No one really knows what the boundaries are for another person. You have to speak for yourself, only, always. I decided to stop hunting and I cut all my hair off. In the bathroom with nail scissors. And now I'm going to feel like a fucking schmuck for years. Something broke. I think if I believed I could get away with wearing a burqa I would. I feel like a melodramatic, stupid, immature moron. Not to put too fine a point on it.
Ok, so what really happened is I was in the process of trying to leave the house one day and I couldn't comb through the snarls. I lost my temper and badly cut the knot out. I have been compulsively going into the bathroom to fix it ever since. It's rather short. My hair is not ok with bleach. I have a fairly ridiculous amount of shame around the fact that this is not the first time I have stopped hunting and shaved my head. I should tell that story. I don't know if it is in the book or not.
I was seventeen and at West Valley. I was hanging out with Praveena. It was towards the end of our time hanging out together. I was on the tail end of one of my whoring-around-phases and feeling really bad about myself. I was getting to the point where I noticed that everyone who fucked me ditched me really soon after. I was at Praveena's house and we were having a conversation about the fact that it bothered me that people no longer wanted to be my friend after we had sex. She thoughtfully looked at me and said, "Then why don't you find out if they want to be your friend before you have sex with them?"
I started shaking. You don't understand. People don't spend time with me very often. Sex was how I got people to look at me. I moved around so often that I knew that I had to get attention quickly or I wouldn't get it at all. I know what I'm supposed to act like. I know my "role". I couldn't verbalize any of that at the time. I couldn't imagine anyone wanting to be near me. I just sat there shaking. I had been cutting my hair at home compulsively for a while. It was probably three or four inches long. I asked her for shaving supplies. She was kind of confused as to why I wanted to shave my legs right then but she got them.
I went out in the back yard and shaved my head. She watched in wide mouthed horror. She had hair almost to her waist. She was a gorgeous Persian girl with super thick luscious hair. She sputtered and gasped and tried to talk me out of it. I remember the look of squick on her face. I laughed.
My mother didn't laugh. To put this in larger context, this happened in October of 1998. My father had killed himself a couple of weeks earlier. Tommy had killed himself in June. My mom said a lot of very rude and nasty things to me about my looks. She pointed out that my head was exceedingly lumpy. She pointed out that given how fat I was, my head looked especially small and stupid. I need that big bushy hair to balance out my fat ass.
I was invited to go to a 'formal' dinner related to the haunted house event I volunteered at. My hair was only a few millimeters long at that point. I covered my head in glitter and wore a tight black velvet dress. My mom didn't say anything, but she shook her head and grimaced.
At the time I felt awkward and stupid and barely spoke to anyone. The reality is that people were perfectly nice and civil to me. The people who knew me at all were friendly and strangers went out of their way to be nice. I never went back to that organization. My mother extensively talked about how stupid I looked and how she bets they would be making fun of me behind my back.
I'm not really cutting my hair because I think it makes me look ugly. When I feel ugly I feel compelled to cut my hair. I really do have beautiful hair. My hair is lovely enough that someone who feels and acts the way I do should not have that much camouflage to look "normal".
I can't possibly explain my mothers furious disgust at people who dye their hair "funny colors". Oh my god. Anyone who would do that is disgusting. They are lesser, dirty people. They are not normal. Above all we must be normal, right? I don't even know what that means.
I really and truly did dye my hair because I thought it was fun. I have enjoyed catching glimpses of myself in reflections and seeing the shock of color. It makes me smile. Unfortunately my hair is quite fine and the bleach destroys it and it gets shorter and shorter and... yeah. It's time to deal with letting it grow out again.
And that represents so much internal conflict of self-expression and self-identity. It's ridiculous that it matters so much. As I listen to Lady Gaga sing about her own hair experience I feel trite and ridiculous and like I am such a product of my generation. Of course I dye my hair odd colors and cut it myself in ridiculous ways. I'm Emo, right? I guess I never got over high school.
This is part of what I mean when I say I don't fit. I don't really know the rules. Do you want to know the main reason I'm cutting my hair myself? Because it really doesn't matter if I pay someone to do this. Pretty soon I'm going to just buzz it because it's time to start fresh. There really isn't a point in paying someone to do that. I've been looking extensively at our budgeting. I'm going to continue paying for Noah's haircuts because I like them. Enh, I'm just done paying for them for a few years. It makes me twitch to pay that much money on hair care. Curly hair is very forgiving and it's not like I'm trying to impress anyone. That feels bad to say.
I have fun cutting my hair. I like trying to figure out the shape of my head. I get compliments from random people when I am out so I think I do a reasonable job. I'm not ugly. I don't really think that having short hair makes me ugly. I don't think that other people with short hair are ugly. But when I am feeling ugly I compulsively cut my hair. I'm trying to change what I see in the mirror. I want to have more control over what I see. I don't want to go pay someone else who will try to make me look like some mainstream idea of beauty. Whatever it is that society values and requires of women I am not it. Let's get the advertising straight.
There are fifty sides to every story. I like cutting my hair. I think it is fun. I think it is weird. I think it is a slightly self-harming behavior but fairly harmless so it's ok. I think it is an obsessive compulsive tick when I am overwhelmed with my sexuality. I think that other people will judge me badly for being the kind of person who will do this. I don't know why I care. Thank goodness we are through picture season.
I need to let the roots get a bit longer before I decide how short to get. Until then I get to cut off bits and pieces every time the urge strikes. I think it is kind of funny that I do this during cold weather. I guess I'll just have to wear my Cheshire Cat hat all the time for a few months. That's subtle.
I told Noah some truth last night. I wonder how that will work out.