrained from raining on her parade by saying a better time to have mentioned this would have been two minutes ago before she started snipping.

7 inches of prime hair - unbleached, uncolored, un-permed, undamaged by hair products or blow dryers of any kind and blond except for three hairs - was currently hitting the salon floor.  Wasted!

If I was going to make any donations, I would have to start from scratch.

"Well," I said, "maybe next time."

I then made good use of the rest of my time in the chair by asking her questions about beauty school.  You never know, I might want to write a character someday who has talents and/or aspirations in that direction.  So the ordeal wasn't a total waste of time.  I like to keep a weather eye for useful material.

The moral of the story?  Don't let a few gray hairs stop you from donating.  In fact, I believe Locks of Love will accept your hair even if it is mostly gray, or even all gray.  As for Rapunzel, she could help a lot of kids if she'd get out of that tower and share her hair!

And me?  Now that my head is lighter, maybe some great ideas will float out of it.  You never know!

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