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Friday, April 17, 2015

Do You Look Different?

People say to me, Pearl? What are you afraid of?

And I say, you know? One of my current fears is that as an old woman I will have the same hair style that I did in high school.

It’s a silly fear, and one without a foundation. I’ve run the gamut of “natural” hair colors (as opposed to “unnatural”, i.e., blue or green) and hair styles that have included streaks, highlights, lowlights, frostings, layers, braids and a brief foray into the much-maligned mullet.

That’s right. I had a mullet.

I was young. I was crazy. I was reckless in my choice of hairdressers.

Recently, I’ve paid for my hair to be dyed a dark reddish brown; and, for the first time in several hundred years, I’ve got bangs.

My mother cut our hair when we were children. When she could not find the time the morning of the taking of my first-grade picture, five minutes before I left for school, with two other children to feed and see off, I cut my own bangs.

The result was what my mother referred to as “experimental”.

These are the first bangs I’ve had since that fateful day.

You’d be amazed at how many people can look at you and not notice that you now have a fringe of hair curtaining your forehead. Do it sometime – get bangs, if only to have someone look you straight in the eye and say, “What’s different about you? You get new glasses?”

I had this experience at work the other day.

The guy from the mailroom was staring at me.

This is not entirely unusual. This guy gives the Fish Eye to a number of people. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything. It used to bother me, but now it’s like having a cow look at you: you don't put a lot of stock into what the cow may or may not be thinking.

This time, however, he actually seems to be both looking at me and seeing me.


He focuses. “Oh,” he says.

“What’s up?” I say.

“Wudja dooter yer hair?” he says.

What’d I do to my hair? What’d I DO to it? What do you mean, what did I do to it?

“I had it done,” I said. “Different color. Bangs. Slight trim.”

“No, I mean,” he said. “I just noticed it looks different.”

Hmm. Yeah. I got that you thought it looked different.

“Hey,” he says. “Have you always had those freckles?”

I fight the urge to tell him they are new. Granted, I think Pat is working with a brain-cell deficit here, possibly from some poor entertainment choices in the 80s, but still, I find this brief exchange unsatisfying. What just went on here?

And that’s another thing I’m afraid of: That someday I will be the one to stare at the face of someone I’ve known for six years and say “Have you always had freckles?”


vanilla said...

Then one reaches the point where he can stare into the face of someone he has known for years and wonder what's this guys name? There's something to fear.

Shelly said...

When I started losing weight and had lost 60 lbs., a colleague who hadn't said anything about it came up and said, "You look different. Did you change your hair color?" And pics, please. Let us see the new color and the bangs!

Watson said...

sounds like my good friend "what's his name"! I never had bangs...I need to get some before I reach my next birthday. My hair is thinning and might disappear soon.
Watson's Barbara
Watson's hair is curley, full, soft and cuddley!

Delores said...

He's seeing you in a whole new light. Take care now...he may ask you out next week.

ThreeOldKeys said...

Be glad you are not the First Lady, whose bangs made headlines.

And you do travel with a hairdresser, yes?

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

"Poor entertainment choices from the 80s."
You just made my day.

Christine said...

I had a mullet once, but at least I can say I didn't choose it. It was a botched Dorothy Hammill.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
I never give ANYone this opportunity. On the reverse side, folk are always surprised when I notice they have new hair, glasses, changed iris colour...

Now. Being of the British persuasion, I have always wondered where the name 'bangs' orginates. A fringe is a fringe is a fringe ...and to be avoided at all costs as far as this little widgeon is concerned... YAM xx

jenny_o said...

Your hair sounds divine. The dark reds and even dark purple with dark brown or black are gorgeous.

And don't they offer freckles at your salon? I'm getting them on my hands from somewhere, absolutely free. I wish they'd put them on my nose where they belong, instead.

Eileen B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marty Damon said...

After my last haircut - going for something new - I realized to my horror that it was the same style I'd worn in 8th grade - when I though it was way cool that Ringo and I had similar do's.
I'm now thinking (for the 1,017th time) about growing it out.

joeh said...

If I haven't mentioned it before, you are very funny!

That is intentional isn't it?

Amy said...

I am a dishwater blonde, and on a lark a few years back I dyed my hair red. Crayola red. It took close to a week for my family to notice. I have always suspected that I my super power is invisibility but now I know for sure.

Also, no danger I'll be repeating my high school 'do. My mama, bless her heart, is gone, so no more home perms at the kitchen table.

Daisy said...

You should have told him the freckles are new tattoos you just had done.

River said...

Years ago, a girl I worked with daily for seven years, said to me, "you look different, what have you done?"
I had collar length hair with soft 'bangs' which we call a fringe out here; the day before I had all my hair scraped back off my face into an eight inch ponytail. And she couldn't pick the difference!

Linda O'Connell said...

Like having a cow look at you. Girl you make me laugh. Share a photo of your new do, the new you?

Jinksy said...

Hehehe! I have little choice in the matter of hair. It grows in a certain way, and a wash and a shake of the head is its usual routine. So although it has gone up and down like a Venetian blind over the years, and I have streaked or straightened it in the rash days of my your, now I'm only too glad that a fair number of hairs have opted to stay in the same place. Many others decided to take residence in my plughole or hairbrush...

sage said...

I need to have bangs, again, but the Good Lord seems to think otherwise...

Dr Max Tunguska said...

I'm asking everyone I know if they've always had freckles. Whether they have them or not. It certainly rivals greeting complete strangers like they were old friends.

Jinksy said...

P.S. I really meant days of my YOUTH, not YOUR!!! LOL

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

I cannot stand to have hair on my forehead it gives me a headache as does long hair in fact I could go another hair cut now

Indigo Roth said...

Don't feel bad, the freckles are adorable. I may even have some myself. If I ever go out to n the sun (rare, I catch fire), they all join up, which is as close to a tan as I ever get. Bah, etc. Roth x

Catalyst said...

I have always loved bangs. (on women) My wife thinks I'm nuts.