Wednesday, February 15, 2006



I got my hair cut today.

Ok, wait. Let’s back up. When Kendrie was diagnosed with leukemia, I was 37 years old. I had been trying to grow my bangs out …. in earnest ….. for about 15 years. I could get them nose length, lip length, once I even got them down to my chin, but I always caved in and cut them before they were long enough to pull back into a ponytail. Women everywhere know what I’m talking about, right? That pivotal moment, hair hanging in your eyes for how many days in a row, when you snap, “I just can’t TAKE IT anymore!” and hack away at the poor innocent bangs, dull kitchen scissors in hand. (Admit it, you’ve all been there, haven’t you?)

About two months after Kendrie was diagnosed, I had my bangs down to mid-eye length (the MOST offensive length, in my opinion, requiring the constant wearing of sunglasses to keep the bangs from poking you in the eyes all day long.) I was standing in my bathroom, brandishing the scissors, grumbling about the stress and hardship of growing out my bangs, and then I looked over. Over at my nearly-bald four-year old, who was close to losing the last few wispy strands of hair she had on her entire head.

I felt really small and ashamed of myself and my petty griping at that moment, and vowed right then and there that as long as Kendrie was on treatment, I wouldn’t cut my bangs. NOT cutting my bangs would be my symbolic gesture, my “giving the hirsute finger to cancer” and in some {insane} way, I just knew Kendrie would stay healthy as long as I didn’t cut my bangs. And so I didn’t. If that brave little girl could endure 2 plus years of chemotherapy, I figured the least I could endure was the well-known Growing Out Of The Bangs Phase. Thus began the employment of barrettes, clips, headbands, sunglasses, ball caps, and anything I could use to keep those wretched bangs out of my eyes for the next 26 months.

So the bangs grew. And grew some more. And now they are down well-below my chin, almost to shoulder-length, and if I say so myself, they look fabulous. What DOESN’T look fabulous are the wrinkles across my forehead that the bangs had been hiding all those years. From raising my eyebrows in shocked surprise at my children all the time, I am sure. But there it is, in all it’s glory: my big, fat, wrinkled-y forehead. Botox, anyone?

So, today I went for my first haircut since Kendrie finished treatment. Two guesses what I did, and the first one doesn’t count. The second one doesn’t take a rocket scientist, either. If you still haven’t guessed, go back and re-read this entry from the beginning.

What really cracks me up about the whole thing was Blaine’s response when he got home from work and saw me for the first time: “Hey, honey, your hair looks really nice. Did you get it colored?” because he knew darn good and well that I did. I told him that this morning. But you could totally see him, patting himself on the back for remembering, and thinking I would be oh-so-impressed with him for noticing. What he didn’t notice, were the bangs. That I haven’t had in over two years. That are suddenly there now. That he still hasn’t noticed, several hours later, as of the typing of this journal entry. I’ll lay you odds that he doesn’t notice at all, until he reads this journal update for himself, then he’ll most likely try to convince me that he knew all along ….. nope, honey, I’m not buying it.

You know who noticed? My friend Jeanette, because she is a hairdresser and notices everything that has to do with hair, and Kendrie, the Kid-Who-Used-To-Be-Bald. It was the first thing Kendrie said to me when I picked her up at school: “Hey, you cut part of your hair!”

I mean, it’s not like I’m so self-centered I thought everyone would stop and take notice. It’s not even a drastic change. There’s no need for a billboard or marquee. I just thought it was interesting that Kendrie, of all people, noticed. Maybe it takes being bald, or having been bald, to truly appreciate a haircut. To truly appreciate the choice of bangs or no bangs.

As for me, I haven’t decided if I like them or not. After two years of no bangs, it’s going to take some getting used to. And if I decide I just hate them, I can always grow them out again, right?

PS. UPDATE: 48 hours. That is how long it took Blaine to notice. And he didn't even notice then, he read the website and realized it that way. Truly, his observation skills are outstanding. And although I really don't think the bangs are photo worthy, here you go:

Although now instead of obsessing about the big fat wrinkles on my forehead, it looks like my new concern should be the bags under my eyes.

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