I used to have long black hair. Like, long long. All-the-way-down-to-my-bum long. And then one day I chopped it off.
And then one day I decided I wanted to be a platinum blonde. So I bleached my hair. And bleached it and bleached it and bleached it. I bleached it until it started to break off in clumps. So I chopped it off some more.
And I ended up with short hair. Like, short short. Rosemary’s Baby short.
I’ve had varying degrees of short hair ever since. It’s suited me.
But toward the end of last year, after a particularly mortifying experience at a Japanese hair salon in Soho that resulted in what I not-so-lovingly refer to as The Great Pixie Mullet of 2010, I decided it was time to start growing out my hair again.
It’s been a pretty easy slog so far, all things considered. No tears of frustration. No desperate pinning-back of fringe. No awkward hair accessories. It’s even got so long now as to allow me to pull it back into a little ponytail, which I blithely decided to do this morning.
It was at this point – the point of me feeling rather smug about my hair-growing ability yet struck by the ennui of growing it out (hence the ponytail) – that someone said to me:
You look really pretty today, Larissa.
Oh, um, not that you don’t always look pretty.
It’s just that you look different today. What have you done?
I guess I pulled my hair back.
Oh, wow! What have you been doing all this time hiding your pretty face?
If this had been a dude, I would have thought, Mind your own business, a-hole. Kind of like what I thought when I promptly decided to go back to black from platinum despite many an unsolicited dudely suggestion that blonde hair on a woman is better.
But the above statement was not from a dude, with dudely motives and an unchecked dudely imperative.
So coupled with my aforementioned ennui and the fact that it would be a hell of a lot easier to transition from sweaty morning yoga practice to office chic in less than 15 minutes with short hair, this nonchalant co-workerly statement has shaken my resolve.
You’ll excuse my ridiculous, smarmy smile to the right.