First of all, let me put a disclaimer out there: I come from a generation that looked at Shane from the “L Word”:
…and would think, “She’s an attractive woman…if only she would fix her hair!” 😀
Okay, maybe it’s not a generational thing. Because I’m sure there are women my age who are more stylish and trendy, and who think that look is hot. So it’s more of a “conservative me” thing. Now I’m the most progressive and liberal person politically. But when it comes to “fashion” I’m definitely behind the times. And to be honest it hasn’t bothered me for years. I’m just me, and I’m fine with that.
But now I’m with a woman who’s much younger than I am, and though she accepts me fully the way I am, she has been trying recently to “update” my look, especially when it comes to my hair. It’s been quite a revelation.
When I was a kid, I couldn’t leave the house unless my part was perfectly straight. One hair out of place and it would bug me no end. As I grew older I loosened up about that a tiny bit, but I still would never leave the house with my hair messy. In fact, I thought everyone was like that. If I saw someone with their hair out of place, I would think it was because they didn’t realize it. I felt sorry for them that no one had pointed it out before they left the house, like I would do for my lover.
Now I’m dating an artist, and she wears her hair like Shane. And I’ve come to realize (through several conversations) that this look is not only not a mistake, but that it takes some effort to achieve. Mil has assured me that people spend a lot of time and money to attain the look of not caring at all what their hair looks like. (And bless her, she does find the irony of it quite funny too.)
So I let her mess with my own hair, and I mean that quite literally. I let her put “product” in it (BTW, the wordsmith in me cringes at using the noun this way, and it’s disconcerting to find these products have names with “clay” and “wax” in them), and achieve the look which she assures me is much nicer than my own carefully blow-dried effect, which she calls “80s lesbian hair.”
Her (scrunching and tossing my locks around): There! That looks great!
Me (incredulous): Really?? It’s SUPPOSED to look like I just got out of bed and didn’t fix my hair?!
Her: It doesn’t look like that. But at least it doesn’t look like your grandmother used her curling iron on it.
Me: Whaat?! Are you serious??
Her (chuckling): Sorry, not really. Maybe I’ve been watching too much “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” That’s like something they would say.
And I would go out into the world, and would feel the urge to fix my hair every time I caught sight of myself in the mirror, but eventually I got kind of used to it. And I liked it. But I didn’t really like the perfumey smell of the product she used.
Her: Oh, I should let you use my salt spray, that doesn’t smell as strong.
Me (again incredulous): You mean there’s a product that creates the same effect as when you go swimming and don’t rinse off well enough?! *shudder* I HATE that feeling!
Another time, seeing my hair after I woke up:
Her: You brushed it, didn’t you?
Me: Of course I brushed it! Having that product in it made it stick up all over the place!
Her: Come here, let me fix it. *proceeds to add more product and create as many clumps as possible* There, that’s better. Eventually you won’t have to add any more product…it’ll just do it on its own.
Me (horrified): Well, I should think so! If you add enough cement dust to anything you can build a wall.
Okay, I didn’t say that last bit. But I THOUGHT it. As I said, it’s been quite a revelation, but I am enjoying it. It’s funny how much my early training is being stood on its head (so to speak) and it feels good to loosen things up. I told Mil I was going to make a blog post about the experience, but was worried it wasn’t really “on topic.”
Her recommendation? “Maybe you should write, ‘Your hair should always look like you just got spanked.’ ”
I couldn’t have said it any better. 😀