Last Monday before my evening shower, I was looking at my hair in the mirror. It’s a rather dark bathroom; no window. And I don’t like overhead light, so I have a lamp on the vanity I turn on instead.
My short hair, which grows very quickly, was showing signs of needing a cut. Kay was coming to pick me up to go see the doctor the next morning. So I impulsively reached in the drawer for my scissors and started cutting a bit here and there, on top and at the sides. I have to take my glasses off to see how to do this, odd as that may sound.
My hair has gray in it, and I started cutting at the sides in front of my ears. I thought: Boy, it sure got gray over here fast.
The next day, we go to the doctor, then out to eat. Kay sat across from me and of course saw my hair, and I still had no idea what I’d done.
Yesterday in an email I mention something about my hair, and Kay emails back that she noticed the bald patches, but thought maybe it was a side affect of medication and decided not to say anything. But added: “Please don’t cut your hair again.”
So then I knew it was bad.
Folks, I still could not see what I’d done clearly. I’d look in the mirror and look sideways and just couldn’t see if what I was looking at was skin or gray hair that kind of blended into my skin. And I have new glasses, so no one bring that up. I guess I just don’t see sideways very well.
I got in the car and drove down the street to Supercuts. Luckily Shelley was there, who has cut my hair before. I tell her my dilemma and say I thought I was cutting gray hair. I ask her to tell me the truth, because I still cannot completely see the damage I’ve done.
She tried to keep from laughing. “Well,” she said: “There’s just not a whole lot I can do. You’ve cut all the way down to the skin. But I’ll try to blend it in.” Since I get my hair cut very short, I figured that wouldn’t be too hard.
It was. I still look like I have the mange.
Once home I promptly email Kay and ask her to please never let me walk out of here again and think she was being kind by not mentioning that I look like I have the mange, or something even more embarrassing. To please be totally honest with me.
I mean I have feelings. But I’m one of those Honest Joes, or Jo Anns, if you will. I tell it straight. I would have told her if she had bald patches on either side of her head.
I realize people think they’re being thoughtful. But if you’re like me, you want your friends to let you KNOW if you have spinach in your teeth. That you want to KNOW if the end of your dress got caught up in your underwear in back after you went to the ladies room. That you want to KNOW why others will be staring at you but you don’t know why.
I know she was trying to be nice. She’s always very nice. I met her when she volunteered, as one of my readers, to come help me move here. So she’s a dear friend, and we happened to hit it off right away. We have the same feelings about many things; the same sense of humor. We both love to read the same kinds of books.
Oddly enough, in college she went into social work, but almost went into journalism. I took some social work classes, but ended up getting my degree in journalism. We realized the other day that we share the love of a favorite poem by Emily Dickinson.
But where she is thoughtfully silent about things like this, I border more on tactless. Things often fall out of my mouth before I’ve found a proper filter to put it through.
If the shoe had been on the other foot, I’d have said: “What on earth did you do to your hair?”
All you wonderful and caring friends out there, you may be sparing our feelings. But you’re letting us go out in public where people will be staring at whatever has gone awry. And we’d really (or I would) just rather know than go out there blind to it.
Kay is a very sweet and caring friend. Kay is taking me to my ankle surgery next month. I couldn’t ask for a nicer or more thoughtful person to call friend.
Now I’m writing this because to me it is amusing. It is one of those stories I will laugh about and tell to other friends occasionally when I recall it in the future. I would have been amused even if I’d been told about the bald patches.
But I’d rather know. Because I don’t want others staring at me and not know why.
Do you have a similar story to share?