Monday, October 18, 2010


When David and I started first started dating, he had longish floppy growing-out hair that I thought suited him. In fact one of the first compliments I paid him was that I liked his hair. "Thanks," he said. "My mother gave it to me."

I'm okay with looking like a lesbian.
Then a few weeks into our embryonic relationship, he got a buzz cut, and I still remember the shock I felt when he poked his head into my room. Pointing a shaking figure at his hair, I hissed "Never. Never do that again." He has taken my request to heart and now sports a ponytail of varying length; sometimes he complains that it's so long it gets caught in his belt when he buckles it.

David's version of going to the barber consists of going out in the back yard occasionally and cutting the last four inches off his ponytail. Then I find the big wad of hair while I am doing yard work and panic. Hair is a creepy thing to find mixed in with the snapdragons.

What I'm saying is that David has abided by my requests about his hair length, and I know he has a preference that I keep my hair long as well. So I felt a little bad about getting my hair cut short but did it anyway. You know how sometimes when you dress up a little bit, there's always someone who goes overboard on the surprised compliments and manages to convey, with actually coming out and saying it, that one of the reasons you look so nice is that it's such a contrast to your normal appearance? People seem to like my new cut, so much so that I suspect they are struggling not to directly contrast my new fashionable 'do with my old Struwwelpeter-like hair.

Thank you to anyone reading this for allowing me to make use of my German minor with that Struwwelpeter reference. (Struwwelpeter was a popular German children's book in the 19th century.) These days the only other use that four years of college German has is being able to remember that Weltanschauung has two 'u's in a row, and reminding David when he sings "Packers Über Alles" every Sunday that über has an umlaut. I should have minored in something more relevant to my daily life, like laundry.

It's a shock to look in the mirror and see a reflection that looks even modestly hip. Normally, my approach to fashion combines the influence of those women in polygamous ranch cults in Utah crossed with Wisconsin Eskimo. I have always told myself 'I'm too cute for makeup,' which of course is one dangerous step away from 'I'm too lazy for makeup,' which is why when Stella recently read a book that involved someone wearing lipstick, she had to ask me what it was. When I got my hair cut, I splurged and bought a tube of hair goop the stylist recommended, which cost $22, which was also far outside my normal spending behavior. I've now blown my beauty budget until 2014. Or, as they say in German, 2ö14.